Wasteful Serbia, Costa Rica remain locked 0-0

A series of presentable chances were not capitalised on by Serbia and Costa Rica, which went in to half-time locked 0-0.

Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic, centre, tries to score past Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas during the group E match against Costa Rica.   -  AP

In an attacking sense, Serbia and Costa Rica couldn't have asked for a better start. In the very first minute, Branislav Ivanovic, who became the most-capped player for Serbia with his 104th start, swung in a delicious cross from the right, but striker Aleksandar Mitrovic couldn't control the ball that dropped kindly at his feet to set up a shot. In a corner that followed and taken by Adem Ljajic, Mitrovic had his second chance to fire Serbia in front, this time he connected with his head tamely and Costa Rica was off the hook again.


Ivanovic remained a menace down Costa Rica's left, his combination play with Dusan Tadic, in particular, helping create presentable chances.

The South American nation was equally dangerous whenever the possession turned over. In fact, in the second minute, it got up the other end of the pitch and the striker, M. Urena, forced a save off the Serbian goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic. In the resulting corner, centre-back G. Gonzalez had a free header which was straight at Stojkovic.

10 minutes later, Gonzalez found himself unmarked at the back post again, but he couldn't jump high enough to get over a cross swung in by Urena from the left flank.

The match settled down after a quick start with a flurry of early chances. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic conjured a overhead kick with minutes left for half-time, but his effort wouldn't have counted as he was in an offside position.

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