A tight game with the power and strength of Serbia taking on the quick pace of Costa Rica in which both sides would create plenty of chances but fail to have the quality to convert them into goals.
Costa Rica 0 – 1 Serbia (Kolarov 59)
Costa Rica: Keylor Navas; Jonny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Oscar Duarte; Cristian Gamboa, Celso Borges, David Guzman, Francisco Calvo; Bryan Ruiz, Johan Venegas, Marco Urena
Serbia: Vladimir Stojkovic; Branislav Ivanovic, Nikola Milenkovic, Dusko Tosic, Aleksandar Kolarov; Luka Milivojevic, Nemanja Matic, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic; Dusan Tadic, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Adem Ljajic
Plenty of the Serbian players are well known to English football fans with them playing in the Premier League in recent years. Being a Newcastle supporter I was looking forward to seeing Mitrovic in the World Cup. Considering his loan spell at Fulham was outstanding it would be great to see if he could then get off to a good start, unfortunately he had at least two chances where he should have score and a couple of half chances to go along with those. He was a good presence for a very physical Serbian side.
That was something you cannot help but notice straight away with Serbia that they are all pretty huge, but athletic at the same time and some very impressive on the ball. Kolarov with an outstanding free kick which just happened to be the match winner, in all honesty the quality that was shown was good enough to win any game.
Costa Rica offered a different style of play on the ball with quick moment to support the player on the ball, looking at combinations to attempt to break into the box and score. They did manage to create a few chances but the quality of finishing let them down. I thought Joel Campbell looked very impressive and changed things a little when he came on.