World Cup: Brazil v Costa Rica

Five-time champions Brazil are still in pursuit of their first win of this summer's tournament

Ruaidhrí Croke Sat, Jun 23
LIVE: World Cup: Brazil v Costa Rica

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  • 12:25
    Good afternoon and welcome to day nine of the 2018 World Cup and what a day we have in store today. Ruaidhrí Croke here to take you through the opening game. You can get involved using the 'Contact I'd button at the top of the blog or you can get me on Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke.

    Brazil come into their game against Costa Rica with some pressure on after their opening day draw with Switzerland (1pm), Iceland can all but send Argentina packing if they beat Nigeria (4pm) and Serbia can book their spot in the last 16 if they beat Switzerland (7pm).

    But first up we have the five-time winners Brazil. Team news and build-up on the way!
  • 12:25
  • 12:38
    So, one change each for these teams after their opening games.  Fagner replaces the injured Danilo at right-back while the front four of Coutinho, William, Jesus and Neymar remain in place with Firminho on the bench.  

    For Costa Rica, Bryan Oviedo comes into the side to replace Francisco Calvo after their loss to Serbia.
  • 12:48

    So there's a bit of pressure on Brazil here today after their slip-up in the opening game against Switzerland. Like many of the big teams in this tournament so far they haven't exactly lit the place up with Neymar in particular quite disappointing.

    His showboating and self-indulgence got them nowhere in the first game and the manager Tite has had to deny reports that he took the PSG man aside after that game and had a word with him. It seems no one has a word with Neymar. Let's hope, for Brazil's sake, that he's had a word with himself.

    Below you can read our in-depth guide to both teams.

    Neymar can inspire Brazil to a sixth trophy

    Costa Rica hope to channel the spirit of 2014

  • 12:52
    The teams are on the pitch in St Petersburg.
  • 12:56

    Two rousing national anthems there and we're just about ready to go.

    Costa Rica are going to try to keep this as tight as possible but you have to think that Brazil will just have that bit too much for them.

  • 13:00
    1 min: We're underway in St Petersburg! (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 13:02
  • 13:03

    3 mins:  Pelé there with some super insight. I'm sure he typed that one himself.

    It's five at the back for Costa Rica as they look to stymie that Brazilian attack.

    Brazil have Willian on the right, Jesus in the middle and Neymar on the left just behind central striker Jesus with Caemiro and Paulinho providing the cover behind.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:07

    7 mins: Fagner on the right and Marcelo on the left are essentially playing as extra wingers for Brazil meaning the final third is absolutely jammed with players as Costa Rica get as many players behind the ball as possible.  

    Celtic's Christian Gamboa just had a long range effort for Costa Rica but it flies well over Alisson's bar.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:10

    9 mins: Willian gets down the right and plays in a poor cross which is dealt with by Guzman. However, they make a mess of clearing it, giving it right back to Willian who is then brought down for a free-kick on the right of the box.

    Neymar angles the cross in towards Thiago Silva but it's too high and Costa Rica clear.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:12
    12 mins: Casemiro has just gone legging it off the pitch with no one around him. Turns out he has a nose bleed. Stick some tissue up there and get back out.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 13:15

    15 mins: Chance for Costa Rica!

    Well they nearly caught Brazil out there with a lightning quick counter attack. Johan Venegas got down the right wing and fed Gamboa who had overlapped. He pulled it back first time to Borges who was steaming into the box completely unmarked and shot first time but pulled it wide. What a chance that was.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:16

    17 mins: Casemiro is back on the pitch for Brazil who are playing very slowly so far. The only bit of pace we have really seen was that counter attack from Costa Rica.

    However, Brazil do have a free-kick on the left wing in a good spot.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:17
    18 mins: Neymar swings it in again but again it's well defended. It's all very tight up there for Brazil so far and Costa Rica are frustrating them with their well-drilled organisation.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 13:19

    19 mins: Neymar gets on the ball for the first time on the left wing, flicks it beautifully over the head of Gamboa and tears down the wing but is pulled down. No yellow card but another free kick for Brazil.

    Neymar takes for the third time but, for the third time, Costa Rica deal with it - Navas this time claiming it in the air.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:20
    21 mins: Brazil still look a little ragged in attack. Coutinho got down the left and looked to feed Jesus with a through ball but way over hit it straight through to Navas.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 13:21
  • 13:23

    23 mins: Another foul - this time from Duarte on Jesus - gives Brazil another free kick in a good area.  

    Neymar takes again and this time it does find the head of Thiago Silva but he's way too far out and it bounces wide.

    Costa Rica are right in this and Brazil are struggling. Yet another big name not quite living up to expectations. Yet.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:25

    25 mins: This is poor stuff from Brazil and the crowd are voicing their displeasure with plenty of whistles.

