Cristiano Ronaldo‘s ambition of playing at the next World Cup in Qatar, suffered a big setback on Sunday, as they lost 2-1 to Serbia in a Group A qualifier.
Aleksandar Mitrovic climbed off the bench to grab a 90th-minute winner and complete a remarkable comeback.
The victory lifted Serbia to top spot on 20 points, three more than second-placed Portugal, who only needed a draw to finish on top on goal difference and qualify.
Instead, Ronaldo and his team mates will head into the March playoffs with the other group-stage runners-up to try to reach Qatar 2022.
Mitrovic beat home goalkeeper Rui Patricio with a downward header at the far post to spark wild celebrations on Serbia’s bench after visiting captain Dusan Tadic had cancelled out an early Renato Sanches opener for Portugal.
Jubilant fans thronged central Belgrade, bringing traffic at the main Republic Square to a halt as they waved Serbian flags and hooted their car horns.