Coleman captains Ireland in 2-2 draw with Serbia

Seamus Coleman

Despite a disappointing performance in Belgrade, Ireland's World Cup qualifying campaign has started with an away draw.

Martin O'Neill's men battled their way to a 2-all draw against Serbia after a drab display from both sides in-front of a surprisingly small crowd inside the Red Star Stadium.

Jeff Hendrick gave Ireland the perfect start when he scored after just three minutes with a deflected strike.

But it was Serbia who reacted more positively to the early goal as the home side went-on to dominate Ireland for most of the game.

Filip Kostic pulled Serbia level when he was left unmarked just six yards from goal before Dusan Tadic scored a controversial penalty to put the hosts ahead.

However, Daryl Murphy was introduced off the bench and the Newcastle striker headed-home a vital equaliser with 10 minutes remaining.

Seamus Coleman seen his first action of the season to start at right back and captain the side.

The Killybegs man who hasn't played for Everton so far in the Premier League overcame an ankle injury to lead out the boys in green.

Derry man James McCLean played down the left flank while Ciaran Clarke made a brief appearance in injury time.