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Frosinone beat Palermo 2-0 in a playoff to earn promotion back into Serie A on Saturday after a two-year absence.
Frosinone beats Palermo 2-0 to win promotion back to Serie A
Frosinone beat Palermo 2-0 in a playoff to earn promotion back into Serie A on Saturday after a two-year absence.
Frosinone beat Palermo 2-0 in a playoff to earn promotion back into Serie A on Saturday after a two-year absence.
Frosinone beats Palermo 2-0 to win promotion back to Serie A
Frosinone beat Palermo 2-0 in a playoff to earn promotion back into Serie A on Saturday after a two-year absence.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
 1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:34PM 34 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Ivanovic over-hits an early cross from wide right and puts it out for a goal kick. Costa Rica have been impressive with how they stop Serbia's build-up play. By blocking the passing option, Serbia don't really have anywhere to go other than long but are trying to keep the ball in defence until an opportunity to get forward opens up. 1:30PM 31 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are blocking the Serbian passing lanes with three forwards and two midfielders behind them, and it's forcing the defenders to really think about where they move the ball so as not to concede possession in a dangerous counter-attacking area. Once the ball is past the halfway line Costa Rica are a 5-4-1... Serbia need another option. And there it is - the chipped pass to Mitrovic. 1:28PM 29 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Bit chance! Super run off the ball by Milinkovic-Savic but he doesn't get the ball out of his feet as a pass over the top puts him through on goal. A low shot is saved easily by Navas but the offside flag had one anyway. He gets away with that miss. 1:26PM 27 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great take by Tadic. The pass is fired straight at him at pace and he controls and flicks the ball on to keep a move going. It just won't drop for Mitrovic in the area and his shot is blocked. 1:24PM 25 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: AFP Serbia are focusing their attacks through the middle then moving play out to the right wing once in the final third. Costa Rica survive another decent move but Serbia are back in possession. You can see they're favouring that right wing here: Serbia crosses Calvo is the left wing-back and is on a yellow card now too. 1:22PM 23 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica get in down the left again though and... that's a shocking tackle. He doesn't mean to go in as heavy as he does but Calvo is rightly booked for a late slide tackle near the corner on Tadic. That's the sort of challenge you put in for a laugh on Pro Evo. 1:21PM 21 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia switch the play a couple of times but Costa Rica look organised and shift over to deny the space and win possession back. Serbia are getting Tadic deeper with Matic helping out on the right now to make sure Ivanovic isn't exposed. 1:19PM 19 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia win a free-kick about 35 yards from goal and this will be aimed towards Mitrovic. The referee has to tell Guzman to stand further back from the kick but doesn't book him. The ball goes in, is headed at the back post... and Costa Rica manage to get it away then drop into their low block. 1:16PM 17 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Great save by Navas! Serbia have men over, Ivanovic overlaps down the right and dribbles past his man but Navas blocks the low cross into the area. Serbia might be in again! Tadic chips to the back post for Mitrovic but nobody is following up. Milinkovic-Savic has had a couple of lovely touches in the approach play to both those moves. 1:14PM 15 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Mitrovic receives the ball on the edge of the box, moves it onto his right foot and shoots but the effort is blocked and Navas catches. Costa Rica attack down the left wing again - they're targeting Ivanovic at right-back. Serbia look ropey at the back here. A dreadful pass forward has nearly gifted Costa Rica the chance to break with an overload but the centre-backs just about to manage to see out the danger. 1:12PM 13 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 FREE HEADER! What a miss! Oh my word. A short corner, the second cross gives Gonzalez a completely free header. Dreadful defending from Serbia - what were they doing there? Total chaos in the second phase of that set piece and Costa Rica should be 1-0 up. Miss: Costa Rica 0 - 0 Serbia (Giancarlo González, 12 min) Gonzalez can't believe he's put that miles over the bar. 1:11PM 11 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Costa Rica are looking to use their pace to take on the full-backs. Ivanovic and Kolarov aren't the young men they once were but still have a bit speed left in the legs - Costa Rica look like they might have the running of them though. Costa Rica win a corner. 1:09PM 9 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Costa Rica are quick and break with three forwards. It's not quite coming together for them in the final third for now but they've been able to run with the ball in Serbia's half a couple of times now. 1:07PM 7 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Credit: GETTY IMAGES Mitrovic is causing problems with his strength upfront and Serbia are looking for him with long throws and chipped passes. Serbia attack through the middle, the ball drops to Kolarov and he tries a shot from 30 yards but pings it wide of goal. 1:05PM 5 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia get up the pitch and win another corner. Both teams are attacking quickly and it's already entertaining. Serbia can't get space in the area thanks to the close attentions of the Costa Rica defence and Kolarov fouls Gamboa while trying to win the second ball from the corner. Costa Rica go long. 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
South Korea's national soccer team players stretch during a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
The Latest: Mexico fans to modify chants to avoid sanctions
South Korea's national soccer team players stretch during a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Costa Rica's players warm up prior the group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
The Latest: Mexico fans to modify chants to avoid sanctions
Costa Rica's players warm up prior the group E match between Costa Rica and Serbia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Samara Arena in Samara, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)
Mexico fans wear national flags and sombreros as they walk ahead of a group F match between Germany and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
The Latest: Mexico fans to modify chants to avoid sanctions
Mexico fans wear national flags and sombreros as they walk ahead of a group F match between Germany and Mexico at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, June 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Russia's Alan Dzagoev reacts as he holds his leg during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
The Latest: Mexico fans to modify chants to avoid sanctions
Russia's Alan Dzagoev reacts as he holds his leg during the group A match between Russia and Saudi Arabia which opens the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
Former soccer star Diego Maradona, center, watches the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
The Latest: Mexico fans to modify chants to avoid sanctions
Former soccer star Diego Maradona, center, watches the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an "extraordinary" Sweden career but his time has come and gone, Janne Andersson has said.
