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 By PA Sport

Aaron Ramsey 'felt calm, confident' taking Panenka penalty kick for Wales

Aleksandar Mitrovic scored with Serbia's first shot on target to hand Wales their fifth draw in World Cup qualifying.

Aaron Ramsey has said he overcame Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic's attempts at mind games to score a Panenka penalty in Wales' 1-1 draw against Serbia on Sunday.

Ramsey netted from the spot in the World Cup qualifying draw in Belgrade, updating the famous spot-kick of Czechoslovakia great Antonin Panenka by lifting the ball into the corner rather than down the middle of the goal.

The Arsenal midfielder chipped the ball past Stojkovic in the 35th-minute as the Serbia goalkeeper dived in to the opposite corner.

The penalty made famous by Panenka -- the shoot-out winner in the 1976 European Championship final against West Germany -- was scored at the same stadium.

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"I didn't know, but that is quite a nice touch," Ramsey said when told about the Panenka penalty, which was also scored at the same end of the Rajko Mitic Stadium. "I felt calm, I felt confident in the situation. The keeper asked for the ball so I gave him the ball and he said, 'I'm going to stay in the middle, you're going to go down the middle.'

"So I went in the right hand corner. Thankfully it went in."

Ramsey said his 12th Wales goal was the first Panenka penalty he had taken in his career.

"I knew what I was going to do before stepping up and taking it. I'm just happy it went in," Ramsey said.

Asked about the consequences of missing in that fashion, he added: "That is the risk you take. You know, I am out there to enjoy myself as well, and though it was a big occasion, a big moment in this qualification campaign, I felt calm and comfortable doing it. I'm gutted we couldn't hold on to the win. But it is a good point in the end."

Wales manager Chris Coleman was delighted with Ramsey's performance but said he was surprised by the choice of penalty.

"I'm pretty sure that he [Ramsey] probably hasn't even seen it," manager Coleman said of the Panenka spot-kick. "It's identical. It's what we thought as soon as he did it.

"But I don't think that would have been in Aaron's thinking. I didn't see that coming if I'm honest with you. But I had no doubt he'd score because he's playing with such confidence at the moment, his overall performance was absolutely outstanding.

"He seems to thrive on that responsibility, it's not the first time he's run a game for us. His input was immense."

Aaron Ramsey celebrates after putting Wales ahead against Serbia in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday.
Aaron Ramsey helped Wales earn a draw against Serbia in the absence of Gareth Bale.

Coleman felt Wales had learned the lessons of history after a 6-1 thrashing on their last visit to Serbia nearly five years ago, a result which almost ended Coleman's tenure before it had properly began.

"I think we learned a lot from Serbia five years ago when we were beaten heavily, so we knew we had to come here and play hard," Coleman said. "We had a game plan and the players stuck to that, I'm really proud of them.

"I felt at the end we were looking to win it, we had two or three breakaways where it could have been different. "It was a tough game but, overall, we'll be happier with a point than Serbia. It was a game we couldn't lose against a good team, but we thrived on that pressure and I'm really proud of the team.

"The group is still very much in the balance. We're still chasing, four points, but let's see what happens."

Serbia manager Slavoljub Muslin felt his side had struggled to rise to the occasion at the start with the Rajko Mitic Stadium close to capacity.

"We didn't start very well, maybe the full house and supporters added too much pressure for the players," Muslin said. "They were too eager to win and impress, that's why they didn't start well.

"There is disappointment with the draw, but we kept first place in the group thanks to the draw between Ireland and Austria."

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