17, June 2018
The Serbia men’s national football team has achieved a convincing victory in the preliminary round of the 2018 Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup in Russia, and scored a triumph against Costa Rica.
Held at the Cosmos Arena in Samara, Serbia’s Eagles notched up a 1-0 win over Los Ticos (The Ticos) in the opening Group E match on Sunday.
Even though both sides had a number of scoring chances in the first half, they ended the period tied at one.
Costa Rica’s 30-year-old defender Giancarlo Gonzalez squandered the Central Americans’ best chance in the 12th minute, when he headed wide when unmarked.
Serbia midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic also wasted a good opportunity in the 28th minute as he was ruled offside.
After the break, a curling free kick from Serbian captain Aleksandar Kolarov in the 56th minute secured the Eagles’ 1-0 victory.
Kolarov, who plays for Italian club Roma, struck the ball over the wall with his left foot and past outstretched Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas to sore the winner into the top right corner of the net.
Later on Sunday, Germany will face Mexico in the opening World Cup Group F fixture at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
Five-time FIFA World Cup champion Brazil will take on Switzerland in the second Group E match.
During the official 2018 FIFA World Cup draw ceremony at Kremlin State Palace in the Russian capital city of Moscow on December 1 last year, the host nation, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Uruguay were put in Group A in the preliminary round of the tournament.
The Iran men’s national football team, nicknamed Team Melli, has joined Portugal’s A Selecção, Spain’s La Furia Roja and Atlas Lions of Morocco.
France is drawn in Group C, and is pitted against Australia, Peru and Denmark.
Argentina, Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria are drawn in Group D.
Group E consists of Brazil, Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia.
While the 2014 FIFA World Cup champion Germany, Mexico, Sweden and South Korea shape Group F, Belgium, Panama, Tunisia and England are in Group G.
Group H has Poland, Senegal, Colombia and Japan.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place from June 14 to July 15. Russia opened the event against Saudi Arabia in a Group A fixture at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium. The hosts won the match 5-0.
A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities.