FIFA World Cup Russia 2018: Group E Results, Recap and Highlights

Serbia 1-0 Costa Rica

Serbia had to wait till 11minutes after the restart to get a much deserved goal in their group opener against Costa Rica. The Serbs applied all pressure but were met with a resolute defence from the Costa Ricans who had Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas pulling off some fine saves. The breakthrough would come from a set-piece in the second-half, when Aleksandar kolarov let fly with a sensational free-kick that Navas could do nothing about. Kolarov’s goal would end up being the winner for the Serbs despite having several chances to add more to their tally.

Brazil 1-1 Switzerland

Philippe Coutinho has been touted in some corners as Brazil’s key man at the world cup and in their first game against Switzeland, the Selecao talisman lit up the world cup with one of his trademark goals; opening up his body on the left before releasing a wicked curler beyond the reach of Yann Sommer in goal for Switzerland. The Swiss who had been second best for most of the game, got their equaliser just five minutes into the second half when Steven Zuber connected a header to Xherdan Shaqiri’s cross from the corner.

Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica

Brazil left it late in their second group encounter against Costa Rica with Philippe Coutinho and Neymar netting in stoppage-time to secure the Selecao’s first three points in Russia. Brazil struggled to break down a stubborn Costa Rican defence that were content on sitting back and soaking up the pressure before breaking on quick counter attacks. With the clock ticking away, Barcelona man Coutinho stepped up first when he got on the end of a flick from Gabriel Jesus to give Brazil the lead before Neymar made sure the three points was safe in the bag in the 97th minute when he simply tapped in a Douglas Costa cross.

Switzerland 2-1 Serbia

Goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri moved Switzerland within touching distance of a last-16 berth after trailing throughout the first-half in Kaliningrad. Aleksandar Mitrovic opened scoring for Serbia in the 5th minute with a fine header from Dusan Tadic’s cross into the area. After coming second best in the first half, the Swiss sprung to life in the second taking the game to the Serbs and all their good work paid off when Granit Xhaka sent a curling drive into the back of the net from 25 yards. In the dying embers of the match, Shaqiri got sent through on goal by Gavranovic with a fine throughball and the Swiss forward kept his calm to slot the ball into the legs of Stojkovic into the back of the net.

Brazil 2-0 Serbia

Brazil got off to a flying start in Moscow after waiting for stoppage-time heroics in their previous game against Costa Rica. Philippe Coutinho who was scorer in that match became provider in this one, sending a sublime pass that Paulinho easily lifted into the back of the net over the onrushing Vladmir Stojkovic. Another goalscorer from the Costa Rica match would assist Brazil’s second as Thiago Silva rose to get on the end of Neymar’s corner in the 68th minute.

Costa Rica 2-2 Switzerland

With Costa Rica already out of the world cup going into this game, their mission was to act as spoilers for Switzerland but that was not the case as they even had to come back from a goal down twice in the match. Bologna midfielder Blerim Dzemaili opened scoring for Switzerland in the 31st minute then Kendall Waston drew level in the 56th minute for Costa Rica. Josip Drmic must have thought he had won the game for Switzerland with a cool finish with two minutes of normal time left but an unfortunate own-goal by Yann Sommer after Bryan Ruiz’s penalty came back off the post ensured both sides shared the spoils.

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