Costa Rica v Serbia, 17 June 2018

Costa Rica v Serbia starts at 1pm on Sunday

Costa Rica defender Ronald Matarrita was ruled out of the World Cup earlier this week because of a right hamstring injury.

Costa Rica started positively with Bryan Ruiz slipping Marcos Urena through on goal in the second minute, but he failed to beat the keeper in a one-on-one. Let's see what the game brings.

Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic handed Branislav Ivanovic his 104th global appearance, making the former Chelsea centre-back the most-capped player in his nation's history, moving clear of Dejan Stankovic in the all-time list.

The first half ended goalless.

Both teams underwhelmed during Sunday's encounter, but Serbia's quality was enough to overcome their CONCACAF foes.

The Serbia manager feigned a pass in a bid to waste time in the second-half and there was a fracas late on between Nemanja Matic and the Costa Rican bench.

The 34-year-old made his debut back in 2005 and this year's World Cup is only the second major global tournament Ivanovic has played in.

You could also easily have given two reds to Serbia there. Stankovic, known as "Deki", played for the national team from 1998-2013, through three different eras: Yugoslavia, Serbia-Montenegro and finally Serbia.

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With Brazil heavy favorites to win the group, which also features Switzerland, the victory delivered a potentially vital three points for Serbia and left Costa Rica in a precarious position. "Some of us are repeating, but there are teammates who are playing their first World Cup".

Coach Oscar Ramirez threw on Arsenal forward Joel Campbell, Costa Rica's star player in Brazil in 2014, in search of an equaliser.

Giancarlo Gonzalez squandered Costa Rica's best chance, heading wide when unmarked in the 12th minute.

The Eagles were presented with another opening soon after as Mitrovic's deflected strike from inside the box was comfortably gathered by Keylor Navas, before a quiet spell ensued.

Now with Italian club Lazio, rumours have swirled that Manchester United might be interested in the dynamic 23-year-old midfielder.

Instead, came close to a second goal at the other end of the park in the 75 minute when Milinkovic-Savic sent a thunderous 25-yard effort just over the crossbar.

"To score, I had it in a corner of my mind, but I especially wanted us to play as a team", said Kolarov.


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