Lada car reward for Serbia's match-winner Aleksandar Kolarov

Kolarov's free-kick earned his side a 1-0 win over Costa Rica on Sunday – and a vehicle from the governor of Samara

Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov, right, celebrates with teammates scoring the opening goal during 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/Mark Baker)

Serbia's Aleksandar Kolarov had a good day in Samara: he scored a magnificent World Cup goal and was presented with a Lada by the governor of Samara.

The Roma defender struck a thunderous second-half free-kick that clinched Serbia a 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on Sunday.

"Kolarov scored a wonderful goal and we gave him a prize – a certificate for a Lada 4x4," acting governor Dmitry Azarov was quoted as saying by the Izvestia newspaper.

"He was very happy and the entire team celebrated the news."

A "Lada" car, a brand well known during the communist era of former URSS drives in Tiraspol, the main city of Transdniestr separatist republic of Moldova April 16, 2014. Ukrainian Minister of foreign Affairs, Andrii Dechtchytsia, said was "very concerned" by Transnistria breakaway pro-Russian entity in Moldova, while Moscow has to proceed to the annexation of Crimea to Russia.  "The situation in Transnistria is a major concern, not only for Ukraine, not only for Moldova" stated Mr. Dechtchytsia during a press conference in the Brussels Forum of the German Marshall Fund. Transnistria, a small strip of land of 500,000 inhabitants in eastern Moldova, has won the support of Russia, a short war of independence after the collapse of the USSR in 1991. It is not recognized by the international community. AFP PHOTO DANIEL MIHAILESCU / AFP PHOTO / DANIEL MIHAILESCU

There was no comment from any of the Serbian players about what they thought of the gift.

The no-frills brand has been trying to improve its image after spending much of its history being the butt of jokes for its unreliability and outdated design.

Lada was called Zhiguli in the Soviet era and is still produced in the Samara region by the VAZ factory.

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