Ibrahimovic not involved in Sweden's World Cup plans, insists Andersson
Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an "extraordinary" Sweden career but his time has come and gone, Janne Andersson has said.
El DT tomó las riendas de Brasil en 2016 y le regresó la grandeza y magia a su juego.
Tite, el heredero del jogo bonito del Scratch
El DT tomó las riendas de Brasil en 2016 y le regresó la grandeza y magia a su juego.
El DT tomó las riendas de Brasil en 2016 y le regresó la grandeza y magia a su juego.
Tite, el heredero del jogo bonito del Scratch
El DT tomó las riendas de Brasil en 2016 y le regresó la grandeza y magia a su juego.
Las palabras del ex internacional.
Rusia 2018 - Marchena: "No nos podemos parar a pensar en Lopetegui"
Las palabras del ex internacional.
Las palabras del ex internacional.
Rusia 2018 - Marchena: "No nos podemos parar a pensar en Lopetegui"
Las palabras del ex internacional.
Las palabras del ex internacional.
Rusia 2018 - Marchena: "No nos podemos parar a pensar en Lopetegui"
Las palabras del ex internacional.
The Amakhosi legend could soon be on the lookout for a new job as the club are yet to make a decision on his future
Former Kaizer Chiefs star Doctor Khumalo could be heading for the exit door at Baroka
The Amakhosi legend could soon be on the lookout for a new job as the club are yet to make a decision on his future
The ICC has charged Dinesh Chandimal with ball tampering during Sri Lanka's second Test against West Indies.
Sri Lanka captain Chandimal charged with ball tampering
The ICC has charged Dinesh Chandimal with ball tampering during Sri Lanka's second Test against West Indies.
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group C - France vs Australia - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 16, 2018 France's Antoine Griezmann shakes the hand of France coach Didier Deschamps as he is substituted off REUTERS/Toru Hanai
World Cup - Group C - France vs Australia
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group C - France vs Australia - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 16, 2018 France's Antoine Griezmann shakes the hand of France coach Didier Deschamps as he is substituted off REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group C - France vs Australia - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 16, 2018 France's Antoine Griezmann shakes the hand of France coach Didier Deschamps as he is substituted off REUTERS/Toru Hanai
World Cup - Group C - France vs Australia
Soccer Football - World Cup - Group C - France vs Australia - Kazan Arena, Kazan, Russia - June 16, 2018 France's Antoine Griezmann shakes the hand of France coach Didier Deschamps as he is substituted off REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Soccer Football - World Cup - Serbia Training - Samara Arena, Samara, Russia - June 16, 2018 Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic during training REUTERS/David Gray
World Cup - Serbia Training
Soccer Football - World Cup - Serbia Training - Samara Arena, Samara, Russia - June 16, 2018 Serbia's Branislav Ivanovic during training REUTERS/David Gray
 1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
World Cup 2018, Costa Rica vs Serbia: live score and latest updates
1:03PM 3 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 But now Costa Rica are in! Urena gets in behind the defence after a Ruiz pass puts him there and he wins a corner! Mitrovic is back defending now and powers a header away from goal. Calvo joins in down the left and hooks a swinging cross into the area and GONZALEZ IS THERE! But his header is straight at the goalkeeper! What a start this is! 1:01PM 2 mins - Costa Rica 0 Serbia 0 Serbia start with the ball and Mitrovic gets a touch inside the area within 30 seconds. Corner. If he'd controlled that properly he was in for a shot from about 10 yards! The corner comes in and it's headed at goal! Navas looks frantic as he hops onto his other foot... but the referee has spotted a foul. The sign of things to come? 1:00PM KICK OFF Here we go! 12:55PM National anthems 12:54PM Here come the players! Costa Rica will be a 5-4-1 and try to keep things tight and take advantage of counter-attack situations while Serbia will be a 4-2-3-1. The wing-backs will get forward, the defence will be protected by Matic and Milivojevic and Milinkovic-Savic will support Mitrovic throughout. 12:47PM Evra's wearing a tin foil hat Paul Pogba's goal against Australia has been taken away from him. It's an own goal now (because it is...) and Evra has just said he wishes people would leave Paul alone. "If it was Messi, Neymar or Ronaldo I wonder if they would take that goal away," he says. Perhaps he's preparing some sort of speech about jet fuel and steel beams for half time. Patrice Evra showing surprise and actually *clapping* Eni Aluko’s analysis... awful, patronising— Omar Chaudhuri (@OmarChaudhuri) June 17, 2018 12:45PM The warm-ups Credit: GETTY IMAGES The players are just finishing their warm-ups and soon they'll be out on the pitch ready to put on a spectacle. Kolarov was holding his knee for a bit of it but I'm not sure if he's picked up a knock or something during his little pre-match routine. Now, if you'd like to get updates sent to your phone on Whatsapp, sign up for this thing we have here: World Cup whatsapp promo It keeps you up to date with all the news and scores from the games. 