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Costa Rica in danger of not qualifying from group stage

Serbia coach Mladen Krstaji

"It was an unbelievable goal", Costa Rica defender Bryan Oviedo said of Kolarov's effort.

Serbia had dominated against a Costa Rica side who had rarely threatened after a bright start, but chances were thin on the ground until Kolarov made the breakthrough in the 56th minute.

Take care, though, as this side lost both of their pre-tournament friendlies, those defeats including a 4-1 hammering by Belgium.

With Brazil heavy favorites to win the group, which also features Switzerland, the victory delivered a potentially vital three points for Serbia and lifted a weight from coach Mladen Krstajic, in what was his first competitive game.

That took the sting from a lot of Costa Rica's play and Arsenal's Joel Campbell was sent on to enliven their attack.

With heavyweights Brazil favourites to progress as winners of Group E, both teams know a good start is vital if they are to challenge Switzerland for the other qualification berth.

While Serie A was undoubtedly one of the most exciting leagues in Europe last season, with its tense race for the title and top four, it unfortunately does not have the audience of some of the continents' bigger leagues. Costa Rica were also the only side to remain unbeaten except for penalty shootouts in the 2014 World Cup alongside Germany and Netherlands.

Mexico played 'with love of winning' in remarkable defeat of Germany - Osorio
Mexico faced Germany a year ago in the FIFA Confederations Cup where they witnessed a 4-1 defeat in Sochi. Germany are the Confederations Cup champions, and had a fantastic season in the World Cup Qualifiers.

The former Chelsea defender made his 104th worldwide appearance, surpassing the previous record of 103 which he held jointly with former midfielder Dejan Stankovic.

These two sides began their Russian Federation 2018 campaign under sunny Samara skies on Sunday but despite the abundant quality on show, profligacy was the underlying theme until Aleksandar Kolarov struck in spectacular fashion just prior to the hour to earn a 1-0 win for his side.

In Serbian national team football values, of course, more. "Some of us are repeating, but there are teammates who are playing their first World Cup".

In 2015, Serbia were proclaimed Under-20 world champions and Milinkovic-Savic was awarded the Bronze Ball.

Mitrovic should have broken the deadlock five minutes after the restart when Sergej Milinkovic-Savic played him in with lifted pass, but the striker was unable to beat Navas from 10 yards out.

Now with Italian club Lazio, rumours have swirled that Manchester United might be interested in the dynamic 23-year-old midfielder. "Now we are going to watch for some details in their match with Brazil to see if we missed anything".

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