Serbia 0-0 Scotland: City’s MacIver injured as Scotland settle for goalless draw

Scotland had to settle for a 0-0 draw against Serbia in the EURO2025 qualifiers despite enjoying periods on the ascendancy in Leskovac.

Despite a slow start, Serbia progressed into the game and will be frustrated not to pick up all three points at the end of the day, after some good chances in the latter parts of the match. 

After a couple of frustrating campaigns for Scotland, this was an opportunity for Pedro Martinez Losa to reignite his spell in charge after some criticism by ex-players and pundits alike – but another underwhelming performance has the Scots scratching their heads again. 

As it happened

Serbia had a streetwise approach to them as they did everything but fail to break the Scottish rearguard – Jovana Damnjanovic gave the visitors trouble from the off and almost looked to trouble Sandy MacIver but was thwarted by the offside flag. 

The Manchester City keeper was then forced off on nine minutes after jarring her knee following a corner – it was a valiant effort from the young shotstopper to continue, but she couldn’t – and was replaced by Lee Gibson. 

Claire Emslie then sent a great set-piece to the back post, where Sophie Howard looks to be pulled down by Jovana Damnjanovic but small disputes from Scotland for a penalty were waved away by referee Reim Hussein. 

Pedro Martinez Losa’s side continued to test the Serbian goal as Erin Cuthbert had a dig from the edge of the box that forced a low save from Milica Kostic. From the subequent corner, Howard was at the back post and heads it goalwards, but it was a comfortable catch for the Serbia goalkeeper.

CREDIT: Scottish FA

There was another penalty appeal at the other end of the park – this time for the hosts who slowly grew into the game as they approached half-time; Gibson misjudged a cross but Violeta Slovic couldn’t convert at the back post. 

Jane Ross emerged on the field of play in the second half for Lauren Davidson and created the spark Scotland were after. Four minutes after the restart, the Rangers striker rifled one from 30 yards towards goal that smacked the crossbar as Kostic did enough to cover the danger – the Ferencvaros goalkeeper took a nasty blow in the process, but was able to continue. 

Damjanovic was pleading for a goal for Serbia and the Bayern Munich striker had a golden chance to open the scoring for her side midway through the second period, but a tame effort with just Gibson to beat was dealt with comfortably by the Glasgow City goalkeeper. 

Serbia were finding ways to carve open the scoring defence as another chance got begging to break the deadlock that this game deserved – Anastaija Ciric’s low effort smashed into the side netting to the relief of the Scotland defence. 

Proceedings in Leskovac were action-packed, but both sides lacked the required sucker punch as they settled for a goalless draw to open their respective qualifying campaigns.

The lineups

SRB: Kostic; Krstic, N Damjanovic, Slovic, Petrovic; Blagojevic; Filipovic, Milivojevic, Mijatovic, Poljak; J Damnajovic

SCO: MacIver; Docherty, Corsie, Howard, Smith; Cornet, Kerr, Cuthbert; Emslie, Davidson, Evans