FULL TIME (Group – E) :- Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica
Match kick off time: 17:30 IST
Brazil (4-3-3): Alisson Becker, Fagner, Thiago Silva (capt), Joao Miranda, Marcelo; Casemiro, Paulinho, Philippe Coutinho; Willian, Gabriel Jesus, Neymar.
Costa Rica (5-3-2): Keylor Navas; Cristian Gamboa, Johnny Acosta, Giancarlo Gonzalez, Oscar Duarte, Bryan Oviedo (capt); Celso Borges, David Guzman, Bryan Ruiz; Johan Venegas, Marcos Urena
Coach: Oscar Ramirez
Highlights of the match:
- 11 year old Nathania John K from Tamil Nadu today became the first Indian FIFA ball girl when she led Brazil on to the field in their game against Costa Rica at Arena St Petersburg.
- Neymar starts Brazil’s crunch World Cup clash with Costa Rica on Friday as coach Tite kept faith in the side that started a disappointing 1-1 draw to open their campaign against Switzerland.
- Jesus’s touch faked the ball away from the defender and Coutinho raced in to poke past under Keylor Navas legs like a nutmeg from a distance of six metres and claim his second goal of the tournament.
- Neymar added the second with the last kick of the game.
- For long periods Costa Rica’s flat-back five kept Neymar on the periphery, with Johan Venegas and Cristian Gamboa both marking him out of the game as Brazil found it hard to carve out chances in the first half.
- Marcelo’s tame shot straight at Navas in the 41st minute was the first shot on target from either side before the break, and the team went into halftime with the boos and whistles of their own fans ringing in their ears
- The PSG forward went down (or dived) under the challenge of Giancarlo, with referee initially pointing to the spot, however VAR intervention led to reversal of the decision, as the replay showed that there was a minimal contact between Gonzalez and Neymar.
- Neymar dropped to his knees in tears on the final whistle after the tournament’s most successful side came through a real test of character against a Costa Rica side whose hopes of progression are now over.
There was a concern over Neymar’s fitness after he limped out of training on Tuesday, two days after receiving rough treatment from the Swiss. Tite insisted on the eve of the game he wasn’t running a risk by handing the world’s most expensive player just his second competitive start for four months after his club season was ended in February by a broken bone in his right foot.