Just when you thought Brazil had cocked it for the second game in a row, talented duo of Philipe Coutinho and Neymar scored dying minute goals to give Brazil a 2-0 win over Costa Rica at the FIFA World Cup holding in Russia.
Having fretted away so many chances in the first half, Brazil were time and again bogged down by an extremely defensive Costa Rican team that put ten men including their keeper Navas infront of goal.
Indeed Navas lived a charmed life as he set to to thwart Neymar, who was given a ‘warm reception by the no-nonsense Costa Rican rear guard.
Despite firing over twenty shots and rattling the cross-bar, Brazil did not make the breakthrough.
But in the 80th minute, hope beckoned as the referee awarded a penalty on a perceived foul on Neymar.
However the VAR dismissed the penalty, much to the charging of the Selecao and thousands of their supporters gathered at the St. Petersburg stadium.
Neymar and then Coutinho were both booked for misconduct.
At this point it appeared the Brazilians were going to end up winless again – the first time since 1978.
But in the 91st minute, Firmino headed Marcelo’s cross, with Jesus teeing up for an onrushing Coutinho to hi the back of the net.
That goal nearly brought down the stadium just as it completely deflated the Costa Ricans.
Brazil sensed blood and in the 95th minuteCasemiro set Douglas Costa free in the area, who laid a pass for Neymar to slot home into an empty net and trigger another samba party both in Russia and Brazil.
The win moves Brazil to the top of group E with 4 points, and signals the end of Costa Rica’s World Cup quest.
Serbia will clash later on Friday against Switzerland in a match that might have some political undertones.