Serbia beat Costa Rica by 1-0

Serbia's defender Aleksandar Kolarov celebrates after scoring during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group E football match between Costa Rica and Serbia at the Samara Arena in Samara on June 17, 2018.

Costa Rica will be hoping to kick-start their Group E campaign with a victory, but face a tough test against a dogged Serbian side, who are playing at the World Cup for the first time since 2010.

In the second half, Serbia stepped up its attack, but Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas managed to thwart their opponent's scoring attempts.

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. However, back in 2014, Costa Rica managed to top the Group consisting of England, Italy and Uruguay so its highly improbable that the opposing teams will take Costa Rica lightly this year.

"It is great to have three points, but we are not finished".

While not pacing right down to the touchline, Ivanovic tested the Costa Rica defence with his crosses for deep up into Mitrovic and the pushing Milinkovic-Savic.

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.

And with at least two more games to come for Serbia, Milinkovic-Savic still has time to further implement himself on this World Cup.

Arsenal forward Joel Campbell looks likely to leave the club this summer, but is not letting stories of an exit distract him from the World Cup.

"We have to be planted firmly on the ground and proceed as a team", coach Mladen Krstajic said.

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

Costa Rica was the favorite for Sunday's match after the Ticos advanced to the quarterfinals in Brazil four years ago.

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. Fancy being thrown into the deep end and taking charge of your country's opening match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

  • Kyle Peterson