Costa Rica surprised the world 4 years in the past. Now, most of the identical Ticos are again to show that was no fluke.
The 2014 World Cup quarterfinalists open their 2018 run in opposition to Serbia in Group E on Sunday in Samara, Russia. Led by a well-known forged that features Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas and veterans Joel Campbell and Bryan Ruiz, Costa Rica will hope to copy its group exhibiting in Brazil, when it topped previous World Cup winners England, Uruguay and Italy to advance to the knockout stage.
Serbia will not make it simple although, not with a veteran forged of its personal led by Nemanja Matic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Aleksandar Kolarov and Branislav Ivanovic. Serbia can even be hoping for contributions from youthful gamers, a few of whom performed for the 2015 U-20 World Cup championship staff.
The match began at fast tempo as each groups had golden alternatives in lower than two minutes, ending up within the palms of Keylor Navas and Vladimir Stojkovic. LAFC’s Marco Ureña was inflicting all kinds of issues because the lone strike, splitting up the middle backs to make some room, however equally on the opposite aspect, Aleksandar Kolarov pushed on the Serbian left aspect with an extended try. However, it remained scoreless within the first levels.
In the 11th minute, Giancarlo Gonzalez had an important likelihood within the field to make it 1-Zero as he beat his opponent within the air however could not maintain his header down.
Equally on the 15th, Keylor Navas needed to push away a cross from Branislav Ivanovic to maintain it Zero-Zero. Things additionally bought bodily as Francisco Calvo acquired a yellow card after an terrible problem.
In the 26th minute, Navas got here to the rescue as soon as once more as Serbia missed an important likelihood to take the lead from six yards out.
In the 35th minute, Southampton’s Dusan Tadic, who was Serbia’s greatest participant up up to now, gained a free-kick on the right-hand aspect however in the long run Navas cleared it out of the hazard zone as soon as the ball got here in.
A terrific likelihood within the 41st minute discovered Calvo play an important one-two and take his shot outdoors the field however simply going vast. Los Ticos have been gaining confidence as the primary 45 was coming to an in depth. An audacious try from Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was known as offside, however regardless, it was an important try and stopped as soon as once more by Navas. What’s extra, at second look, it appearaed the Serb wasn’t even offside.
The first half concluded as an thrilling battle with no targets.
The second half continued with the identical tempo as Tadic, as soon as once more, pulled the strings on the correct however fastidiously watched by Costa Rica’s defensive unit. In the 50th minute, Keylor Navas made an unimaginable save to disclaim a sure purpose.
But shortly after, Kolarov’s unimaginable free-kick was an excessive amount of for the Real Madrid stopper and it was 1-Zero to Serbia.
Stay tuned right here for dwell updates and highlights of targets and key performs from all through the match (refresh for most up-to-date updates).
Here are the lineups for each side:
Here are the rosters for each nations:
Goalkeepers: Leonel Moreira (Herediano), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Patrick Pemberton (LDA)
Defenders: Johnny Acosta (Aguilas Dorados), Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Oscar Duarte (Espanyol), Cristian Gamboa (Celtic), Giancarlo Gonzalez (Bologna), Ronald Matarrita (NYCFC), Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland), Ian Smith (Norrkoping), Kendall Waston (Vancouver Whitecaps)
Midfielders: Randall Azofeifa (Herediano), Christian Bolanos (Saprissa), Celso Borges (Deportivo La Coruna), Daniel Colindres (Saprissa), David Guzman (Portland Timbers), Bryan Ruiz (Sporting Lisbon), Yeltsin Tejeda (Lausanne), Rodney Wallace (NYCFC)
Forwards: Joel Campbell (Real Betis), Marco Urena (LAFC), Johan Venegas (Saprissa)
Manager: Oscar Ramirez
Goalkeepers: Vladimir Stojkovic (Partizan Belgrade), Predrag Rajkovic (Maccabi Tel Aviv), Marko Dmitrovic (Eibar)
Defenders: Aleksandar Kolarov (AS Roma), Branislav Ivanovic (Zenit St. Petersburg), Dusko Tosic (Guangzhou R&F), Antonio Rukavina (Villarreal), Milos Veljkovic (Werder Bremen), Milan Rodic (Red Star Belgrade), Uros Spajic (Krasnodar), Nikola Milenkovic (Fiorentina)
Midfielders: Nemanja Matic (Manchester United), Luka Milivojevic (Crystal Palace), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio), Marko Grujic (Liverpool), Adem Ljajic (Torino), Dusan Tadic (Southampton), Filip Kostic (Hamburg SV), Andrija Zivkovic (Benfica), Nemanja Radonjic (Red Star Belgrade)
Forwards: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United), Aleksandar Prijovic (PAOK Salonika), Luka Jovic (Benfica)
Manager: Mladen Krstajic