Kolarov strikes sees off Costa Rica

It was too late by the time Costa Rica finally took the game to Serbia, and after a couple of VAR checks took us to the 98th minute, the final whistle was blown to hand Mladen Krstajic's side a jump start ahead of Brazil v Switzerland on Sunday evening. Also included were Manchester United midfielder Matic, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who had an apparent falling out with Muslin but was brought to Russian Federation by Krstajic.

After Costa Rica midfielder David Guzman was handed a yellow card, Kolarov stepped up and curled his shot over the wall and into the net in the 56th minute.

Check out our brand new daily JOE World Cup Minipod with Dion Fanning and Paddy McKenna with added Mad Vlad Putin, Spanish managerial weeping and probably some football as well. Milinkovic-Savic plays a fine ball over the top and Mitrovic is through on goal, one-on-one with Navas, but he can not squeeze his effort past the Real Madrid goalkeeper, who makes a vital stop to deny the forward.

Costa Rica only sporadically threatened the Serbia goal, with an early header over the crossbar from unmarked defender Giancarlo Gonzalez their best effort.

Serbia's attacking players had a field day against a struggling Los Ticos defence, which was set up as a back three - with the wing-backs often leaving their flanks exposed at times. The Costa Rican bench were not impressed with the Serbian's vigorous efforts on the sideline.

"Maybe we have lost a certain margin for qualifying", said Costa Rica coach Oscar Ramirez. And I think it was a tight match.

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic promised he would be at the World Cup this summer and despite not being selected for the Sweden squad, he has made his first appearance.

It is the third direct free-kick scored already in this tournament, equalling the amount scored in the entirety of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. "We know the eyes of the world are on us".

Costa Rica have stuck with the spine of the team who reached the quarter-finals four years ago, with Real Madrid's Keylor Navas in goal, Deportivo La Coruna's Celso Borges in midfield and captain Bryan Ruiz as their main creative influence. Navas also stopped Milinkovic-Savic's bicycle kick in front of goal in the 42nd minute, but it was ruled offside.

His experienced side were solid throughout, with 23-year-old Lazio forward Sergej Milinkovic-Savic a constant threat.

Potentially tougher clashes against both Brazil and Switzerland now await Serbia later in the group.

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