12:39PM Take care of the ball and the ball will take care of you Vladimir Stojkovic �� Serbia’s goalkeeper kisses the ball after every save he makes! #SRB#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/JEjD9gYCu8— Kay Murray (@KayLMurray) June 17, 2018 12:38PM Evra is impressed by a woman knowing football "Wow I'm really impressed, she knows more about the game than us," says Evra, in a somewhat* patronising way to Eni Aluko. Do your research pal. ITV have been pretty good at getting their pundits well read before going on air to be fair. Aluko has been explaining what makes Milinkovic-Savic such a threat, detailing his ability to play with the ball at feet but that he's also great at attacking and will support Mitrovic throughout today's game. *incredibly. 12:33PM The current and ex-pros' opinions "They're a strong defensive team but they don't score a lot of goals," says Eni Aluko of Costa Rica. Henrik Larsson and Patrice Evra make up the rest of ITV's pundits bench today. That's a strong lineup. 12:27PM Ivanovic becomes Serbia's all-time most capped player Credit: FIFA Today is his 104th cap, so assuming nothing changes before kick-off he will become the most capped player in the history of Serbia, surpassing Dejan Stankovic. But the real question is how tall is he compared to Mel from Mel and Sue? At 6 feet tall that makes him 1.something Mels from Mel and Sue. 12:24PM Inside the dressing rooms Credit: FIFA Credit: FIFA 12:22PM Our lovely new columnist Cesc Fabregas has joined our writing team for the World Cup and his first couple of columns are already up on the website. You can read his thoughts on Raheem Sterling here. Cesc Fabregas column: England's Raheem Sterling can deliver on the biggest stage 12:17PM Star players to look out for Keylor Navas is by far and away the best player on this Costa Rica team and according to my handy Football Manager database app (their database is used as a scouting tool by top level clubs around the world...), with an average rating of 81 he's way ahead of Borges and Campbell, both rated at 69. Bryan Ruiz shares the same rating... and then everything goes a bit south from there. Serbia meanwhile have some of the most highly rated young players in the world. Predrag Rajkovic is on the bench but at a base level 67 is expected to be about an 85 at some point in his career. I realise some of you might think I'm talking nonsense using a video game's database but their hit rate and accuracy is awesome. Matic - 78, Milinkovic-Savic -78, Adem Ljajic - 72, Aleksandar Kolarov -73... I think you get the idea. If Serbia can work their way around the Costa Rica low block and avoid making any particularly silly mistakes, they should really win this. 12:06PM Those teams in written form Costa Rica (3-5-2 / 5-4-1) Navas, Gamboa, Acosta, González, Duarte, Calvo, Venegas, Guzmán, Borges, Ruiz, Ureña Serbia (4-2-3-1) Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tosic, Milenkovic, Kolarov, Milinkovic-Savic, Milivojevic, Matic, Ljajic, Tadic, Mitrovic Got to think Serbia are missing a trick leaving all the Football Manager wonderkids out. Zivkovic and Rajkovic on the bench? What is this - amateur hour? pic.twitter.com/LiPrSQumMX— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 17, 2018 12:00PM Starting lineups 10 'ic' and one Kolarov: Who's ready for the first match of the day? Here are the teams for #CRCSRB ��#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/np2DCvEQ78— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 17, 2018 11:59AM The best kits World Cup kits ranked 11:47AM Where is today's game? Well that would be the Samara Arena of course: World Cup 2018 stadium: Samara Arena And as we all know [looks down at phone] it is is the sixth largest city in Russia. This is what the stadium looks like.: Credit: FIFA And the inside is even cooler: Credit: REUTERS 11:40AM Welcome! Hello and welcome to our liveblog for Costa Rica vs Serbia, a match which should be really entertaining and one I'm looking forward to. Yesterday was another brilliant day of World Cup football notable for featuring several high profile VAR moments - it seems like having that extra help has really allowed referees to make some attack-minded decisions and goals make games great. So what to expect today? Serbia have the better (arguably - and I will argue it) group of players with several wonderkids supplemented by hardworking others. Nemanja Matic can run the midfield, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is one of the hottest prospects in football and Dusan Tadic is guaranteed to create chances to score. “As far as this story about me lacking experience, I don’t have any problem because I am working with professional players who prove themselves in clubs across Europe,” their manager Mladen Krstajic said. “My conscience is clear because we are working really well and have been together for three weeks. These are things that make me happy. “We have to be focused, responsible. When I met my squad for the first time I said let's relax, be friends off the pitch, but when comes to matches, everyone has to be responsible.” Russia World Cup in pictures: Best photos of teams, games and players In the red corner, Costa Rica aren't quite so strong but do have Keylor Navas in goal. You know, the Real Madrid guy. Yeh, him. Other than that, Arsenal's eternally nomadic loanee Joel Campbell is perhaps their best bet of getting a result with Celso Borges the most likely to set someone up for a goal. They didn't impress at all in defeat to England recently and were hammered by Belgium too - today is a massive test. Team news should be with us soon and I'll endeavour to bring you that as well as all the build-up and then analysis of the live action. Stick around to join in the fun.
