Serbia defeats Costa Rica 1-0 at the 2018 World Cup

Serbia coach Mladen Krstaji

Costa Rica will play Serbia in Group E play at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Sunday, June 17 at 5 a.m.

Costa Rica suffered a 1-0 defeat against Serbia in Samara, with the Real Betis loan star coming off the bench as they were unable to avoid defeat in the opening Group E match.

The local daily La Nacion headlined its digital edition with "Costa Rica loses 0-1 against Serbia and the illusion of qualifying for the second round in Russian Federation 2018 goes out", reports Xinhua news agency.

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.

If anything, Serbia looked more likely to add a second than Costa Rica. The flag was also raised for offside but replays indicated there may have been a case for VAR to overrule had Milinkovic-Savic found the net.

Since the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, Serbia have never gone beyond the group stage of a World Cup.

A corner in the 12th minute was played short by Costa Rica, with David Guzman then aiming a cross at the back post which was met by an unmarked Gonzalez, who only managed to head over the goalpost from point-blank range.

Costa Rica lost their last two warm-up games to England and Belgium, but coach Oscar Ramirez insists they will be better for that experience.

Kolarov capitalized on the opportunity, curling the free kick past Navas' reach. Mitrović is taking part in his first ever World Cup and will be eager to open his account with a goal against Costa Rica. Kolarov's 56th minute attempt was one of the few notable moments of a match that saw both teams struggle to create scoring chances.

Four years ago, Costa Rica were the Cinderella story of the tournament because they could handle a variety of opponents and were able to change their approach on the fly.

He challenged Navas in the 27th minute from just outside the box, but Navas fell on the ball. The owners said they will be preparing the place early Sunday morning for people to enjoy the game with all the comfort, even in pajamas if they so choose.

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