Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Coutinho, Neymar strike late to guide Brazil past Costa Rica

Coutinho, Neymar strike late to guide Brazil past Costa Rica

Brazil were unconvincing in the first half but came to life after the restart with two injury-time goals securing a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium on Friday.

Brazil's journey back to Sochi has begun following their smash-and-grab win over Costa Rica at the World Cup on Friday.

Jesus had the ball in the net after 26 minutes only to be denied by the offside flag, and a minute later Brazil could have broken through when Coutinho's pass freed Neymar, whose heavy first touch allowed keeper Keylor Navas to smother.

Philippe Coutinho would eventually score the decisive opening goal in the 91st minute before Neymar himself added a second from close range. A penalty originally awarded by the referee was rescinded after Kuipers watched a replay of Neymar's clash with Giancarlo Gonzalez 15 minutes from time.

With a match still to be played between Serbia and Switzerland, it is unknown just yet what position Brazil will be playing for.

Neymar scored his first goal of the cup moments later, as Brazil produced at least a small amount of positive vibes in a cup where South America has really struggled.

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After a goalless opening half with only one shot on target from Costa Rica, the Central American side would have been slightly aggrieved after boasting the best chance to open the scoring.

Thankfully for him, his time did come when Costa presented Neymar with an open goal deep into stoppage time. We don't need any help, the players don't need help, I don't want help.

The world's most expensive player was making just his fourth appearance after breaking a bone in his foot in February and was the centre of attention for much of the match.

Costa Rica, meanwhile, were beaten 1-0 by Serbia inn their first match so their tournament hopes could already be over if they were to lose a second game in a row.

Although left back Marcelo had an average game in defence, his constant runs down the flanks ultimately helped when his unsafe cross led to the opening goal.

Neymar is third on Brazil's all-time scorers' list, behind Pele (77) and Ronaldo (62).

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