South Korea's Kim Shin-wook controls the ball during a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Sweden coach apologizes over 'spying' squabble with Koreans
South Korea's Kim Shin-wook controls the ball during a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
South Korea's Son Heung-min, right, controls the ball against his teammate Ju Se-jong during a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Sweden coach apologizes over 'spying' squabble with Koreans
South Korea's Son Heung-min, right, controls the ball against his teammate Ju Se-jong during a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
South Korea's head coach Shin Tae-yong, center, arrives with players Son Heung-min, right, and Lee Yong for a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Sweden coach apologizes over 'spying' squabble with Koreans
South Korea's head coach Shin Tae-yong, center, arrives with players Son Heung-min, right, and Lee Yong for a training session of South Korea at the 2018 soccer World Cup at the Spartak Stadium in Lomonosov near St. Petersburg, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
Argentina's fans hold a banner with a image of former soccer star Diego Maradona as they get ready to cheer on their side before the start of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Maradona responds to report of racist gesture to Asian fan
Argentina's fans hold a banner with a image of former soccer star Diego Maradona as they get ready to cheer on their side before the start of the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Former soccer star Diego Maradona pounds his chest during the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Maradona responds to report of racist gesture to Asian fan
Former soccer star Diego Maradona pounds his chest during the group D match between Argentina and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, June 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Portugal boss Fernando Santos is "never satisfied", says Adrien Silva, who insisted the European champions will not underestimate Morocco.
Portugal will not underestimate Morocco, vows Adrien Silva
Portugal boss Fernando Santos is "never satisfied", says Adrien Silva, who insisted the European champions will not underestimate Morocco.
Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup - Group G - Tunisia v England - Volgograd, Russia - June 17, 2018 - A fan walks at fan fest zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
FIFA World Cup - Group G - Tunisia v England
Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup - Group G - Tunisia v England - Volgograd, Russia - June 17, 2018 - A fan walks at fan fest zone. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup - Group G - Tunisia v England - Volgograd, Russia - June 17, 2018 - A street vendor sells flags ahead of a match. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
FIFA World Cup - Group G - Tunisia v England
Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup - Group G - Tunisia v England - Volgograd, Russia - June 17, 2018 - A street vendor sells flags ahead of a match. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
 England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
Romelu Lukaku double helps Belgium to winning World Cup start against Panama
England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
 England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
Romelu Lukaku double helps Belgium to winning World Cup start against Panama
England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
 England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
Romelu Lukaku double helps Belgium to winning World Cup start against Panama
England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
 England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
Romelu Lukaku double helps Belgium to winning World Cup start against Panama
England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
 England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
Romelu Lukaku double helps Belgium to winning World Cup start against Panama
England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
 England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.
Romelu Lukaku double helps Belgium to winning World Cup start against Panama
England vs Tunisia, World Cup 2018: live score and latest updates Paul Hayward: It's now or never for England In pictures: All the colour, drama and atmosphere from the 2018 World Cup A superb volley from Dries Mertens and two clinical finishes from Romelu Lukaku ensured England's Group G rivals Belgium eased to a winning start at the 2018 World Cup. After labouring in the first half, Belgium upped the intensity after the interval and ultimately ran out comfortable 3-0 winners. Mertens' beautiful volley from just inside the area calmed Belgium's nerves after 48 minutes, before Lukaku headed home 22 minutes later and then doubled his personal tally soon after with a dinked finish from Eden Hazard's pass. Manager Roberto Martinez will be pleased with the result, even if the performance wasn't always convincing. The other sides in Group G - England and Tunisia - meet this evening. 6:06PM Opta's twopenn 'orth Belgium are now unbeaten in their last 10 World Cup group games (W5 D5 L0), winning each of their last five. Each of the last 11 goals that Belgium have scored in World Cup matches have come after half-time. Panama were given five yellow cards in this match – the last time that a team were given more in a single World Cup game was in the 2010 final (Netherlands – seven). Overall, there were eight yellow cards in this match between Belgium and Panama – the most of any game at the 2018 World Cup so far and also more than in any single game at the 2014 tournament. Belgium have won all 13 international matches that Dries Mertens has scored in. Dries Mertens became the first Belgian player to score in two successive World Cup tournaments since Marc Wilmots (1998 and 2002). Romelu Lukaku has been directly involved in 13 of Belgium's last 19 goals (11 goals, two assists). Only Jan Ceulemans (6) has scored more goals in major tournaments (World Cup & European Championships) for Belgium than Romelu Lukaku (5 - level with Marc Wilmots). Eden Hazard has been directly involved in 16 goals in his last 15 appearances for Belgium (eight goals, eight assists). 