Roma full-back Aleksandar Kolarov scored the sensational winner and Lazio’s Sergej Milinkovic-Savic impressed as Serbia beat Costa Rica 1-0.
This was the most Serie A-centric game of the World Cup so far, as Serbia had four Italy-based players in the starting XI. Costa Rica had one and it was Bologna defender Pipo Gonzalez who wasted an early golden opportunity by turning a free header over from a corner.
Milinkovic-Savic’s spectacular bicycle-kick was well saved, even if he was incorrectly flagged offside, and Keylor Navas was decisive when Aleksandar Mitrovic went one-on-one.
Serbia eventually broke through with a truly spectacular free kick from Roma defender Kolarov, curled with power and precision into the near top corner.
Navas got a fingertip to push away Dusan Tadic‘s cross-shot, while Mitrovic twice failed to make the most of Milinkovic-Savic assists.
Incredibly, this was the Lazio midfielder’s competitive senior debut for Serbia, having previously only featured in four friendlies.
Costa Rica 0-1 Serbia
Kolarov 57 (S)
Costa Rica: Navas; Acosta, Gonzalez, Duarte; Gamboa, Borges, Guzman (Colindres 73), Calvo; Ruiz, Urena (Campbell 66), Venegas (Bolanos 60)
Serbia: Stojkovic; Ivanovic, Milenkovic, Tosic, Kolarov; Milivojevic, Matic, Milinkovic-Savic; Tadic (Rukavina 82), Mitrovic (Prijovic 89), Ljajic (Kostic 69)
Ref: Diedhiou (SEN)
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