Some 50,000 people gathered Monday in downtown Belgrade to greet Serbia’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup winners on Monday. Chanting “Champions! Champions!” the crowd cheered the team that appeared at the balcony of Belgrade City Hall, a place where Belgraders traditionally greet Serb winning athletes. “I love you Serbia!” said player Andrija Zivkovic, as the crowd went wild after being showed the trophy. “Our dream has come true,” Serbia’s U20 team coach Veljko Paunovic said. Serbia on Saturday pulled off a historic 2-1 extra time defeat of favourites Brazil in the final of the FIFA U20 World Cup in Auckland despite a wondergoal from Brazil’s Manchester United youngster Andreas Periera. By AFP

Serbia pulled off a historic 2-1 win in extra time to beat heavily favoured Brazil in the final of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Auckland on Saturday with a solo wonder goal from Manchester United’s Andreas Periera. The scores were locked at 1-1 at the end of regulation play and the creative Nemanja Maksimovic put away the winner with two minutes remaining in extra time. He pushed a through ball from Andrija Zivkovic past Jean to bring success for Serbia who were in the tournament for the first time as an independent nation, although their Yugoslavian predecessors had won in 1987. The gentle tap left the Brazilians in despair, with their dreams of atoning for an embarrassing 2014 — when they suffered a record 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi-finals — left in tatters. Maksimovic had earlier set up Serbia’s opening goal in the 70th minute with a cross ball to Stanisa Mandic who slammed a close-range […]

Brazil will chase a record-equaling sixth FIFA Under-20 World Cup title on Saturday in a tournament final that pits South American flair against European pragmatism. The Brazilians go into the decider against Serbia as heavy favourites after rediscovering their attacking verve in a 5-0 semi-final demolition of Senegal. But in Auckland they will face a dogged Serbian side who during their time in New Zealand have demonstrated an ability to strangle a match, accounting for more fancied opponents including Mexico and the United States. For Brazil, the final represents the chance to match Argentina’s record of six youth trophies at a tournament where the South American arch-rivals have long jostled for bragging rights. It would also rub salt into Argentinian wounds after they were bundled out in the group stage for the first time in 24 years. The Serbs, meanwhile, can announce their arrival on the world stage at a tournament seen as a proving ground for young talent to launch […]