6:04PM Post-match stats Next up for #BEL and #PAN...@BelRedDevils: #TUN@fepafut: #ENG#WorldCuppic.twitter.com/xQjFHbFMe9— FIFA World Cup �� (@FIFAWorldCup) June 18, 2018 5:55PM Full time Look at the scoreline and you would think it was a comfortable victory but it wasn't. Belgium toiled for much of the game but scored three tremendous goals. A lot to like about Panama, their dedication paramount. 5:54PM 90+4 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Panama give their fantastic fans a tonic by trying to chip the keeper from 70m a split second after the referee had blown his whistle for a foul. 5:53PM 90+2 min Belgium 3-0 Panama There will be four added minutes. Curious match - Panama have demonstrated vigour and heart, Belgium a real flair in each of their three goals but they came in an otherwise perplexingly stilted performance. 5:51PM 90 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Here are Lukaku's two finishes: Romelu Lukaku scores his first and Belgium's second Credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay Lukaku dinks his shot over the keeper to score Belgium's third Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 5:49PM 89 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Chadli finally enters the fray, replacing Witsel. 5:48PM 87 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne is given a yellow card for studding Cooper in the midriff. He won the dropping ball with a raised leg but carried on maliciously with his thrust. 5:45PM 85 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Sharp intervention from Courtois to save at Diaz's feet after he and Tejada got round the back but the sub was offside, not that the keeper knew when he shot out and dived headfirst at his feet. 5:44PM 84 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Thorgen Hazard replaces Dries Mertens. And Nacer Chadli is stripped too and waiting to come on as Belgium kill time. 5:42PM 82 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Belgium free-kick about 20m out, left of centre. Hazard takes it and thumps it straight into the wall. 5:40PM 79 min Belgium 3-0 Panama Murillo slides in to make a crucial tackle on Hazard in the Panama box and they break quickly down the left. Davis whips in a dangerous cross that only needs a touch but the sub, Tejada, is an inch too short and the cross parts his hair. 5:38PM 76 min Belgium 3-0 Panama De Bruyne wins the ball, plays it to Witsel who taps it on to Hazard> He hares off at a fir old lick, weaving his way through the heart of midfield whilst his pursuers chase his heels. Lukaku keeps pace with him, splits off to the left and is played in one-on-one with the keeper by his skipper's cute reverse pass. Belgium 3 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 75 min) 5:35PM Goal!! Belgium 3-0 Panama Lukaku ends a fine counter-attacking break by dinking the ball over the keeper as he raced out to try to thwart him single-handedly. 5:34PM 74 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Double substitution: Tejada comes on for he veteran Perez. Dembele on for Belgium, replacing Carrasco. 5:33PM 71 min Belgium 2-0 Panama Gabriel Torres takes the ball, 25m out, thinks Courtois is too far off his line and goes for an up and under chip that Courtois catches easily while back-pedalling. Belgium 2 - 0 Panama (Romelu Lukaku, 69 min) 5:30PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama Yes, it stands. Terrific cross from De Bruyne, bent from the left with the outside of his right boot towards the back post. Lukaku, 8m out, dives forward to bury it with a firm header. He was level with Escobar, not offside. Great, short passing between Hazard and De Bruyne to work the defenders out of position. 5:28PM Goal!! Belgium 2-0 Panama There'll be a VAR check to see if Lukaku was onside ... 5:28PM 67 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Meunier drills a diagonal cross from the right towards Lukaku but Penedo slaps it off his head. 5:26PM 65 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium free-kick 25m out, dead centre, awarded for Godot's cynical trip of Hazard. Trip Hazard? Call AmbulancechasersRUs. De Bruyne takes it and scuds it straight at the wall's shins. Was he bargaining that they would leap and he could slide it beneath them? That's the most charitable explanation. Alternately, he's having a shocking match. 5:23PM 63 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Double Panama substitution: off go both wide midfielders Barcenas and Rodriguez. On come Gabriel Torres and Ismael Diaz. 5:22PM 61 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Here's Mertens's shot: Mertens lashes the ball on the volley Credit: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir And the ball flies over Penedo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images 5:20PM 59 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Panama pull off a crisp attacking move with a succession of quick passes that end upwith Barcenas who stops and surprises Alderweireld then hooks a shot just wide from 20m. Miss: Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Edgar Bárcenas, 58 min) 5:17PM 57 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Vertonghen inserts several fleas in Carrasco's ear and Belgium do defend the corner fairly competently though Torres gets a header in he can't get it on target. Belgium need to wake up. 5:15PM 55 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Belgium have dropped off to sleep again and allow a ball to be played over the top, diagonally from Barcenas hit right to left. Dozy Carrasco let Murillo in behind him and the right-back took a cushioned touch to set up a shot from 8m and Courtois comes out, spread eagles himself and blocks the stabbed shot with his thighs. Corner. 