It took the Serbia goal to really spark life out of the Costa Rica attack, however, the Europeans held strong and remained compact defensively to keep the Ticos off the scoreboard.
Aleksandar Mitrovic nearly gave Serbia a second finish in the final moments of the match, after Sergej Malinkovic-Savic picked out an ideal through ball to his teammate, who couldn’t find a shot on target.
Both sides struggled to find a rhythm in the opening half, despite Serbia’s dictation of pace with their strong midfield.
Mitrovic boasted the lone shot on target for the European nation, when he tested Keylor Navas in the 13th minute, while Los Ticos had a quality chance of their own a minute prior through a Giancarlo Gonzalez header from close range.
Roma is bidding to make its first UEFA Champions League quarterfinal since 2007-08 when they went out at the hands of Manchester United, while Shakhtar last made the quarters only to be dismissed by Barcelona in 2010-11.
Ukrainian backstop Andriy Pyatov had an early save on Edin Dzeko off a cross from Aleksandar Kolarov, two minutes after Kolarov mailed a free kick over the bar.
Kolarov and Dzeko remained big parts of the story line, though Pyatov and the Shakhtar defense stood tall.
Dzeko would wind up assisting the opener, and it was the in form Under who’d bury his chance.
Not soon after the break, though, Yaroslav Rakitskiy cued up Ferreyra for the equalizer.
And Fred but the hosts ahead with this outstanding free kick, what they’d call a “bar down bingo” in hockey.
Here’s where three European groups stand after the final day of qualifying for this international break.
Liechtenstein 0-8 Spain
Spain finishes the break three points ahead of second-place Italy, with a mere 17 goals of differential advantage thanks to braces from Iago Aspas and Alvaro Morata. Sergio Ramos, Isco, David Silva, and an own goal completed the scoring in Vaduz.
Republic of Ireland 0-1 Serbia
Aleksandar Kolarov‘s 55th minute goal means Serbia will finish no lower than the playoffs, and Orlovi would need to really fall apart to miss out on Russia.