Brazil finally lightened up the FIFA World Cup 2018 with a firm victory in the Brazil Vs Costa Rica encounter in an all South America clash.
The Selecao netted two goals in stoppage time to grab a win from the Brazil Vs Costa Rica match and climb to the top of Group E with four points and ahead of Switzerland on goal difference who also won their Serbia Vs Switzerland match.
⚽️ 90+1 – Coutinho 🇧🇷
⚽️ 90+7 – Neymar 🇧🇷
Heartbreak for Keylor Navas and Costa Rica… 💔 pic.twitter.com/VaEWWesonZ
— TheFootballRepublic (@TheFootballRep) June 22, 2018
While, Brazil made a frustrating start to the match, they slowly upped the tempo and got a firm grip in the second half although making not clear-cut chances for a goal. Surprisingly, Costa Rica stood firm against an impending Brazilian attack specially their keeper, Keylor Navas, who was no doubt the best performer for the under-dogs.
— OptaJean ⭐⭐ (@OptaJean) June 22, 2018
Both the Brazilian goals came after the 90 minutes of the match in the 91s and 97th minute and broke the hearts of the Costa Rican supporters. Although Brazil’s second-half performance was commendable but with no result until the stoppage time, as they imposed one attack after another, the credit for this goes to the Los Ticos defense. They defended with their lives on the line.
Let us discuss the four most important features of the Brazil Vs Costa Rica match:
Coutinho: The Real Ice-Breaker For Brazil
Phillipe Coutinho spared the blushes for Brazil after he scored the 91st minute winner for them. The former Liverpool star poked home from inside the penalty area and crushed the spirits of Costa Rica before Neymar tapping in the second and final goal for the Selecao.
Costa Rica stood their ground until late when Firmino knocked down a great chance to Gabriel Jesus who turned it into Coutinho’s path to net the goal into the back of the net of Keylor Navas.
COUTINHO vs Costa Rica:
Successful passes: 80
Pass success: 92%
Chances created: 6
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) June 22, 2018
While the hype goes on Neymar to perform, it is actually this Barcelona man who delivers when the time comes. Not only yesterday in the Brazil Vs Costa Rica match, but also against Switzerland in the first round match and many other instances. It was Coutinho who netted the scorcher against the Swiss, saved Brazil from humiliation that day.
Keylor Navas: One Man Army
If not for this Real Madrid man, Costa Rica would have been knocked out a lot earlier in the Brazil Vs Costa Rica match. It looked like as if he stood alone against the deadly Brazilian attack and dared them to come at his goal.
Brazil took as many as 22 shots on target with 10 on target but to no effect until Coutinho saved the day for Brazil with a stoppage time goal to break the ice.
Keylor Navas with a Man of the Match performance against Brazil. Unfortunate his side couldn’t claim a point:
4 duels won
2 fouls won pic.twitter.com/3cjgwQ9OUj
— SB (@Realmadridplace) June 22, 2018
Without a doubt, Keylor Navas was the Man of the Match for Costa Rica and not one has the right to question why. Keylor Navas delivered one of the best performances of his carreer. It was Navas who thwarted Brazil each time the ball got past his defenders and had answer to every Brazilian attack.
This kind of performances got him three Man of the Match awards in Brazil last time and soon after Real Madrid came running. His performances in the previous World Cup in Brazil won him the CONCACAF Player Of The Year Award. This is also one of the main reasons why Real Madrid has three Champions League trophies on the trot.
Neymar Impactless Again
Although Neymar scored in yesterday’s win in the Brazil Vs Costa Rica encounter, his performance was not at all up to the mark. The expected impact of his presence is nowhere to be seen in the Brazilian team.
He didn’t looked fully fit for the Brazil Vs Switzerland clash and it showed on the pitch. The physios deemed him fit for yesterday’s Brazil Vs Costa Rica match but the forward had very little impact on the match.
Neymar was denied a penalty after an outrageous dive, but Brazil still claimed victory with two late goals over Costa Rica. #BRACRC #WorldCup #Copa2018 (Pic: AP) https://t.co/yGyLQu0Qwl pic.twitter.com/C7P2lyO34J
— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) June 23, 2018
Neymar often found himself second best in his battle against Costa Rica full-back Cristian Gamboa, a player hasn’t played for Celtic since February. Moreover, he is slowing attacks and tries to focus more on showing-off and getting around defenders with no result.
The PSG man looks nowhere near the man the world expected and looks anything but a Golden Ball contender at present. Neymar needs to improve fast with immediate effect if Brazil dosen’t want a repeat of the 2014 scare.
Why Willian….Really? Look At Douglas Costa
What players costs to the world’s biggest clubs matters less in modern day but if the player is really worth the money is what matters the most. The price may be any but at the end of the day will the player deliver.
One such player is Willian, who repeatedly fails to perform let alone shine for the Brazilian team. With Jose Mourinho thinking to splash the cash for this Chelsea winger, it really is a point to think whether Willian deserves to be at the Theatre of Dreams. However, it is the manager who reserves the right to decide.
Douglas Costa completed 100% of his take-ons against Costa Rica:
• 5 attempted
• 5 completed
He completed more than any other player on the pitch despite coming on at half-time. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ReY6JFvktn
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 22, 2018
Willian, by any imagination is not a bad player, but surely has limitations. That is why Brazil head coach Tite should look at his other option – Douglas Costa. The forward has an amazing 2017-18 season for Juventus and even in yesterday’s Brazil Vs Costa Rica match, the onslaught began after he come on for Willian in the second half.
With more creativity and intent to find space, he lowered the burden on the left flank and stretched out the Costa Rica defense. It gave Gabriel Jesus more space in the box. It finally depends on the manager to decide who plays ahead of whom, but in my pinion Tite should consider starting Costa instead of the ineffective Willian.
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