Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Entertaiment | By Mabel Barber

Branislav Ivanovic becomes Serbia's most capped player in Costa Rica match

Branislav Ivanovic becomes Serbia's most capped player in Costa Rica match

Serbia manager Mladen Krstajić praised the positive atmosphere among his squad following their 1-0 win over Costa Rica in their first match of the 2018 World Cup. Kolarov capitalized on the opportunity, curling the free kick past Navas' reach.

Real Madrid No.1 Keylor Navas had an absolutely no chance of keeping it out, such was the combination of power and placement from Kolarov's rocket of a left peg.

This absence, which lasted throughout the qualifying phases, was respected by the federation until Serbia qualified for Russia. It will be the first match of the tournament for both the teams. It was the furthest the small Central American nation had advanced in soccer's premier tournament.

"We have lost two friendlies [to England and Belgium], no one likes to lose, but it was just a preparation. for the World Cup". Mladen Krstajic's Serbia side - the lowest ranked European nation at Russian Federation 2018 - now appear the best placed of the two to progress after a dominant second-half display.

Moscow, Jun 18 Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov had a good day in Samara: he scored a magnificent World Cup goal and was presented with a Lada by the governor.

The former Chelsea defender made his 104th worldwide appearance, surpassing the previous record of 103 by former midfielder Dejan Stankovic.

For the Serbians, there is a clean bill of health with Krstajic expected to field virtually the same starting 11 which demolished Bolivia 5-1 in their final preparation match on June 9.

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Ivanovic now plays for Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg, but he's best known for his time at Chelsea (2008-17).

In a Group E curtain-jerker that was a little short on quality, it took a moment of brilliance from Aleksandar Kolvarov to snatch the win for Serbia against Costa Rica.

Costa Rica will be without Ronald Matarrita for the entire competition after the defender picked up a serious hamstring injury during training. He was replaced on the roster by Kenner Gutierrez.

With Costa Rica proving a tough nut to crack, Kolarov stepped up to bury a 25-metre effort from wide on the right, lighting up an otherwise tight game in the southern Russian city of Samara. Serbia return to the World Cup stage after missing the 2014 Brazil world cup and Euro 2016.

"The first match in the World Cup is always crucial". Brazil, one of the favorites in Russian Federation, will play Costa Rica the same day in St. Petersburg.

Highly rated Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic could be one to watch for the Eagles. 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.

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