Published: Sat, June 23, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Costa Rica - World Cup - 22 June 2018

There were incredible scenes as Brazil scored twice in stoppage time to seal a monumental 2-0 victory over Costa Rica - and the reaction from the Selecao bench was utterly incredible.

This World Cup is Neymar's personal melodrama, and the audience were treated to a passionate performance from the Brazil forward, who salvaged an afternoon of frustration and ridicule with a goal that brought on a bout of tears.

But with Brazil still five matches away from their sixth World Cup, concern is growing over Neymar's ability to handle the vagaries of fate still to be handed to him at Russian Federation 2018.

Coutinho poked the ball past goalkeeper Keylor Navas in the first minute of injury time, and Neymar volleyed in another with virtually the last kick of the game six minutes later.

Gabriel Jesus hammered a shot into the back of the net from an offside position in the 25th minute, rightly prompting a flag from the linesman, but the incident sparked a period of Brazil pressure, with Marcelo and Coutinho trying their luck from distance and a Neymar cross necessitating a desperate defensive header over the crossbar. "The second half, it was attractive, perfect". Costa Rica has zero points and can not advance. But he was also in theatrical mode against Costa Rica, tumbling over dramatically when touched.

Several players, including Neymar and Marcelo, complained to Kuipers at the end of the first half. Once again, he just waved them away. "We don't need referees to win the game, we just want it to be fair".

Brazil now have five days' rest before their next match against Serbia in Moscow, a two-hour flight from their Sochi training base.

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

Neymar learned the hard way what it's like to be a marked man when Switzerland fouled him 10 times in their World Cup opener with many other hard tackles not called for fouls.

Like this: