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Kolarov stunner gives Serbia World Cup victory over Costa Rica

20 June 2018
Kolarov stunner gives Serbia World Cup victory over Costa Rica

Serbia's Adem Ljajic and Aleksandar Mitrovic celebrate after Aleksandar Kolarov (hidden) scored their first goal in World Cup - Group E match- Costa Rica vs Serbia on June 17, 2018.

All eyes will be on Milinkovic-Savic on Sunday as he looks to give Serbia the flawless start to their World Cup campaign and perhaps adding several more million onto his transfer fee in the close season.

If you held a gun to my head I think the match could go the way of Costa Rica, but it is going to be a tight match and one I think is going to go either way!

Krstajic, a former Serbian worldwide defender, has called on plenty of experience, though, with former Chelsea centre-back Branislav Ivanovic, Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov and Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic all starting. Keylor Navas, the Costa Rica goalkeeper who plays for Real Madrid, stretched but couldn't stop the swerving ball.

They famously reached the quarter-finals four years ago, although Oviedo missed out due to a long-term injury, after topping a group that included England, Italy and Uruguay.

Calvo sent a low strike wide as Costa Rica threatened again before Nemanja Matic and Luka Milivojevic combined to find Milinkovic-Savic, whose overhead kick was saved by Navas with the flag up in any case.

With three points in their kitty from the first match of the group, Serbia will aim to improve their form ahead of sterner tests against Brazil and Switzerland.

Navas got a fingertip to push away Dusan Tadic's cross-shot, while Mitrovic twice failed to make the most of Milinkovic-Savic assists.

"Maybe we have lost a certain margin for qualifying", he said.

Serbia will lock horns with Costa Rica in the opening encounter of Group B today at Samara Arena.

The Manchester United man was a driving force in the heart of Serbia's 5-man midfield. "I'm ready to play in the World Cup".

Coach Oscar Ramirez threw on Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, Costa Rica's star player in Brazil in 2014, in search of an equaliser.

He challenged Navas in the 27th minute from just outside the box, but Navas fell on the ball.