Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick gives Serbia win over Costa Rica
Serbia have beaten Costa Rica 1-0 in their opening World Cup match.
Aleksandar Kolarov scored a superb free-kick in the second half to give Serbia a crucial three points in the hunt for a second-round place.
Both teams set out to play a physical game with long balls rarely coming off in the opening stages.
Costa Rica came close after seven minutes though. A short corner was hit low into the box by David Guzman but Giancarlo Gonzalez missed his header in space.
A big chance fell to Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic on the half-hour mark but he failed to control the ball before sending it wide.
Costa Rica went on the attack before halftime but Marco Urena and Francisco Calvo both shot wide.
Aleksandar Mitrovic should have put Serbia ahead shortly after the restart when he was put through by Milinkovic-Savic but Keylor Navas did superbly to tip the ball wide.
Serbia finally opened the scoring in the 56th minute after Mitrovic was fouled by Guzman 25 yards from goal. Kolarov stepped up to curl the ball over the Costa Rica wall into the top corner.
Costa Rica pushed for an equaliser but it was Serbia who came close to getting a second on the counter but Mitrovic was unfortunate not to find the net after good work down the right.
One last chance came in stoppage time but Bryan Ruiz’s shot was blocked by Christian Bolanos.