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

    Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas fails to prevent Aleksandar Kolarov's stunning free-kick from finding the back of the net.

    Story highlights

    • Serbia defeats Costa Rica 1-0
    • Aleksandar Kolarov scores stunning free kick

    (CNN)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.
      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.
      Aleksandar Kolarov of Serbia scores from a free kick during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match against Costa Rica.

      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.
      Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Serbia attempts an overhead kick on goal during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia.
      Sergej Milinković-Savić, the Lazio midfielder who could be in the middle of this summer trans