Germany beaten in opening match as Kolarov stunner gives Serbia victory over Costa Rica

  Moscow, Sunday @PeopleSports11

Mexico stunned holders Germany 1-0 in their opening World Cup match in Moscow on Sunday.

PSV Eindhoven winger Hirving Lozano fired the impressive Mexicans into a deserved 35th-minute lead and despite intense second-half pressure Germany were unable to salvage an equaliser.

Joachim Loew’s side are attempting to become the first country since Brazil in 1962 to retain their title.

Meanwhile, Aleksandar Kolarov said Serbia “won’t be doing the maths yet” after his brilliant second-half free-kick grabbed a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica, with the Balkan side drawing first blood in their World Cup group in Samara in Sunday’s early kick-off.

The Roma defender made the crucial breakthrough early in the second half with a magnificent effort, and although Serbia missed chances to further extend their lead, they were not overly troubled by the Costa Ricans.

The win puts Serbia in a strong early position in Group E ahead of games against Brazil and Switzerland as they look to reach the last 16 for the first time since becoming an independent country, while Costa Rica have it all to do to repeat their surprise run to the quarter-finals four years ago.

“To score, I had it in a corner of my mind, but I especially wanted us to play as a team,” said Kolarov.

He added: “It’s very important that we have these three points in the bag, but it’s not over, Switzerland will be the hardest match. I don’t want to do the maths for now, if we draw it would not work, we want to win of course.”

Serbia coach Mladen Krstajic gave Branislav Ivanovic his 104th international appearance, making the former Chelsea centre-back the most-capped player in his nation’s history, moving clear of Dejan Stankovic in the all-time list.

His experienced side were solid throughout, with 23-year-old Lazio forward Sergej Milinkovic-Savic a constant threat.

“I’m happy with the way we played, but we have to keep our feet on the ground,” said Krstajic, who only took charge last October.

“There was pressure on the players, I too felt the pressure, it was my competition debut at the head of the national team, but I like to take responsibility,” he added.

Costa Rica started brightly, with Vladimir Stojkovic diving to save at the feet of Marcos Urena, before Giancarlo Gonzalez headed straight at the Serbia goalkeeper.                                              -AFP

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