Coutinho, Neymar help Brazil see off Costa Rica

Coutinho, Neymar help Brazil see off Costa Rica
epa06830162 Costa Rica's goalkeeper Keylor Navas (R) in action against Miranda (L) of Brazil during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group E preliminary round soccer match between Brazil and Costa Rica in St.Petersburg, Russia, 22 June 2018.

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Jun 22, 2018. 16:24

Brazil managed to beat Costa Rica 2-0 in their second game in Group E of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia at Volgograd Arena on Friday afternoon.

Both nations were looking for a win as Costa Rica came into this match at the back of 1-0 defeat against Serbia whilst the Selecao drew against Switzerland on Sunday.

Costa Rica had a glorious opportunity to take the lead when they attacked through Celso Borges, but he failed to direct the ball into an empty net in the 13th minute.

Although they had the favourites tag, the Brazilians failed to create chances. They did manage to find the back of the net in the 26th minute through Gabriel Jesus, but he was ruled offside.

Following that disallowed goal, Tite’s troops piled pressure on the opposite defence, but Marcelo’s shot was collected by Keylor Navas in the 41st minute.

Despite more attacking from the 2014 hosts, there were no goals to show for their efforts at the interval.

Upon their return from the interval, Brazil continued to attack with Neymar failing to lower his effort as he blasted over the cross bar on the hour mark.

Towards the 80th minute, Neymar continued to cause all sorts of problems for Costa Rica and he looked like he was pulled in the box, but the VAR referees disagreed.

The Brazilians would break the deadlock in the 90th minute through Philippe Coutinho when he pounced on a loose ball in the box, 1-0.

Right in the injury time, Neymar made it 2-0 when he easily tapped in a cross from the right wing and ensured they bagged their first win in the group.

In the wake of the win, the Brazilians move to the top of the table with four points leaving Costa Rica at at the bottom with zero points.

Brazil: (0) 2 (Coutinho 90+1’, Neymar 90+7’)
Costa Rica: (0)

Brazil: Alisson, Fagner, Silva, Marcelo, Miranda, Casemiro, Paulinho (Firminho 68’), Coutinho, Willian (Costa 46’), Neymar, Jesus (Fernandinho 90’)

Costa Rica: Navas, Gonzalez, Oviedo, Acosta, Gamboa (Calvo 75’), Duarte, Borges, Guzmán (Tejeda 83’), Venegas, Ruiz, Urena (Bolanos 54’)

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