Brazil beat Costa Rica 2-0, edge towards World Cup last 16

Brazil vs Costa Rica : Neymar starts as Tite keeps faith in stars

Following a frustrating start to their 2018 World Cup campaign, Brazil rebounded with a resilient effort, dominating ball possession and shots on goal to beat a stubborn Costa Rican club 2-0 in St. Petersberg, Russia, earlier today.

He also came in for some criticism for his drab performance in the match, although his first goal of the World Cup has gone some way to relieving the pressure on his shoulders.

Brazil are now on four points and top Group E, with Serbia (2nd) set to play Switzerland (3rd), while Costa Rica are the first CONCACAF nation to exit the World Cup.

As the minutes ticked toward the end of regulation, Costa Rica, disciplined and organised in a five-man back line, held firm. He often wastes good attacking chances by choosing to take a tumble instead and, at a crucial stage during the second half, his behaviour had a contagious effect and his team mates became distracted by all the fuss he created.

The much-anticipated match between Brazil and Costa Rica ended with victory for Brazil at 2-0. "I don't know what else we could have done", Ramirez said.




Thankfully for him, his time did come when Costa presented Neymar with an open goal deep into stoppage time. One sumptuous Neymar flick sent the ball flying over Gamboa's head and later he made an excellent run onto Coutinho's pass, only to squander the chance with a heavy touch.

And in a second half filled with Brazil pressing to score, there were a few times where he seemed to get knocked down, including this moment in which Neymar was pulled down. But I think I was right, because they were trying to save time. Firmino drove through the middle before Douglas Costa squared for Neymar finally to find the net.

Ex-Barcelona star Neymar then doubled Brazil's lead in the 97th minute, after an excellent midfield display from the former Spurs star helped Brazil earn all three points.

- In all global matches, Brazil are unbeaten in 13 games (W9 D4 L0), conceding just three goals in that run. Tite said he was proud of his captain for having the courage to show publicly "the joy, satisfaction and pride in representing Brazil".

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