Mitrović hits hat-trick as Serbia demolish Bolivia
Written by Rory Mitchinson
Aleksandar Mitrović scored his first international hat-trick as Serbia rounded off their preparations for the World Cup with a thumping win over Bolivia.
Mitrović opened the scoring after just four minutes, guiding in Adem Ljajić’s corner from the left flank. Ljajić himself quickly doubled the Orlovi’s lead before Mitrović powered the ball past Bolivia’s Guillermo Viscarra following a well-timed run.
Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanović made it four before the break after volleying home Mitrović’s acrobatic ball across the box. Bolivia belatedly managed to steady the ship after that and pulled a goal back early into the second half through Jhasmani Campos.
However, it was Mitrović who had the final say, curling the ball beyond Viscarra from 20 yards with a superb right-footed strike.
Elsewhere, DeAndre Yedlin entered the fray as a late substitute as a young United States side held France to a 1-1 draw away from home.
After failing to qualify for Russia, the Stars and Stripes’ 20-man squad took on a radically different look for the trip to Lyon and had an average age of less than 23. Remarkably, Yedlin – still only 24 himself – was the most experienced of the lot in terms of caps.
The US took the lead through Julian Green’s effort on the stroke of half time, but Didier Deschamps’ side – widely expected to go far at the upcoming tournament – equalised on 78 minutes courtesy of Kylian Mbappe.
France very nearly nicked it at the death, but goalkeeper Zack Steffen pulled off a superb double-save to deny Nabil Fekir and Ousmane Dembélé and seal a more than creditable result for the States.