Brazil scores late to beat Costa Rica at World Cup

Brazil scores late to beat Costa Rica at World Cup

It took until virtually the last kick after 96 minutes of frustration, but Neymar and Brazil have lift-off at the World Cup after a 2-0 win over Croatia yesterday. With just over 10 minutes left, Neymar's turn prompted Giancarlo Gonzalez to lose his footing and put his arm across the Brazilian's chest. As he lay down on the floor, starfish-like, the referee appeared to buy the appeal.

Neymar, receiving from Philippe, nearly scored before he took out Keylor Navas amid scramble.

Just when the histrionics appeared to have failed the talismanic striker, Brazil made a breakthrough, with Philippe Coutinho providing the victor.

Neymar's endured a hard week and it was clearly too much for him after the final whistle.

It was Brazil's first World Cup victory courtesy of a goal scored in the 90th minute or beyond, and Neymar's goal - timed at 96:49 minutes - was the latest recorded stoppage-time goal in a World Cup match since 1966, according to the BBC. Somewhere, coach Tite also had his moment of the game when he rolled over the ground in a dramatic fall while trying to celebrate with the players.

"In these kind of games you will not have many chances - you might have two or three chances, which we clearly did create and it's a pity we didn't score", he added. In comparison, Costa Rica only managed four shots and none were on target.

Coutinho got the victor in the 91st minute, and Neymar got his goal later in stoppage time as the South Americans move to four points in Group F and have a little breathing room with one match to play.

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The competition's most decorated nation were in danger of failing to win either of their first two games in Russian Federation before Coutinho prodded in a stoppage-time opener and Neymar added a second in a 2-0 success.

Neymar's Instagram post reads: "Not everyone knows what I went through to get here".

"His individuality shows up if the whole group is playing well - we can't put all the responsibility on the shoulders of one player", the Brazil coach said.

Coutinho curled over as Tite's side picked up the pace again, and a great piece of skill by Neymar enabled him to clip a cross to Jesus, who was adjudged to have fouled a defender as he jumped. The team is among the top in the world and anything but a victory against Costa Rica would make it harder to advance from the group stage.

Tite was unfazed about handing him the armband for a game that he described as a "decisive match that we need to win to continue in the tournament".

Serbia, meanwhile, is seeking to reach the round of 16 for the first time since 1998, when it was known as Yugoslavia.