World Cup: Serbia beats Costa Rica in Group E bout

June 17 (UPI) — Aleksander Kolarov’s free kick finish was the only score in Serbia’s 1-0 win against Costa Rica in a Group E match at the World Cup Sunday in Samara, Russia.

The Costa Ricans and Serbians played a scoreless first half at Samara Arena, with Real Madrid keeper Keylor Navas and Serbia’s Vladimir Stojkovic standing strong between the goalposts.

That was all before Kolarov took control in the 56th minute. The Serbian defender stepped up for a free kick with the game tied 0-0. He approached the ball about 30 yards from the goal. Kolarov ran up and booted the kick with his left foot, bending it over a wall at the 20-yard mark and inside the near post.

The shot cruised over a diving Navas, beating the keeper to his left and giving Serbia the decisive score.

Serbia had 53 percent of the possession in the match. Each team had 10 total shots, with three going on target for each side.

Serbia battles Switzerland in another Group E clash at 2 p.m. Friday in Kaliningrad, Russia. Costa Rica faces Brazil at 8 a.m. Friday in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Costa Rica and Serbia played the first match of Sunday’s slate. Germany and Mexico faced off in the second contest, while Brazil and Switzerland play in the day’s finale.

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