It was very, very hard for Brazil, but they finally got their first win of the World Cup thanks to a 2-0 triumph over Costa Rica. After a horrific first half the Seleção finally played good football, but they still needed late goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar to beat Keylor Navas and give Brazil three giant points in their battle for qualification.
It is really hard to find a lot of words to describe this first half. The only one that comes to mind is boring. If you want a more detailed analysis, good luck finding it somewhere else. It was just boring, really. Nothing happened, except Neymar showboating, drawing fouls and complaining to the referee. Which is VERY boring.
Manager Tite made a rare halftime substitution to try and help Brazil play better, with Douglas Costa replacing Willian on the right wing. The change worked and there was a threat everywhere on the attacking third for the Seleção, and they began to create chance after chance. Gabriel Jesus hit the crossbar, Philippe Coutinho had two great shots saved, and Neymar had a certain goal denied by Keylor Navas, all within the opening 10 minutes of the second half, and a Brazil goal seemed like a matter of moments.
But the goal didn’t come quickly at all, and Costa Rica did a great job of slowing down Brazil’s pace with some tactical fouls. Neymar missed an incredible chance from the edge of the box, and then he seemed to have won a penalty when González was guilty of pushing him in the box. But the VAR changed the call for a simulation by Neymar, and we reached the final 10 minutes still without a goal and with more and more drama.
As we reached a six-minute injury time, it seemed like luck was not on Brazil’s side, but when Roberto Firmino headed a ball into the six-yard box and Coutinho nutmegged Navas for the opener, Brazil finally had the winner. They made sure of the win with Neymar scoring a tap-in in the 97th minute.
This was not a vintage Brazil performance, but the win is crucial for their situation in the group and it’ll give them confidence for the knockout rounds.
Brazil: Alisson; Fágner, Thiago Silva, Miranda, Marcelo; Paulinho (Firmino), Casemiro, Coutinho; Willian (Douglas Costa), Gabriel Jesus (Fernandinho), Neymar
Goals: Coutinho (90’+1), Neymar (90’+7)
Costa Rica: Navas; Duarte, González, Acosta; Gamboa (Calvo), Borges, Guzmán (Tejeda), Oviedo; Venegas, Ureña (Bolaños), Bryan