Neymar hits back at critics after tears in Costa Rica match

Brenda Watkins
June 23, 2018

This is the third meeting between Brazil and Costa Rica at the World Cup, with the former inflicting Costa Rica's first ever defeat on them at the tournament in 1990 (1-0), before a 5-2 victory in 2002.

Brail were made to work for a 2-0 win in Saint Petersburg.

Costa Rica showed great spirit to keep Brazil to parity for 90 minutes, but their luck ran out in added time as Coutinho burst onto a knockdown from Roberto Firmino to poke the ball through the legs of Navas from close range - his second goal in as many matches.

For long periods Costa Rica's flat-back five kept Neymar on the periphery, with Johan Venegas and Cristian Gamboa both man-marking him out of the game as Brazil found it hard to carve out chances in the first half. Brazil was preparing for a second-half penalty when the referee reviewed video footage of Neymar's fall and amended the call in what was the first major boon Costa Rica has experienced thanks to the new video review feature of this year's tournament.

Having saw his team frustrated by Keylor Navas and a stern Costa Rica defence, Brazil boss Tite was going absolutely mental when Philippe Coutinho finally broke the deadlock - running onto the pitch as emotions took over.

What a day for Brazil and the team's star Neymar.

Lakers not inviting LiAngelo Ball to join summer league team
They were determined to make this a basketball decision but as one source put it, "obviously there's more to it than basketball". LiAngelo left UCLA in December of his freshman season after a shoplifting scandal during a team trip to China.

In the seventh minute of injury time, Douglas Costa whipped in a cross from the right and Neymar deftly tapped it into the net. He also ignored a Brazilian claim for a penalty after midfielder Paulinho bounced off defender Oscar Duarte contesting a high ball. We don't need any help, the players don't need help, I don't want help.

Brazil now have five days' rest before their next match against Serbia in Moscow, a two-hour flight from their Sochi training base.

Costa Rica will play Switzerland on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) in Nizhny Novgorod in its final group match.

As time ran out in Saint Petersburg Stadium, it looked as though Brazil could be joining bitter rivals Argentina as one of the contenders on the brink of elimination.

Neymar is yet to score at the World Cup, but he has still managed to attract plenty of attention.

Other reports by

Discuss This Article