Brazil’s Tite insists Neymar will reach his ‘best level’ at the World Cup
25 June, 2018, 19:06
Philippe Coutinho and Neymar bailed Brazil out with stoppage-time strikes against Costa Rica following another uninspiring display at the 2018 World Cup. However, they kept plugging away and were rewarded when Coutinho stabbed home in the first minute of stoppage time before Neymar added a second to end the match.
Brazil were poor in the first half but pressed for goals in more urgent second period.
Brazil will play their last group match next Wednesday, against Serbia, while Costa Rica will face Switzerland at the same time.
Neymar was on the end of rough treatment from the Costa Ricans throughout the Group E game, which saw Brazil earn their first win at Russian Federation 2018 courtesy of injury-time goals by Philippe Coutinho and the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
"This World Cup isn't being (easy) for anyone", Gabriel Jesus said.
A win in Kaliningrad would have guaranteed Serbia a place in the knockout stage for the first time since becoming an independent nation, regardless of their result against Brazil in the last group game.
The incident happened as Costa Rica appeared to be wasting time in an effort to see the match out - then deadlocked at 0-0 despite Brazil's dominance - to steal a point.
Despite being frustrated and disappointed by the physical play, Brazil held their heads and they were rewarded with the goals that boosted them at the top of the table.
Facing their South American rivals in the second game, many questions were raised on how Brazil would approach this match-up, especially with the news that their superstar Neymar was not 100 per cent fit.
"Preparation continues for the second game of the World Cup". Costa Rica has zero points and can not advance.
Ahmed Musa struck twice to become the first Nigerian to score at two World Cups Friday as the Super Eagles secured a crucial 2-0 win over Iceland, who missed a penalty. If Nigeria wins, it will advance to the round of 16.
Still off the pace after recovering from a late-season club injury, Neymar compensated what he lacked in touch with unbridled emotion, as he repeatedly engaged in physical tussles, followed by remonstrations with the Costa Rican defenders in their Group E encounter in St. Petersburg on Friday.
Things escalated when he was caught on camera cursing the Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers, and then slamming the ball into the ground, which finally got him a booking for dissent. "We don't need referees in order to win the game; we just want it to be fair".
Neymar scored the second goal deep into added time, to give Brazil a much-needed boost as they chase second round qualification. It was Neymar's first goal of the tournament and 56th overall for Brazil, putting him third behind Pele (77) and Ronaldo (62).
With no major injury concerns for his squad, Aliou Cisse will most likely start the same 11 that started the match against Poland. Up next for Japan is a meeting with Poland in Volgograd, where Nishino expects his players to be confident.
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