SAMARA: Aleksandar Kolarov scored from a left-footed free kick in the 56th minute and Serbia opened its World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on Sunday.
After David Guzman was handed a yellow card, Kolarov curled the ensuing free kick over the wall. Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas, who plays for Real Madrid, couldn't reach it.
Serbia, which missed out on the 2014 tournament, had the early advantage in a tough group that includes five-time champion Brazil and Switzerland.
After a scoreless first half, Navas fought off a barrage of challenges to open the second with the boisterous Costa Rican fans cheering him on at Samara Arena.