FT: 2-0 Brazil

That’s all from Saint Petersburg. Tune in for the Nigeria versus Iceland game here.

FT: 2-0 Brazil

23 attempts for Brazil today, with 9 on target. Two-thirds of the possession for Tite’s men as Brazil completed more than thrice the passes that Costa Rica did.

FT: 2-0 Brazil

This is what it means to Neymar. He thought he had a penalty, but VAR ruled out a soft spot-kick. The 26-year-old did get his goal though, getting his 56th goal in Brazil colours.

Full-time and it’s 2-0 to Brazil. Phil Coutinho and Neymar snuck it home for Tite’s men. For 90 minutes, Costa Rica frustrated Brazil as the Selecao looked blunted in attack. Keylor Navas and his defence were tested, yet hardly stretched by the South Americans. Unconvincing, but ultimately priceless 2-0 win for Brazil.

90+7’: GOAALLL! Neymar scores. 2-0 Brazil.

Douglas Costa runs clear as Costa Rica are caught on the break, but the Juventus attacker squares it to Neymar, who shins it home.

90+4’: Firmino comes close. 1-0 Brazil.

The Liverpool forward plays it in for Neymar, who returns it to him but Firmino shoots it wide from four yards. Really should have been 2-0, the story of the match summarised in one attack.

90+1’: GOAALLLL!!

Roberto Firmino heads it down for Jesus, who turns only for Coutinho to steam in and poke the ball in between Navas’ legs. Brazil finally have their breakthrough as Tite is overjoyed. Jesus is replaced by Fernandinho. Six minutes added.

87’: Casemiro tries his luck now. 0-0.

The defensive midfielder receives the ball outside the box but his grounded shot is pouched comfortably by Navas. Los Ticos have three minutes of the regulation 90 plus injury time to not concede.

84’: It’s raining yellows here. 0-0.

No cards for a long time, but Neymar, Coutinho and Costa Rica’s Acosta have all been booked in succession. Bjorn Kuipers is putting his foot down, as Coutinho’s loopy shot falls into Navas’ arms.

80’: NO PENALTY! 0-0.

Replays showed that Neymar had gone down with a feather touch from Gonzalez. Too soft is an understatement, but the referee doesn’t show the Brazilian frontman a yellow for simulation.

78’: PENALTY!! Brazil have a chance to win it here. 0-0.

Neymar received the ball in the box as Gonzalez seemed to have brought him down. Costa Rica with a VAR review here.

72’: What a miss from Neymar! 0-0.

The Brazilian number 10 is through on goal but shots above the bar. Oh dear, Neymar, it’s not his day.

68’: Paulinho with a foul inside Costa Rica’s box. 0-0.

Douglas Costa has injected urgency into Brazil’s game but their finishing and movement inside the box has been lack-lustre. They’ve struggled to get beyond the trio of Duarte, Acosta and Gonzalez. Roberto Firmino replaces Paulinho as Tite goes for an attacking switch.

64’: Neymar hits one from distance. 0-0.

The 26-year-old takes one from outside the box with his left but he can’t get it past Navas. Brazil now have 14 shots, with four of those on target.

60’: Brazil pile on the pressure again. 0-0.

Neymar breaks at pace but his cross-field pass to Douglas Costa is poorly controlled, and Brazil lose a good opening to score. Tite looks annoyed on the touch-line.

57’: Costa Rica have a break on, but they’re denied. 0-0.

At the other end, Neymar’s shot is saved by Navas and Coutinho’s fizzed low attempt is straight at the keeper who catches it at the second attempt.

54’: Substitution for Costa Rica. 0-0.

Marcos Urena is taken off for Christian Bolanos, who became the first Costa Rican to participate in three World Cups after he come on against Serbia previously.

49’: POST! How is that not in? 0-0.

Gabriel Jesus header hits the frame of the goal as Costa Rica manage a narrow escape. It’s getting tougher for Los Ticos to keep them out.

46’: We have kick-off in St Petersburg, as Brazil have a substitution. 0-0.

Douglas Costa is in, as Willian is taken off.

As we wait for half-time to get over, here’s a look at how Brazil-Costa Rica matches could be as well. This one from South Korea and Japan finished 5-2 to the Samba boys.


HT: 0-0. Brazil have 7 attempts on target, to Costa Rica’s 3. They have 64% possession and have made more than double the passes of their opponents.

