By 90Min
June 17, 2018

Serbia manager Mladen Krstajić praised the positive atmosphere among his squad following their 1-0 win over Costa Rica in their first match of the 2018 World Cup.

Former Manchester City man Aleksandar Kolarov's stunning free kick saw his side grab the three points, after his arching effort flew past Los Ticos goalkeeper Keylor Navas and into the top corner of the net.

Speaking after the important victory, via Reuters, the 44-year-old admitted his relief at winning his first game at a major tournament with Serbia, stating: "There was a great deal of pressure on the players and I felt pressure over the past five or six months. It was my debut with the national team. I am a person who likes to take responsibility.

“I am very happy, I am very proud of my players for their team effort and, without any false modesty, all of us highlighted the excellent atmosphere in the team. It’s the first time there are no clans or cliques within this squad of players.”


Serbia earned their win with an impressive display, which combined strong defensive work with a fine display of technical skills from players in more advanced positions. 

MANAN VATSYAYANA/GettyImages

Krstajić also discussed his sides next opponents, Switzerland, and said: "Regarding Switzerland, we have analysed all three opponents and how they have played over the past few months. We know everything about Switzerland and now we will watch them against Brazil to make sure we don’t miss anything."

Meanwhile, Costa Rica boss Óscar Ramírez spoke defiantly after his sides loss, claiming that the World Cup is far from over for his side despite the defeat. Los Ticos will need to get a big result against either Brazil or Switzerland to progress to the knockout stages, which could prove a difficult task for the 2014 World Cup group toppers.

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