SAN JOSE Costa Rica
(Xinhua) -- Costa Rican media and fans
have expressed their pessimism about their team’s chances at the
World Cup, following their 1-0 defeat to Serbia on Sunday.
The local daily La Nacion headlined its digital edition with
"Costa Rica loses 1-0 against Serbia and the illusion of
qualifying for the second round in Russia 2018 goes out."
The critics had seen Serbia as the team in Group E that would
be easiest to defeat.
"The next rivals are Brazil and Switzerland, more powerful
players than the Serbs," it continued.
Digital news site CRHoy.com also wrote that "Serbia turned
off the Tico illusion at the World Cup with a goal," stating
that Aleksandar Kolarov’s 56th minute strike had left Costa Rica
"on the ropes".
The Diario Extra argued that Costa Rica "got off on the wrong
"A goal of Aleksandar Kolarov in the 56th minute ended the
hopes of the Tricolor, which until that moment had remained firm
in defense. But they lacked depth in the last quarter of the
"The players showed little offensively and when it was in
trouble, the figure of Keylor Navas (the goalkeeper) emerged,"
Fans were equally pessimistic on social media, stating that
the Costa Rican team had shown little creativity in attack, even
when trying to turn the game around after conceding a goal.
Kolarov strike secures
Serbia win against disappointing Costa Rica
By Sportswriter Paul Giblin SAMARA,
Russia (Xinhua) -- Aleksandar Kolarov
scored a magnificent free kick to get Serbia’s World Cup
campaign off to a winning start against Costa Rica, in a game
the Serbs dominated and would have won by more goals but for
another excellent display from Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor
Skipper Kolarov left even the impressive Navas helpless with
his 56th minute strike and Costa Rica never looked likely to get
back on level terms, with the Serbian defense holding firm.
Defender Branislav Ivanovic became his country’s most capped
player with 105 appearances, but he and his fellow defenders had
little to do as Serbia enjoyed the majority of possession in the
However, the Eagles created few clear-cut chances, though
Aleksandar Mitrovic should have done better with a close-range
effort comfortably saved by Navas.
Costa Rica struggled to get out of their own half until just
before the break when Marco Urena fired over the bar and
Francisco Calvo sent a right-foot effort wide of the post to end
what was generally a drab first 45 minutes.
The Serbs began the second half in positive mood and only a
fine save from Navas denied Mitrovic after the big striker had
been put clean through on goal by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
However, even Navas was unable to keep out Kolarov’s free
kick in the 56th minute as the Roma left back curled the ball
over the defensive wall and into the corner past Navas’s left
hand, with the Costa Rican keeper at full stretch.
Los Ticos failed to react to the strike and Navas saved
another certain goal when he did just enough to deflect a cross
from Tadic away from Felip Kostic who would have had a tap in.
The game ended with VAR being used deep into eight minutes of
injury time when referee Malang Diedhiou decided Serbia striker
Aleksandar Prijovic only deserved a yellow card and not a red
after catching Johnny Acosta in the face with a trailing arm.