Branislav Ivanovic becomes Serbia's most capped player in Costa Rica match

Brunilde Fioravanti
Giugno 19, 2018

Serbia grew into the game and started to dominate possession, with Costa Rica playing in the same style which brought them so much success in 2014, sitting deep and looking to pounce on the counter-attack.

"It's especially important that we have three points in the bag", Kolarov said.

Real Madrid No.1 Keylor Navas had an absolutely no chance of keeping it out, such was the combination of power and placement from Kolarov's rocket of a left peg.

Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic handed Branislav Ivanovic his 104th worldwide 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.

Serbia will lock horns with Costa Rica in the opening encounter of Group B today at Samara Arena.

Both teams underwhelmed during Sunday's encounter, but Serbia's quality was enough to overcome their CONCACAF foes. The 34-year-old Ivanovic had matched Stankovic's record last Saturday in a 5-1 friendly win over Bolivia.

As things were settling down, Costa Rica's Marco Urena, who had been subbed off for Joel Campbell, walked toward the Serbia bench, and camera, and could be heard saying, "You're already winning. now f*** off".

Zlatan Ibrahimovic promised he would be at the World Cup this summer and despite not being selected for the Sweden squad, he has made his first appearance.

The Central Americans should have taken the lead in the 12th minute, but Bologna defender Gonzalez inexplicably headed over when unmarked at the back post with the goal at his mercy.

He was put through with four minutes left but stumbled over the ball and Navas gathered comfortably.

Costa Rica's Francisco Calvo went into the book for a late challenge on Dusan Tadic as the pace began to slacken slightly, but Serbia were beginning to find more rhythm to their passing.

Sergej Milinkovic-Savic should have done better with a close-range effort 27 minutes in, only for the offside flag to spare the youngster's blushes, before Kolarov drew the best out of Navas with a wicked free-kick.

Ramirez did his best to raise the spirits of the Ticos following the match, but he was also realistic. "We know that it will be hard because we have to face Brazil and Switzerland".

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