Kolarov's stunner hands Serbia victory over Costa Rica

FIFA World Cup 2018: Branislav Ivanovic becomes Serbia's most capped player in Costa Rica match

Aleksandar Kolarov scored from a left-footed free kick in the 56th minute and Serbia opened its World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on Sunday. Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic also wasted a good opportunity in the 28th minute, but he was ruled offside anyway.

But Serbia will face far better teams than Costa Rica in the knockout stages, if they make it that far, and their lack of cohesion and communication will hamper them.

Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic handed Branislav Ivanovic his 104th global appearance, making the former Chelsea centre-back the most-capped player in his nation's history, moving clear of Dejan Stankovic in the all-time list.

The Lazio playmaker was Serbia's most creative influence, although his blushes were spared by the linesman's flag when he fluffed a first-half chance after racing through on goal.

Scoring chances were tough to come by in Sunday morning's soccer game between Costa Rica and Serbia, but the one that resulted in a goal was an absolute gem.

There was a late scuffle as Nemanja Matic tried to take the ball off a member of the Costa Rican staff on the sidelines, before a VAR red-card review saw Aleksandar Prijovic booked for a separate incident, but Serbia held on with relative ease for a potentially priceless win.

Milinkovic-Savic gave Navas a workout in the first half, and while he didn't score, he is clearly a potent weapon for Serbia.

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Serbia's Dusan Tadic fights for the ball against Costa Rica's Francisco Calvo during their World Cup match. "Some of us are repeating, but there are teammates who are playing their first World Cup".

Oscar Ramirez introduced Arsenal's Joel Campbell as Costa Rica chased an equaliser, and the forward had appeals for a penalty waved away when he went down under pressure from Dusko Tosic.

The veteran left-back drilled a beaut of a freekick past Keylor Navas ten minutes into the second half, which he dispatched with that characteristic flat trajectory of his...

Instead, came close to a second goal at the other end of the park in the 75 minute when Milinkovic-Savic sent a thunderous 25-yard effort just over the crossbar.

Vucic told the team: 'I don't think it's such big money for you... but we wanted to show you how important it is to our country that you should represent it the best way possible'.

Now with Italian club Lazio, rumors have swirled that Manchester United might be interested in the dynamic 23-year-old Milinkovic-Savic..

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