Serbia and Costa Rica bring contrasting styles to dogfight


Captain Aleksandar Kolarov has given Serbia a 1-0 lead against Costa Rica.

These two sides began their Russian Federation 2018 campaign under sunny Samara skies on Sunday but despite the abundant quality on show, profligacy was the underlying theme until Aleksandar Kolarov struck in spectacular fashion just prior to the hour to earn a 1-0 win for his side.

Costa Rica started positively with Bryan Ruiz slipping Marcos Urena through on goal in the second minute, but he failed to beat the keeper in a one-on-one.

Costa Rica faces Brazil on Friday, and it is likely going to need at least a draw to have any shot of moving on from the group stage.

For Costa Rica, Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas begins in goal, while Johnny Acosta and Oscar Duarte start in defence.

"It was an awesome goal", Costa Rica defender Bryan Oviedo said of Kolarov's effort.

"It's very important that we have these three points in the bag, but it's not over, Switzerland will be the hardest match".

"The first match in the World Cup is always crucial".

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There is more to come from this Serbia side, who are now in a strong position to qualify for the last 16.

Kolarov put the Serbians on the board with the third direct free-kick of the tournament in the 56 minute to carry them to their first World Cup win since 2010.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic challenged Navas in the 27th from just outside the box, but Navas fell on the ball.

Milinkovic-Savic gave Navas a workout in the first half, and while he didn't score, he is clearly a potent weapon for Serbia. The main rising star of the team Mladen krstajić (our former teammate Viktor Skripnik at Werder) - 23-year-old player of Lazio Sergei Milinkovic-Savic (talented guy already offer 100 million euros), which, however, in qualifying not held for the Serbs... any match.

Now with Italian club Lazio, rumours have swirled that Manchester United might be interested in the dynamic 23-year-old midfielder.

In the photo, Valeria Zuluaga shows the comfort with which she will be enjoying the game early Sunday morning at the Costa Rica Beer Factory.

With five minutes of the second half gone, only a good save by Navas prevented Mitrovic from opening the scoring after a clipped pass from Milinkovic-Savic, although the striker should have done better.