Preston North End skipper Alan Browne ends Republic of Ireland's scoring drought but cannot prevent defeat in Serbia
Preston North End skipper Alan Browne scored for the Republic of Ireland in their opening World Cup qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade.
The midfielder headed the Irish in front after 18 minutes but the night was to end in disappointment as Serbia won 3-2.
Browne got on the end of a cross from former PNE winger Callum Robinson to send a header back across the keeper into the net.
It ended an 11-hour goal drought for the Republic and put them 1-0 up.
Dusan Vlahovic equalised for Serbia five minutes before half-time before Aleksandar Mitrovic struck twice in seven minutes after coming on as a substitute to put the home side in command.
James Collins reduced the deficit in the closing minutes but was too little, too late.
Browne played 79 minutes, Collins replacing him.
His North End team-mate Jayson Molumby started the game and got 58 minutes before giving way to Jeff Hendrick.
The Irish are back in action against Luxemburg in Dublin on Saturdy.
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