Kolarov scores free kick as Serbia wins

Kolarov, who now plays for Roma, told FIFA.com: "The free-kick came in a hard moment in the match and I knew I could step up and change things, and that's exactly what I did".

Serbia had their first attempt on goal in the seventh minute as Kolarov fired a powerful long-range effort inches wide.

The Roma left-back, captaining his country in the World Cup, whipped a ideal strike into the top corner ten minutes into the second half, giving Manchester City fans a trip down memory lane.

Serbia controlled possession and the play but it took veteran Aleksandar Kolarov's trademark free kick to break down the five-man Costa Rican defence in Samara, as a winning start was essential to Group E with Brazil and Switzerland to come. "We have to be planted firmly on the ground and continue as a team".

He said: "We play against the second and sixth-placed teams in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings". "The match against Switzerland is going to be the most hard one".

The referee went to the Video Assistant Referee to check for any red card offences, but deemed no further action was needed.

"There's always a lot of talk about four years ago, but this is a new World Cup, a new history", Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzales said. "I don't want to do the maths yet", he said.


The match between Serbia and Costa Rica was just another example of how special a talent Sergej Milinkovic-Savic truly is. "We tried to pressure them". "We should have capitalised on our opportunities like they did". The key to Serbia's defensive success will rely in Nemanja Matic and Milinkovic Savic as defensive midfielders.

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

Costa Rica defender Ronald Matarrita was ruled out of the World Cup earlier this week because of a right hamstring injury.

The 34-year-old made his debut back in 2005 and this year's World Cup is only the second major worldwide tournament Ivanovic has played in.

And the 44-year-old could not have dreamed for a better start as his side beat Costa Rica 1-0 in what may prove to be an important match in Group E, with many expecting Brazil to win the group and the other three (Serbia, Costa Rica and Switzerland) playing for second place.

The Eagles were presented with another opening soon after as Mitrovic's deflected strike from inside the box was comfortably gathered by Keylor Navas, before a quiet spell ensued.

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