Brazil saw off Costa Rica with two stoppage time goals in yet another frustrating game by their standards. While the Brazilians were wasteful, Costa Rica’s dogged defensive play nullified Brazilian attacks and kept the match at equal terms till the 90th minute. But they eventually conceded two crucial injury time goals through Brazilian stars Coutinho and Neymar which shortened Costa Rica’s stay in Russia. Despite the heroics of Keylor Navas and Christian Gamboa, Costa Rica sadly were shown the door. But Tite’s men have to be more cautious and improve their gameplay drastically going forward. Let’s now analyze the hits and misses from the Brazil versus Costa Rica match.
Philippe Coutinho (Brazil)- He created room for himself in the midfield with his intelligent movements. As the match progressed his influence on the game also swelled to Brazil’s advantage. Coutinho’s passing accuracy was an astounding 92% with 6 key passes. He had plenty of attempts at goals and was unlucky not to open scoring for his team in the second half. But he did eventually put Brazil ahead in the 91st minute of the match. It was his second ‘man of the match’ performance in tandem in Russia. Rating-8/10
Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)- He continued his amazing form against Brazil too. His brilliant goalkeeping reflexes and ball handling attributes kept out Brazil from scoring in the regulation time. Demonstrated good reading of the game and was quick off his line to stop Neymar. He made a total of 7 crucial saves for his team. Rating-7.5/10
Douglas Costa (Brazil)- His introduction in the second half gave a new lease of life to Brazil and they started to dominate proceedings. His outstanding dribbling and speed down the right wing created a lot of problems for Costa Rica. He assisted with Neymar’s goal. Overall he had an outstanding 45 minutes in the match. Tite will now surely include him in his next starting line-up. Costa had 5 successful take-ons,3 key passes and his passing accuracy was a creditable 90%.
Willian (Brazil)- He has been a big let down for Tite’s Brazil team. Willian looked awfully tired and his ball control was abysmal. In the first half of the match an average Bryan Oveido kept him in his pockets literally. Whatever he tried were wayward whether it be crosses, long balls or shots on goal. Tite will surely replace Willian with Costa in his next game. Rating-2/10
Bryan Ruiz (Costa Rica)- A lot was expected of Costa Rica’s striker Bryan Ruiz, but he failed to live up to the expectations. He was too slow for such a high tempo match. Ruiz was regularly dispossessed in the middle of the park which shifted the tempo in Brazil’s favour. In the second half he was completely invisible. Ruiz’s passing accuracy was an average 65%and had no attempts at goal. Rating-3/10
Neymar (Brazil)- Neymar was bottled up by the twin marking of Costa Rica’s Gamboa and Venegas. He was given no space to operate. His marauding runs down the flank was completely nullified. His derisory show-boating and faking injuries on field continues. Neymar was rightly denied a penalty by the Dutch referee after consulting VAR when the former play-acted inside the opponent’s penalty box to unjustly earn a spot kick. If Neymar does not refrain from his theatrics,it will soon land Brazil into trouble. He finally got his goal on a platter in the 96th minute. Rating-5/10