Nemanja Maksimovic scored an 118th-minute goal on the counterattack to give Serbia a 2-1 victory over Brazil in extra time in the Under-20 World Cup final at North Harbour Stadium on Saturday.
The game had been locked at 1-1 after 90 minutes, with Stanisa Mandic giving Serbia hope of their first title as an independent nation with 20 minutes remaining but Andreas Pereira equalised three minutes later.
Heavy rain and strong cold winds had pounded New Zealand for the past three days and while fans were soaked during the earlier match for third place, the rain had stopped by the time the sold-out final kicked off.
Brazil had the best clear-cut chances in the first half, with Jean Carlos and Gabriel producing two top-class saves from the Serbia captain, Predrag Rajkovic. His team-mate in midfield Sergej Milankovic was unlucky not to score in the second minute of added time in the first half when his header from a corner was well saved by Jean.
The Brazil goalkeeper, who had not conceded a goal since the eighth minute of their second group game against Hungary, was finally beaten when an unmarked Stanisa Mandic stroked the ball home in the 70th minute to end the streak at 571 minutes.
Brazil, however, did not have to wait long for an equaliser, with Manchester United’s Pereira jinking his way past four defenders to level the match three minutes later for an excellent individual goal. Pereira had only come on as a 65th-minute substitute for a visibly incensed Boschilia, who calmed down when his team-mate stroked the ball past Rajkovic’s outstretched left hand.
Rajkovic produced another world-class save late in extra time, before his team-mates swept down field and Maksimovic was left one on one with Jean and he calmly slotted home to end Brazil’s hopes of a sixth world title.
In the earlier match for third place, Adama Traoré produced two sensational long-range strikes to help Mali beat 10-man Senegal 3-1, first equalising with a curling left-footed free-kick in the 74th minute, 10 minutes after Senegal’s Ibrahima Wadji had opened the scoring.
Traoré then blasted a right-foot shot past Ibrahima Sy before Diadie Samassekou completed the victory when he slotted home the third in added time. Sy and his Mali counterpart Djigui Diarra both saved penalties in the final 15 minutes. The Senegal defender Moussa Ba had been sent off in the final minute of the first half by the Egyptian referee, Ghead Grisha, for his second yellow card.