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Philippe Coutinho and Neymar both scored in stoppage time to snatch victory for Brazil after the Paris Saint-Germain forward had been denied a penalty by VAR in a 2-0 World Cup victory over Costa Rica.
Desperate for a win after being held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland in their opening fixture, Brazil looked like missing out on the three points when the decision to award Neymar a spot-kick was overturned in the 79th minute.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward went down softly under the challenge of Giancarlo Gonzalez, with referee Bjorn Kuipers initially pointing to the spot.
However, VAR intervention led to a reversal of the decision, as replays showed minimal contact between Gonzalez and Neymar, who had fallen backwards as if pulled down.
The incident came late on in a match Brazil dominated but in which for long spells they struggled to break down a determined Costa Rica defence.
However, with the clock having ticked past 90 minutes, Coutinho and Neymar stepped forward to break Costa Rican hearts and spare Brazilian blushes, sending their side top of Group E ahead of the clash between Serbia and Switzerland.
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.
Game Over! Neymar with the tap in makes it 2-0 in stoppage time. It's comfortable in the end, but Costa Rica pushed Brazil all the way.
GOAL! Coutinho makes the breakthrough! In stoppage time! WOW!
Penalty Brazil?! No deal! VAR rules it out!
Oh my! Neymar with a chance to make it 1-0! That really should have been on target!
Brazil hit the woodwork! What a header from Gabriel Jesus!
Another big chance for Brazil! They have come out flying in the second half.
Brazil is ramping up the pressure here! Gabriel Jesus goes close with the header!
The first chance of note for Costa Rica! Celso Borges times his run perfectly but his shot fires wide!
National anthem time. Nice to see Neymar has sorted out his haircut.
We have team news! One expected change for Brazil, Fagner comes in to replace the injured Danielo at right-back. Neymar shakes off that ankle niggle to start. I wonder if Costa Rica will give him the treatment Switzerland did in the opener? As for Los Ticos, Bryan Oviedo comes in replacing Francisco Calvo on the wing. Real Madrd keeper Kaylor Navas starts in goal, and could be in for a busy afternoon.
Hello! Welcome to the Live Updates of Brazil Vs Costa Rica. Can the Samba Boys get their World Cup up and running with a win against Costa Rica? We will find out the following in the next few hours in Saint Petersburg.
You can watch the stream of the match from the Saint Petersburg Live & Exclusive on beIN SPORTS CONNECT.
Brazil will be looking to bounce back from a frustrating 1-1 draw in their opening Group E game against Switzerland and will be targeting all three points against Costa Rica on Friday evening. The Seleção failed to find their stride, despite a spectacular opening goal thanks to Philippe Coutinho.
Much has been made of Neymar's latest haircut than the performance of the playmaker against Switzerland. The PSG man did limp out of training on Tuesday with an ankle complaint, and promptly returned to full training a day later. Neymar was guilty of showboating at times against the Swiss and certainly would have been reminded of his responsibilities by head coach Tiche in the build-up to the contest against Costa Rica.
Phillipe Coutinho was the standout man for the samba boys against Switzerland and is expected to start again against Costa Rica. The Barcelona midfield dictated the tempo in the early stages of the opener and will be charged with doing the same against the central American side.
Brazil Predicted Team
Alisson; Danilo, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Fernandinho, Casemiro; Coutinho, Willian, Neymar; Firmino
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TV Channel- MAX HD3
Stadium- Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg
As for Costa Rica they started their World Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 defeat to Serbia. The Central American nation has an uphill task qualifying for the knockout stages, which will be all the more difficult in facing a side with the ability of Brazil.
In truth, Costa Rica had the majority of possession in the defeat to Serbia but failed to make it count in the final third. That will certainly be cause for concern for head coach Óscar Ramírez who needs to find the suitable balance in his squad when facing Brazil in a do-or-die contest.
Ramírez may turn to Arsenal man Joel Campbell for some inspiration in the final third. The winger might have never quite hit the heights in North London, but Campbell is a different beast when he represents his country. His pace and finishing abilities could be a useful asset, should Costa Rica pull off a major shock.
Costa Rica Predicted Team
Navas; Gamboa, Gonzalez, Acosta, Duarte, Calvo; Campbell, Guzman, Borges, Ruiz; Urena
It promises to be an interesting tie Brazil look to get their World Cup campaign back on track against a Costa Rica side who are facing the prospect of elimination in only their second game. Watch the Live & Exclusive stream of the game on MAX HD3 & beIN SPORTS CONNECT.