FPJ's dream XI predictions for Brazil vs Costa Rica

FPJ's dream XI predictions for Brazil vs Costa Rica

FPJ's dream XI predictions for Brazil vs Costa Rica

The much-anticipated match between Brazil and Costa Rica ended with victory for Brazil at 2-0.

Brazil left it late to secure three vital points in a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in their FIFA World Cup Group E encounter at the St Petersberg Stadium on Friday.

Neymar and company could see themselves end the day in second place in the group if Serbia beats Switzerland later, but for now, Brazil moves into first and greatly boosts its chances of moving on to the knockout stage.

The five-time winners seemed poised for another draw, especially after a penalty awarded to Neymar was overturned by referee Bjorn Kuipers after consulting VAR.

Brazil were frustrated by Los Ticos until second-half stoppage time, when Philippe Coutinho found the breakthrough and, with the pressure off, a free-wheeling Neymar added a second before the final whistle.

Goalkeeper Keylor Navas is Costa Rica's best player, and the Real Madrid star will be expecting a busy match against Brazil's powerful attacking players.

Philippe Coutinho - the game's outstanding player - pounced on hold-up play from Jesus to break the deadlock in the 91st minute, with Neymar making sure of the points from Douglas Costa's cross.

When Navas was beaten, Brazil were thwarted by other means as Jesus thumped a header against the crossbar, with an apparently simple Coutinho follow-up deflected around the post by a Johnny Acosta block.

"It's not normal to cry in the second game of a World Cup", Brazil's biggest newspaper, O Globo, said.

The world's most expensive player then set alarm bells ringing when he hobbled out of training on Tuesday in full view of the cameras.

Costa Rica conceded again right at the death.

Still haunted by demons after losing 7-1 in the semi-finals at their own World Cup four years ago - a game Neymar missed - this threatened to turn into another World Cup nightmare for the five-time winners.

- In all worldwide matches, Brazil are unbeaten in 13 games (W9 D4 L0), conceding just three goals in that run.

- Neymar has scored 56 goals in 87 matches for Brazil - only Pele (77) and Ronaldo (62) have scored more.

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