Last-gasp goals give Brazil victory

26 June, 2018, 22:18 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Neymar will be fit to face Costa Rica in Brazil's second Group E match

The 26-year-old had limped out of training earlier in the week with an ankle injury, having received some rough treatment during Brazil's 1-1 draw with Switzerland.

Neymar and company could see themselves end the day in second place in the group if Serbia beats Switzerland later, but for now, Brazil moves into first and greatly boosts its chances of moving on to the knockout stage.

Brazil's talisman wept after the final whistle - the win relief both for him and for his nation.

The PSG star collapsed to the ground and burst into tears while the rest of his team-mates celebrated.

They are on four points with Serbia to come in their final Group E outing next week.

"If I was the referee I would not go back but I respect that because it is subject to interpretation", the Brazil manager said.

Barcelona's Coutinho, who scored with a brilliant strike in the opening game, failed to find his range and Chelsea's Willian, taken off at half-time, was very bad on the right.

Costa Rica's only previous World Cup victory against South American opposition came in the 2014 tournament (3-1 vs Uruguay).

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Brazil are unbeaten in 13 games (W9 D4 L0), conceding just three goals in that run.

Eight minutes later Neymar, receiving from Douglas Costa at the left, prodded the ball into the net from close range to seal the match. If Nigeria wins, it will advance to the round of 16. But he was also in theatrical mode against Costa Rica, tumbling over dramatically when touched.

Nothing was going in Brazil's way but they entered the second-half all guns blazing.

"When he (Neymar) draws the foul he is in front of goal", Tite said.

In most of the first half, Brazil remained in possession while an organized Costa Rica side's defense kept the former away from scoring. He also ignored a Brazilian claim for a penalty after midfielder Paulinho bounced off defender Oscar Duarte contesting a high ball.

Even that side scored more goals in their opening two games than Tite " s outfit, who too often are cautious in their approach play and whose illustrious attack have yet to replicate their club form.

This was Brazil's first World Cup victory thanks to a goal scored in the 90th minute.

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

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