ST. PETERSBURG (Reuters) – Brazil got two goals in stoppage time to give them a deserved 2-0 win over Costa Rica in a tense World Cup Group E encounter on Friday.
Philippe Coutinho stabbed home from six metres out in the 91st minute and then Neymar volleyed a second six minutes later to get the five-times world champions up and running in their pursuit of a sixth title.
Brazil were poor in the first half but pressed for goals in more urgent second period. However, they lacked poise in front of goal and Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas was in fine form. Neymar thought he had a penalty with 13 minutes remaining when the referee awarded a spot-kick, then changed his decision after a video assistant referee (VAR) review and adjudging he dived.
The result takes Brazil to the top of Group E with four points, while Costa Rica have none and therefore exit the competition. Serbia, who have three points, play Switzerland, who drew with Brazil in their opener, later on Friday.
Writing by Andrew Downie; Editing by Christian Radnedge