Photo courtesy Steven Christy / OKC Energy FC
Sacramento Republic FC’s Emrah Klimenta made his first appearance in a World Cup Qualifying contest for Montenegro on Saturday as the standout defender came on as a second-half substitute in the team’s 4-1 victory against Armenia in Podgorica, Montenegro. Sevilla FC’s Stevan Jovetic had a hat trick to lead Montenegro to victory in the contest.
Klimenta made his debut for Montenegro last May in an international exhibition against Turkey. The 26-year-old saw his 2016 season come to a premature end due to a torn ACL last July, but after making a full recovery earned a return to Montenegro’s squad for a key game in its pursuit of a place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
With the side already ahead 3-0, Klimenta came on in the 75th minute for Zarko Tomasevic to make his first competitive appearance for Montenegro. The victory moved Montenegro into second place in Group E of UEFA qualifying on goal difference ahead of Denmark. Montenegro has four games remaining in September and October, including what appears a crucial home game with Denmark on October 5, to put itself in position to earn the country’s first trip to the World Cup.