5:12PM 53 min Belgium 1-0 Panama De Bruyne takes and gets it over the rather puny wall but bends it round the left post. He hasn't played very well at all. It's been a 5/10 performance from a consistently 8/10 player. 5:11PM 51 min Belgium 1-0 Panama That's woken Belgium from their torpor and they finally inject some pace into their play. Murillo hacks down Carrasco from behind and is booked. Belgium free-kick, about 22m out and a couple of metres to the left of the D. 5:09PM 49 min Belgium 1-0 Panama Brilliant finish from Mertens from 15m out to the right of the box. An arcing right wing cross aimed for Lukaku at the back post was headed out, back and across goal by Torres to Mertens who met it on the volley and looped it superbly over Penedo. Belgium 1 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 47 min) Goal: Belgium ( 47 min ) 5:06PM Goal!! Belgium 1-0 Panama A touch of class from Dries Mertens. 5:06PM 46 min Belgium 0-0 Panama We begin with the same teams, the same formations and the same pedestrian pace. Mertens is whacked by Rodriguez. Free kick on the right, taken by De Bruyne and he hits the first defender. 5:03PM And this is the result of that Romelu Lukaku has touched the ball only seven times in the first half. Lukaku's touch map 5:02PM My colleague JJ Bull dissects Belgium's failings Awful from Belgium. Absolutely useless. Martinez is trying to play a Cruyff-ish 3-4-3 but none if it works. It's a 5-2-3 and they have no passing options, giving possession away with dreadful long balls— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 I'm aware this looks a bit 'Pepe Silvia in the mailroom' but if one of those forwards (Hazard/Mertens) drops into a 6 position, suddenly Belgium have a passing link to move the ball through the midfield. A pivot! pic.twitter.com/Jsp9QKD0t1— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 Instead, this is all they can do. Pass sideways. The two CMs are marked and so a CB pumps it long and gives away the ball. I might be totally wrong but shouldn't the LWB be back in midfield strata to open up a pass? And RWB forward? White lines pass, red is someone marked pic.twitter.com/KcKowAX4lW— JJ Bull (@jj_bull) June 18, 2018 4:55PM Roman Torres' interception Torres slides in to toe the ball past the post and beyond Lukaku Credit: AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano 4:51PM Half time thoughts Belgium look slow and muddled, too much caution and too much anxiety. Panama, of limited skill by comparison, are well-drilled, defending with bite and passion and trying to be direct whenever they get the opportunity. We've seen so many sluggish 'elite' teams in the tournament so far. 4:49PM Half time Belgium fanny about for a while then whack it long up the right for Meunier who has slipped behind Davis en route to the corner flag but the referee blows his whistle while his overhit cross is still airborne. 4:48PM 45+1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Barcenas is rightly booked for chopping down Carrasco 10m inside the Panama half. 4:47PM 45 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium have succumbed to 'Arsenal disease', endless over-elaboration and a failure to take responsibility. Hazard again bursts into the box from the left and once more lays it off instead of shooting. Time was tight as was space but he had to have a dig from there. Two minutes will be added. 4:45PM 43 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez makes a decent run between Boyata and Vertonghen to chase a long ball but Courtois gets there first. 4:44PM 40 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Now it's a Belgium corner after Hazard's wobbling right-foot shot is turned behind by Jaime Penedo. He wriggled ahead of the defenders in that familiar way then sped up and cut his laces across it to get the movement but Penedo was up to the task. From the corner Mertens, who had stepped back towards the 18-yard line to give himself some room for the rehearsed move, is fed by De Bruyne's precision cross but slices his volley wide of the far post. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Dries Mertens, 40 min) 4:40PM 38 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco misjudges the flight of Davis' long cross from the left and, having lost his bearings, knocks it out for an unnecessary corner. Belgium regroup from the self-inflicted wound and defend it well. 4:38PM 37 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Mark Lawrenson just tut-tutted the referee for the official's temerity to penalise Lukaku for fouling Torres as they went up for a header. 'No, no, no!' he says. 4:37PM 35 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium defend well and try to break rapidly. De Bruyne spots Lukaku's sprint through the middle but overhits his pass from the right. Hazard, scurrying forward in support, had a heavy collision off the ball during the break that was unnoticed by the ref. 4:35PM 34 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Perez breaks down the left and rolls the ball further up the flank for Rodriguez who plays a give-and-go with Davis, skedaddles up the byline and whips in a cross that is scrambled behind for Panama's first corner. 4:34PM 32 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Hazard tries to play in Meunier down the right with a chipped diagonal pass designed to land in the path of his clever run but it hits the grass and skips away from the right wing-back into touch for a goalkick. 4:32PM 30 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium are over-passing, Panama defending resolutely, occasionally by the seat of their pants, but it's effective. Possession: Belgium vs Panama 4:30PM 28 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes the free-kick and blasts it straight into the wall, specifically Cooper's face. He goes down and the ball flies out for a corner. Cooper is checked over for concussion and is allowed back on after Belgium waste the corner. 