    Just now Neymar picked the ball up on the left, cut inside and delivered a dreadful cross with his right foot which flew way over everyone and out of play.

    Is he fit, is he not fit? At the moment he's looking far from his best, that's for sure.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:27

    27 mins: Brazil put the ball in the net but it's offside!

    And it was the right call. Neymar again got down the left but  was flanked by three defenders and lost it. The ball rebounded to Marcelo on the edge of the box who shot first time but pulled his effort. It bounced up off the heel of a Costa Rican defender and landed on the foot of Jesus who hammered home but he was well offside.

    Maybe that will get Brazil going now.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:28

    28 mins: And it almost did straight away.

    A beautiful through ball from Countinho found Neymar who had got in behind the Costa Rica defence but his first touch was a tad heavy and Navas managed to get out and clear.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:30

    30 mins: A third chance for Brazil in a matter of minutes.  

    They really seem to be warming to their task now. Coutinho cut in from the left and went for a trademark right-footed curler into the far corner but it sailed just a little too high.  

    They're getting closer.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:32

    32 mins: Chance for Brazil!

    They're really getting closer and closer now. Neymar again got in behind down the left - that's the second time in the last five minutes - cut back onto his right foot at the end line and looked to find Jesus with a chipped ball to the back post but Costa Rica scramble it clear. They're living dangerously now.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:34

    34 mins: Another shot comes in from Willian but this one is well off target after he cut in from the right and shot with his left.

    Brazil have really woken up in the last 10 minutes with Neymar and Willian getting on the ball more and stretching the Costa Rican rearguard. It hasn't resulted a breakthrough yet but they're getting closer.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:37
    37 mins: Despite this Brazil pressure we're still yet to have a shot on target but the game is, at least, opening up a bit.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 13:40

    39 mins: Penalty appeal from Brazil!

    It came from a corner on the right after Willian again got in behind and won the set piece. He crossed in and Paulinho went down in a tussle with Duarte but the penalty claims were waved away.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:41

    41 mins: We have had a shot on target!

    It came from Marcelo who cut in from the left and shot with his right foot but Navas saved easily.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:44

    44 mins: Costa Rica have to be given a lot of credit for this. They've completely restricted Brazil to one shot on target so far and even that was a tame effort which was easily saved.

    They also look dangerous on the occasional counter attack and it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to see them break the deadlock.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:46

    45 mins: Neymar gets down the left towards the endline, goes down under a slide tackle from Gamboa but gets nothing!

    The referee tells him to get up and Costa Rica can counter.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 13:46
    HALF TIME: Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica
  • 13:50
  • 13:54

    So still none of the favourites are lighting this tournament up in Russia. England's first 25 minutes against Tunisia is still looking like the best football of the tournament so far.

    Brazil were very, very poor for the first 20 or 25 minutes before improving slightly but they still haven't created any clear-cut chances. Costa Rica have been excellent and perfectly set up but this is still Brazil at the World Cup and they should be showing a lot more than this.

    Neymar hasn't been quite as wasteful as he was against Switzerland but he's getting frustrated by the Costa Rican right-back Gamboa who has frustrated him no end and is having one of the best games of his life.

  • 13:59
    The funny thing is, if Brazil do end up finishing second in this group (which is very likely even if they win here as Serbia can get to six points this evening), they may be better off as Germany most likely won't top their group. A second place finish could put Brazil up against Mexico in the last-16 rather than a potential meeting with Germany.
  • 14:01
    46 mins: We're back underway in St Petersburg!  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 14:05

    48 mins: Chance for Brazil!

    Some lovely link-up play between between Paulinho and Jesus gets Brazil in behind. The ball pings around the Costa Rica box and eventually breaks to Neymar in the six-yard box but Navas gets out to smother it and takes a whack from the Brazilian in the process.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:08

    50 mins: Chance for Brazil!

    They're getting closer and closer! A thunderbolt of a header from Jesus outside the box pinged back off the bar and into the danger zone. Coutinho then had a go himself and his shot looked like it was going to find the bottom corner but the Costa Ricans got bodies behind it to deflect it wide. Heroic defending there.

    The corner comes to nothing but Brazil look to have Costa Rica on the rack now.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:11

    55 mins: Bolanos comes on to replace Urena for Costa Rica. They're going to have to use their substitutions wisely in this second half as Brazil are really piling on the pressure now.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:14

    59 mins: Chance for Brazil!

    Another lightning quick attack from Brazil brings about the best chance of the game so far. Douglas Costa (who came on for Willian at half-time) got down the right and crossed for Neymar who made the diagonal run across the box in front of his marker and sent a glancing effort with the inside of his right foot towards goal but Navas managed to pull off a stunning save to tip it over the bar.

