Neymar needs more time - Brazil coach

Sherman Parsons
June 23, 2018

Coutinho scores his teams first goal to make it 1-0 during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group E match against Costa Rica at Saint Petersburg Stadium in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Corinthians right-back Fagner replaced the injured Danilo in Brazil's only change.

"He is resuming a process".

The forward, who thought he had won a penalty in the 77th minute only for the referee to reverse the decision after consultation with the video assistant referee (VAR), was overcome by emotion on the whistle, covering his face as tears streamed down his cheeks.

Coach Tite fell to the floor as he sped onto the pitch following Coutinho's strike.

Stoppage time goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar saw Brazil record their first victory in Russian Federation and end Costa Rica's hopes of reaching the last 16 in the process.

For most of a sunny afternoon in Saint Petersburg, the world's most expensive player battled against his own lack of match sharpness, an inspired Keylor Navas in the Costa Rica goal and referee Bjorn Kuipers.

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The Selecao are one of the favourites to win the tournament but have work to do after being held to a 1-1 draw against Switzerland in their opening match.

Frustration brewed but Costa Rica's resistance was finally ended in the 91st minute.

Neymar and company could see themselves end the day in second place in the group if Serbia beats Switzerland later, but for now, Brazil moves into first and greatly boosts its chances of moving on to the knockout stage.

"It kind of pulled a muscle - it tore some fibres, I think", he said in a post-match press conference.

However, Coutinho insists Neymar remains the key figure in Brazil's pursuit of World Cup glory.

- Costa Rica had just three shots in this match, with all of those coming in the opening 15 minutes. Coach Tite, who was watching the game from the sidelines, couldn't control himself as he ran passionately to celebrate with the players, falling dramatically, midway after a slight push from Ederson who was trying to hug him from behind.

Neymar is known for his creative body art and has inspired fans to copy some of his designs, but this idea seemed to fall flat with his following.

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