CLOSINGS: View Closings

Aleksandar Kolarov's stunning free kick gives Serbia victory over Costa Rica

Aleksandar Kolarov scored one of the goals of the tournament as his stunning free-kick, one which Cristiano Ronaldo w...

Posted: Jun 18, 2018 7:06 AM
Updated: Jun 18, 2018 7:06 AM

Aleksandar Kolarov scored one of the goals of the tournament as his stunning free-kick, one which Cristiano Ronaldo would have been proud of, earned Serbia three crucial points against Costa Rica.

With nothing separating the sides in a tense, even game, the Roma defender stepped up and curled his shot over the wall and inside the near post after 56 minutes, leaving Keylor Navas helpless.

Serbia defeats Costa Rica 1-0

Aleksandar Kolarov scores stunning free kick

With Serbia president Aleksandar Vucic reportedly promising to gift the squad a -10 million ($11.6M) prize if they bring the World Cup home, Kolarov's strike could prove to be priceless with difficult games against Brazil and sixth-ranked Switzerland still to come in Group E.

Yet Serbia, appearing in a first World Cup finals since South Africa 2010, will be wary of allowing complacency to creep in.

Eight years ago they were eliminated at the group stage, despite defeating eventual semifinalists Germany.

Moment of magic

Defeat for Costa Rica ended their run of five World Cup games without loss, having exited Brazil 2014 on penalties in the quarterfinal stage after drawing with Holland.

But it was Los Ticos that started strongest in Samara, taking advantage of a snoozing Serbia defense with a quick corner, but Giancarlo Gonzalez's header went well over when unmarked from four yards out.

With neither side able to stamp their authority on the match, it felt like a moment of magic would need to be conjured to separate the teams.

Read: The secrets to Germany's World Cup success

Read: Who should you root for if your country isn't at Russia 2018?

Sergej Milinkovi--Savi-, the Lazio midfielder who could be in the middle of this summer transfer window's biggest tug of war, almost provided it.

The 23-year-old met Branislav Ivanovic's cross into the box in spectacular style, but his bicycle kick was well saved and gathered at the second attempt by Navas.

Savic and strike partner Aleksandar Mitrovic looked a threat to Costa Rica's defense every time they went forward and the pair created the best opening of the game soon after the restart.

Mitrovic latched onto Savic's first time through ball but couldn't find a way past the imposing figure of Navas, the Real Madrid keeper tipping the shot wide.

But it wasn't long before Serbia found the breakthrough and it was Kolarov's wand of a left foot which provided it.

After Mitrovic was fouled, Kolarov stepped up to the free-kick, all of 30 yards from goal, and struck it an inch inside the post, leaving even a keeper of Navas' quality grasping at thin air.

That was the third goal scored directly from a free-kick at Russia 2018, already equaling the amount from Brazil four years ago.

With Kolarov in that type of form, it might not be the last.

Terre Haute
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 28°
Robinson
Cloudy
37° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 31°
Indianapolis/Eagle Creek
Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 30°
Paris
Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 27°
Mattoon/Charleston
Cloudy
35° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 29°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 28°
Terre Haute
Cloudy
36° wxIcon
Hi: 38° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 28°
Foggy with Light Rain
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1104763

Reported Deaths: 20744
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4460359268
DuPage710701173
Will59914891
Lake54851924
Kane47289710
Winnebago26813416
Madison25429480
St. Clair23107451
McHenry22290260
Champaign15937106
Peoria15535252
Sangamon14956245
McLean13590173
Tazewell12346253
Rock Island12229308
Kankakee11733187
Kendall1003981
LaSalle9807250
Macon9005182
Vermilion7806117
DeKalb769995
Adams7564129
Williamson6373119
Boone566580
Whiteside5441175
Clinton518886
Coles480486
Ogle471973
Knox4712147
Grundy454154
Effingham436571
Jackson431670
Henry412078
Marion4093113
Macoupin402997
Franklin394671
Livingston381170
Randolph380274
Monroe369571
Stephenson364677
Jefferson3570105
Woodford335470
Morgan332393
Logan317959
Montgomery316654
Lee314576
Christian306279
Bureau305985
Fayette296853
Perry279662
Iroquois263058
Fulton262650
Jersey230961
Lawrence220730
McDonough220051
Saline209254
Douglas205734
Union204032
Shelby202435
Crawford183635
Cass179531
Bond178524
Pike160648
Warren160444
Richland157546
Hancock155635
Wayne154843
Clark153234
Jo Daviess152725
Washington149826
Edgar149452
Carroll147633
Moultrie141828
White141333
Ford140851
Clay134040
Greene128443
Johnson125715
Wabash121915
Mason119841
Piatt119718
De Witt119228
Mercer119130
Cumberland111827
Massac107133
Jasper106115
Menard92310
Hamilton73217
Marshall70915
Schuyler65017
Brown62611
Pulaski6253
Stark50120
Edwards4789
Henderson46816
Calhoun4504
Scott4081
Alexander4067
Gallatin3974
Putnam3592
Hardin3128
Pope2583
Unassigned1110
Out of IL340

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 613228

Reported Deaths: 9728
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion846851338
Lake45676687
Allen32980552
Hamilton29649315
St. Joseph27531382
Elkhart24478345
Vanderburgh19610250
Tippecanoe18108141
Johnson15191295
Porter14944169
Hendricks14485250
Madison11044222
Clark10811144
Vigo10795181
Monroe9458113
Delaware9170134
LaPorte9145164
Howard8292144
Kosciusko810183
Warrick680299
Hancock6782104
Bartholomew6640100
Floyd6507110
Wayne6177162
Grant6027116
Dubois558680
Boone556468
Morgan548695
Henry511464
Marshall506984
Cass486964
Dearborn486545
Noble475659
Jackson427747
Shelby420781
Lawrence393780
Clinton375044
Gibson374459
Harrison353045
DeKalb349864
Montgomery347654
Knox336239
Miami324544
Steuben315046
Whitley311126
Wabash305851
Adams302836
Ripley300546
Putnam298950
Huntington294860
Jasper291734
White275143
Daviess271774
Jefferson266238
Decatur249583
Fayette248648
Greene242262
Posey241028
Wells236951
LaGrange230062
Scott226839
Clay224332
Randolph215248
Jennings200636
Sullivan193533
Spencer193022
Washington188023
Fountain184927
Starke176444
Jay168623
Owen167637
Fulton164830
Orange160935
Carroll159715
Rush156318
Perry155929
Vermillion149734
Franklin149333
Tipton133133
Parke13088
Pike118526
Blackford111822
Pulaski97837
Newton92021
Brown88335
Benton87110
Crawford8099
Martin74913
Warren6857
Switzerland6695
Union6297
Ohio4977
Unassigned0376