    The corner comes to nothing but Brazil get on the ball straight away again and Countinho tries his luck from the edge of the box but it's straight at Navas. This is frantic stuff now.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:19
    62 mins: This second half has been absolutely breathless so far and Costa Rica need to settle down a little. They've done so in the last minute or two by earning a few free kicks and just slowing things down a bit. The longer this goes on the more desperate Brazil will get.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 14:23
    67 mins: Costa Rica are putting their lives on the line here and Duarte was just on the end of a kick in the head. Coutinho had crossed from the left towards Paulinho but his foot was raised too high, catching Duarte and allowing Costa Rica to clear.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)
  • 14:25

    69 mins: Firmino makes his entrance now with Paulinho going off. If Brazil weren't gung-ho enough already they've just cranked it up another notch.

    Costa Rica still do pose a threat on the counter though. A goal for them and imagine the pressure on Brazil then...  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:27

    70 mins: The bars of San José must be shaking with the tension at this stage. Brazil's latest chance comes via a header from Thiago Silva but again it's straight at Navas and he gathers easily.

    Costa Rica can breathe again.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:30

    73 mins: What a chance for Brazil!

    A Brazilian attack looked like it had come to nothing when a misplaced pass found Gamboa on the edge of the box but his poor touch allowed the ball to get away from him and straight into the path of Neymar who was through on goal, one-on-one with Navas.

    He looked to curl it around the Real Madrid goalkeeper with his right foot but it flies wide! What a chance. He really, really should have slotted that home.

    Is it going to be on of those days for Brazil?  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:33

    76 mins: Another shot from Neymar is blocked by Acosta and Brazil get the corner.

    Neymar's delivery is firmly headed away by Borges and Costa Rice breathe again!

    This is brilliantly tense stuff now. It's like watching Ireland grind out a famous draw but without the emotional attachment. Great stuff altogether.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:34
  • 14:35
    The referee is checking is checking it on VAR...
  • 14:35
  • 14:38

    80 mins: What drama we have here!

    A lightning quick attack from Brazil allowed Coutinho to play Neymar in on the left. He checked back onto his right and knocked it past Duarte who seemed to pull him down. Neymar went crashing to the ground, the referee awarded the penalty and Costa Rica went mental.

    The ref then went over to check it and overruled the original decision!

    Neymar is absolutely fuming and has no just been booked for a reaction foul seconds later. That was the correct decision but Brazilian blood is boiling now.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:39

    83 mins: That was an example of VAR working perfectly there. It wasn't quite a dive - it seemed like Neymar did lose balance - but he was appealing for it before he even hit the ground and he probably could have stayed on his feet and hammered the ball home.

    He didn't, he went to ground and he paid for it. Brazil are in big trouble here...  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:41

    85 mins: This is heroic defending from Costa Rica, they're repelling everything that's thrown at them.

    Coutinho is the latest man to have a shot from distance but a deflection sees it safely into the arms of Navas.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:44

    87 mins: Casemiro now tries his luck from range but again, like it has done so many times today, the ball falls right into the hands of Navas.

    Duarte has now gone down injured for Costa Rica and a bit more time ticks past for Brazil...  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:46

    89 mins: Neymar whips in another Brazil free kick from the left but Navas again comes out and punches away.

    Brazil are in serious trouble. A draw here and they may well go out in the group stages. What drama.  (Brazil 0-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:47



  • 14:49

    90+2 mins: Well, you have to say it was coming.

    A hopeful cross from Willian on the left finds Firmino at the back post. He rose high enough to nod it back across the goal where Jesus had his back to goal. He teed it back up for the onrushing Countinho who toe-poked it through the legs of Navas to get Brazil out of jail and breaks the hearts of a nation.  (Brazil 1-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:51

    90+4 mins: Chance for Brazil!

    That would have been a lovely goal. Firmino was again at the heart of it, cutting in from the left and feeding Coutinho who went past him. The former Liverpool man swivelled on the end line and found his old team mate with the return pass but Firmino's shot skewed way right and wide.  (Brazil 1-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:53



  • 14:54

    90+8 mins: Neymar gets off the mark for the tournament and seals it for Brazil.

    Costa Rica were at sixes and sevens in defence after piling men forward, allowing Douglas Costa to get in behind on the right and square it to Neymar who tapped into an empty net.  (Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica)

  • 14:55
    FULL TIME: Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica
  • 15:01

    So Brazil get their first win of the tournament but it did not come easy. Costa Rica held out heroically for 91 minutes but the best teams strike late so often which is what makes them the best teams.

    Neymar was rightly denied a penalty by VAR but then got off the mark in the dying seconds.

    So Brazil move on to four points, Costa Rica go out and Serbia and Switzerland go into tonight's match with a lot at stake. A win for Serbia could leave Brazil looking at a second place finish.

    Ken Early is in St Petersburg for us and his report from today's game will be on our World Cup website shortly.

    That's all from me, thanks for reading. Patrick Madden will be with you for Iceland v Nigeria from 3.30pm. Bye!