4:28PM 26 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium keep rattling the lock but they're using the wrong key so far. Now Hazard takes on a dribble down the left and is hacked down by Murillo as he began to accelerate away and cut in. Free-kick, parallel with the right-angle of the box. Hazard is brought down by Murillo Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:27PM 24 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne takes a corner on the right, arcing it deep where Witsel wins the header but no one anticipates his lay-off and Panama clear. Escobar and Lukaku had a fearsomely illegal grapple before, during and after the corner that goes unpunished. 4:25PM 22 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Belgium take the corner shot, passing to the left-angle of the box where De Bruyne takes a touch then thrashes a right-foot shot high, wide and hideously over the bar. Belgium vs Panama shots on goal 4:23PM 20 min Belgium 0-0 Panama De Bruyne skates in from the right, beating Davis and Escobar and threads a pass through the six-yard box, arrowing towards Lukaku until the very well-positioned Torres intercepts at full stretch, doing the splits, to toe it behind for a corner as Lukaku was cocking his right knee. 4:22PM 17 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Booking for Davis for a pretty tame foul on De Bruyne. Play was waved on and Belgium have a corner. De Bruyne takes it short while Panama are playing Rip van Winkle and Mertens exploits their drowsiness to thrash an early shot in from the right that billows into the side-netting. De Bruyne is brought down Credit: REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins 4:19PM 15 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Long ball from Escobar up the right is well controlled by Murillo out by the right touchline, heading it up vertically like a performing seal then on to Barcenas who strides past Carrasco and into the box but having left the left wing-back trailing, he then is too hands-on with Vertonghen and is penalised. 4:16PM 14 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Meunier is booked for a foul when leaping into Rodriguez. Not much contact and even less intent. 4:15PM 12 min Belgium 0-0 Panama What a chance for Hazard. It was a tight angle of about 150 degrees on the left when the captain Roman Torres made an almost catastrophically misjudged backpass. He hadn't picked his head up to see Hazard stealing behind him and the Belgium skipper was on to the weak pass in an instant but he could only stab his shot into the side netting. Miss: Belgium 0 - 0 Panama (Eden Hazard, 12 min) 4:11PM 9 min Belgium 0-0 Panama In comes the corner and Mertens drops to his knees when Escobar fends him off with a hand to the solar plexus that was delivered with no force. Mertens ran into it and demanded a penalty. The referee isn't having it, neither is Mark Lawrenson who harrumphs like a scornful horse. 4:09PM 7 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco flashes right-foot shot from the left of the box after a cute dummy from Lukaku let the ball roll across the 18-yard line until it got to the marauding let wing-back. Penedo gets down to low to smother but from his clearance Belgium come straight back at pace and play in Mertens down the inside right channel and he swivels, cuts inside and fires a rising shot that Penedo claws over. 4:07PM 5 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Carrasco, who let Atletico in January for the Chinese Super League, and Vertonghen combine up the left and the former turns to roll it back to the Spurs captain who fires a long diagonal over the box and no one can reach it. 4:05PM 4 min Belgium 0-0 Panama Boyata's first touch is on Cooper's ankle, rather than the ball, clattering into him wide on Panama's right. Davis curls in the cross that is cleared and a hopeful lob back into the box is gathered by Courtois amid some frenzied jostling from Panama. 4:03PM 2 min Belgium 0-0 Panama From Coutois' long punt, Belgium probe up the left with Carrasco who laces the ball through for Lukaku but though he protests that he is due a corner, it seems he had the last touch when closed down by Escobar and Murillo. 4:01PM 1 min Belgium 0-0 Panama The huddles are over and Panama kick off. Roman Torres may be the captain but Gabriel Gomez is the de facto leader and he gives the final gee ups. They pass it back to Torres who whacks it 70m and gives Perez a hare to chase but the ball skips off the turf and into Courtois' grasp. 3:57PM My word The Panama team have gone for the full Dallaglio, absolutely belting out the anthem, some of them on the verge of a patriotic rapture. 3:54PM Out come the teams Eden Hazard and Roman Torres lead them out for the national anthem. I wonder which member of England's support staff is here today? 3:52PM The Panamanian contrast Centre-forward Blas Perez is 37 and has to run his socks off every time he plays while the left-sided midfielder, Jose Luis Rodriguez, who is 19, plays for Gent in the Jupiler League, and has been drafted in from the U21s, gallops for the sheer joy of it. 3:36PM Today's venue World Cup 2018 stadium: Fisht Stadium From Telegraph Sport's tournament guide: The stadium's roof was removed to meet Fifa regulations, and the sweeping stands on either side of the pitch are in contrast to the smaller structures behind each goal. It bears resemblance to the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. It is 18 miles from the city centre, so fans will have to base themselves at one of the fan parks near the stadium. And only have the one pint, of course. Will host three group stage matches, one last-16 tie and a quarter-final. 