Aleksandar Kolarov gives Serbia 1-0 lead over Costa Rica


"The first match in the World Cup is always crucial".

Djokovic is an avid fan of the Serbian national team, which kicked off its World Cup campaign with a 1-0 win over Costa Rica in Russian Federation on Sunday. This will be his first tournament as a manager, having been an ever-present as a player for Costa Rica in their first ever World Cup in 1990. Serbia are the favourites on paper, but Los Ticos will be anything but an easy opposition here.

"It was an incredible goal", Costa Rica defender Bryan Oviedo said of Kolarov's effort. They too have an experienced line-up, including players who played in the 2010 South Africa edition. He kept three clean sheets in five matches in that tournament (which ended against the Netherlands, who served them a taste of their own medicine on penalties) and earned him a move to Real Madrid, where he has been number one ever since. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Aleksandar Mitrovic through the middle.

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Krstajic, a former Serbian global defender, has called on plenty of experience, though, with former Chelsea centre-back Branislav Ivanovic, Roma defender Aleksandar Kolarov and Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic all starting.

Serbia found it hard to break them down, but they rarely looked troubled at the back and barring a late half chance for substitute Joel Campbell, they coasted through the game.

Bunjevcevic suited up in 16 games as defender for the national team from 1998 to 2003.

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Keylor Navas had to come to his side's rescue on more than one occasion, though there was no stopping Kolarov's free-kick.

No doubt, at least one player of the national team of Costa Rica any more or less knowledgeable football fan, of course, knows. Bet 365 offer 4/1 on a win for Costa Rica, while you can get 12/4 with Skybet on the minnows managing a draw.

They have shown little in qualification for Russian Federation or in their warmup matches to suggest they will now cast off the shackles and, given the sport's recent history of rewarding teams who play it safe, they may feel there is little incentive to change.

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They should have equalised in the dying seconds but Hwang Hee-chan put a free header wide, spurning the Koreans' best chance. He even acknowledged his players "were a little bit psychologically concerned about the height of the Swedish players".

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.