By Ciarán Ó Raghallaigh
Huge save from Kostic on 24 mins and somehow kept Serbia out on stroke of half time, but second half was a different story. Key man, but lucky not to cost Ireland a third.
Everton man was skipper again, but part of a rocky backline that eventually imploded. Coughed up too much possession, and badly positioned for Kostic goal.
Back in starting lineup, with O'Neill keen for his experience in tough away opener. Made crucial blocks as defence walked on thin ice, but couldn't clear for Serbian opener.
With Duffy suspended, Derby stopper paired with O'Shea, got his head to a few crosses early on, but scrappy show overall as Ireland toiled.
Restored to left back, with Brady pushed upfield. A solid start up against Dusan Tadic, booked cruelly after a good tackle on 22, and subbed on 70.
Star of the summer, Burnley's €10m man gave Ireland the perfect start with a volleyed goal in third minute. Worked hard, but little quality on ball thereafter. Subbed.
With James McCarthy injured, Stoke man returned to defensive midfield, but most of game passed him by – with Irish long balls, or Serbians racing past him.
Bagged a brace against Oman last week, and almost scored with a smart header in first half, but not much else as Ireland toiled in possession.
Good run that led to free kick which led to Hendrick's opener. Better in defence than attack, tracking back when required, but wasteful going forward.
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) September 5, 2016
Cracking strike against Oman last week showed his threat, no surprise he was in midfield last night, but not the return O'Neill would have wanted. Poor in possession.
Ireland's no.1 striker with Keano gone, but poorly used last night with too many long balls, and little support. Good run for opening goal, should have scored before Murphy did.
Quinn, for Ward (70), 6
Pace lifted a little when he was introduced, passing better and sharper.
Murphy, for Hendrick (76), 7
Set up a chance Long should have scored from, just moments before heading home his first Ireland goal to level things.
Clarke, for Long (90)
Not on long enough to rate.