3:33PM Enjoy yourself - it's later than you think In the Belgian fashion: 3:29PM One last time - those teams in black and white Belgium Courtois; Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen; Meunier, De Bruyne, Witsel, Carrasco; Mertens, Eden Hazard; Lukaku. Substitutes Mignolet, Vermaelen, Kompany, Fellaini, Thorgan Hazard, Tielemans, Januzaj, Dembele, Batshuayi, Chadli, Dendoncker, Casteels. World Cup record: Belgium Panama Penedo; Murillo, Roman Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Perez. Substitutes Calderon, Cummings, Gabriel Torres, Diaz, Machado, Pimentel, Arroyo, Ovalle, Tejada, Avila, Baloy, Alex Rodriguez. World Cup record: Panama Referee Janny Sikazwe (Zambia) 3:25PM And some words on Belgium's approach 3:24PM Pre-match reading Kevin De Bruyne has fierce desire to join world elite - forget the calm exterior 3:14PM The teams are getting ready to warm up Whatever happened to benches? Inside the Panama dressing room Credit: Patrick Smith - FIFA 3:00PM And here's the Panama starting XI ¡Titulares de #PanamáEnRusia! Así es la formación del seleccionado nacional para enfrentar a @BelRedDevils. #Rusia2018#BELPANpic.twitter.com/RF2nZiJJP8— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:50PM Julio Dely Valdés, Panama's greatest player, has message for the team Desde Málaga, España, nuestra leyenda Julio César Dely Valdés está listo para apoyar a nuestra selección nacional esta noche ante Bélgica (#BELPAN). Julio estará con Panamá en los partidos ante #ENGPAN y #PANTUN. #TodosSomosPanamá#PanamáEnRusiapic.twitter.com/TcsUzDsaX2— FEPAFUT (@fepafut) June 18, 2018 2:49PM And once more for Belgium Line-up ! ���������� From where do you support us ? �� Good luck @fepafut ��#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPANpic.twitter.com/alqinO1byK— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 2:47PM Spoiler alert Ninety minutes' ebb and flow can be a bit of a distraction for some. If you'd like to know the final score now, have a go on the Telegraph's ingenious prediction brain: World Cup 2018 Simulator Single Game 2:40PM Belgium have named their side 11 ⚽️ Courtois, Alderweireld, Boyata, Vertonghen, Meunier, Witsel, De Bruyne, Carrasco, Mertens, E. Hazard (c), R. Lukaku#REDTOGETHER#WorldCup#BELPAN— Belgian Red Devils (@BelRedDevils) June 18, 2018 Vincent Kompany hasn't made it so his former City team-mate, Celtic's Dedryck Boyata, steps in. 2:27PM Enter Panama and Belgium And on the fifth day, let the waters bring forth Belgium and Panama, another iteration of a ‘golden generation', following Portugal’s and England’s fool’s gold false idols, against a World Cup debutant. Iceland set the most harmonious tone for newbies with their deserved draw against Argentina on Saturday and though first World Cup matches for any nation over the past five tournaments are understandably bittersweet in the build-up - ecstatic to be there, fraught about doing themselves justice - many have prospered. Four years ago Bosnia & Herzegovina were defeated 2-1 by Argentina but in 2010 Slovakia drew 1-1 with New Zealand and made it through the group at the expense of the world champions Italy. In Germany, Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Ukraine all lost while Trinidad & Tobago drew but Ghana and Ukraine qualified for the knockout phase and in 2002 Senegal memorably beat the holders, France, and only went down in the quarter-final by virtue of Turkey’s golden goal. Yes, China, Slovenia and Ecuador all lost their first games but Panama could look to Croatia and 1998 when they began with a victory over Jamaica and ultimately finished third. Panama fans have travelled in numbers to watch their team's maiden World Cup match Credit: MAX ROSSI/REUTERS Panama are here because of a very good home record in the fifth round of Concacaf qualifying and an opening away victory over Honduras which enabled the two sides ultimately to finish level on points and allow Panama to escape a play-off on goal difference. They are an old side, a hard side and play with genuinely intimidating muscular athleticism. Any thoughts that they may trial a new approach here have been thoroughly debunked by their veteran defensive midfielder Gabriel Gomez. “We are men, we are aggressive,” he said. “Football is played with aggression, with desire. We are a team that knows how to play and when we have to fight, we fight.” For all that, they are pretty enlightened technically if not always tactically and can open up a defence with decent movement - at no great pace - and some inspired passing angles. We will discover pretty quickly if they will be prepared to commit runners to help out their lone forward or whether they will opt for an attritional scrap with nine men attempting to kettle Belgium when the opposition have the ball. Pleased to meet you, hope you guess my name Credit: Sergei Fadeichev\\TASS via Getty Images As for de Rode Duivels or les Diables Rouges (depending on your tribe), they have a mouthwatering bounty of skill and an abundance of expectation, too. Having recovered from defeat by Italy in the first match of Euro 2016, much the same players then shrivelled in the quarter-finals against Wales, wilting under their opponents’ hard-running pressure and falling into incoherence and irresponsibility. They won all four games en route to the World Cup semi-final in 2014 then shrank again in the crunch game, losing to Argentina 1-0 having spent 70 minutes doing nothing and the last 20 hoofing it up to Marouane Fellaini. Now, as well as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku, Youri Tielemans, Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Thibaut Courtois et al, they also have Roberto Martínez who proved himself to be a fine attacking coach in the Championship and Premier League and a complete flake in organising his defence. They qualified at a canter, winning nine and drawing one of their 10 games and with their talent really should be favourites to top the group. We will soon discover whether their occasional infuriating impassiveness and Martínez’s historic blind spots can be conquered this time out.