Aleksandar Kolarov, Serbia Top Costa Rica in 2018 World Cup Match

Lewis Collier
June 18, 2018

Lining the ball up from an impressive 25 yards out, the AS Roma full-back swung an absolute beauty past Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas into the top corner.

We have been treated quite well in the early stages of this World Cup.

Next up: Both teams will be back in action Friday, with Costa Rica set to play Brazil and Serbia scheduled to take on Switzerland.

The opening half between Costa Rica and Serbia was back and forth from the start: Aleksandar Mitrovic's header missed the target in the opening minute and moments later Marco Urena's angled shot for Costa Rica was saved in the left corner by Vladimir Stojkovic. However, back in 2014, Costa Rica managed to top the Group consisting of England, Italy and Uruguay so its highly improbable that the opposing teams will take Costa Rica lightly this year. Serbia are the favourites on paper, but Los Ticos will be anything but an easy opposition here.

Arsenal forward Joel Campbell was introduced with Costa Rica chasing the game and he nearly capitalised on an error from Nikola Milenkovic, but the centre-back recovered remarkably to deny the striker as he found himself one-on-one with Stojkovic.

And despite not playing a part in his side's goal, the Manchester United a big influence in the midfield for Serbia, with the presence of Nemanja Matic and Luka Milivojevic allowed him the freedom to push forward.

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Serbia had gone close to prior to Kolarov's thunderbolt, Aleksandar Mitrovic - a constant thorn in Costa Rica's side - fluffing his lines when one-on-one with Navas early in the second half.

And with at least two more games to come for Serbia, Milinkovic-Savic still has time to further implement himself on this World Cup.

Costa Rica, who will also face Brazil and Switzerland, lost just twice during qualifying, finishing second in the CONCACAF standings ahead of the likes of Panama, Honduras and the USA.

As soon as their opponents figured them out, however, Costa Rica's momentum evaporated.

Filip Kostic had a great chance to double Serbia's lead on 76 minutes after being picked out by Dusan Tadic's cross on the right, but the substitute failed to make clean contact with the goal at his mercy.

While not pacing right down to the touchline, Ivanovic tested the Costa Rica defence with his crosses for deep up into Mitrovic and the pushing Milinkovic-Savic.

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