Half-time and Brazil have some scoring to do. 0-0.

It’s been domination but sterile domination and Keylor Navas hasn’t been bothered enough. Costa Rica will be happy with a point given the strength of this Selecao side.

45’: Costa Rica attack but Miranda stands tall. 0-0.

Los Ticos make a rare foray up front but the Inter Milan centre-back is unshakable. One minute of added time.

41’: Finally, a shot on goal. 0-0.

Marcelo cuts in from the left and take one with his left, as Navas gathers this easily. Shot numero uno on target.

37’: Here’s a stat for you, no shots on target yet. 0-0.

Although it feels like Brazil have attacked at will, the game is yet to witness it’s first shot on target. Marcelo’s looked like Brazil’s most creative outlet.

31’: Oviedo clears as Neymar reaches deep. 0-0.

The Costa Rican left-back heads out a dangerous cross from Neymar as the Selecao smell blood here.

28’: Neymar is through but Navas blocks. 0-0.

The PSG forward was played in on goal but the Real Madrid goalie got down well to block his progress. This match is heating up, as Brazil crank up the pressure.

26’: Jesus has it in the back of the net, but he’s offside as Marcelo’s shot strikes him inside the box. Still, 0-0 as Brazil await the initial breakthrough.

23’: Thiago Silva gets up for the free-kick but can’t get his header on target. Costa Rica are proving hard to break down, and it will require something extra special, like a Coutinho long-ranger to beat Navas and the defence. 0-0.

18’: Neymar is fouled for the third time today, as Costa Rica take the PSG man down. Another free-kick but Navas catches it comfortably at the far post. 0-0.

13’: Costa Rica go close. Celso Borges runs into the box and shoots far post. Allison watches as it trickles past his far post. Warning signs for the Selecao there. 0-0.

8’: Neymar has a free-kick in a dangerous position as Costa Rica have to defend this. Keylor Navas arranges his wall. 0-0.

3’: Coutinho, the goal-scorer against Switzerland takes an early shot but it flies into orbit. 0-0 as Brazil warm up with initial attacks. 0-0

1’: We have kick-off in Saint Petersburg. Brazil play in blue, as Costa Rica play in white, the same as the colour of the shirts when they beat Brazil 3-0 at the 1960 Panamerican Cup.

05:25 pm: The starters are out. The national anthems are being sung. It’s time for some Samba action. Pele thinks getting past Keylor Navas will be tough.

05:20 pm: On this day 32 years ago, Diego Maradona handled and shot his way to glory against England. From Vishal R’s piece:

“The animosity had reached fever pitch building up to the game. England’s hooligans and Argentina’s own set of ultras, the barrabravas, were embroiled in a brawl on the streets of Mexico City.”

05:10 pm: Brazil haven’t lost in the group stage for 20 years, their last defeat coming at the hands of Norway at France ‘98. Fagner and family had an emotional moment when the Brazilian squad was announced and the video subsequently went viral.

The Corinthians right-back received his shot at the big time when Dani Alves got injured in the months leading up to Russia. Fagner almost died aged six as he cut his arm while playing with his brother, and had to be operated on as he had lost a lot of blood. He was unable to move his hand following the surgery, but his dad sold the family car to finance another operation.

Costa Rica president Carlos Alvarado spoke to the squad the day before their match against Brazil. He had words of wisdom and encouragement for them.

05:00 pm: The only change to Tite’s side is right-back Fagner, who comes in for the injured Danilo. Brazil continue in their 4-2-3-1 formation with Casemiro and Paulinho sitting deepest. Neymar on the left, Willian on the right, Gabriel Jesus up front with Phil Coutinho behind him.

04:50 pm: Oscar Gonzalez, Costa Rica’s coach was on the field when they faced Brazil at the 1990 World Cup, as the North Americans lost 0-1 to a goal from Muller.

As Switzerland lock horns with Serbia tonight, hear from the man, Sherdan Xhaqiri himself, on fleeing Kosovo to move to the Alps and more in this Player’s Tribune piece.

04:40 pm: Costa Rica have their work cut out tonight, as Brazil won 9 of their 10 internationals against the Concacaf team. The Selecao’s only loss against Los Ticos came in 1960.

On this day 16 years ago, South Korea became the first Asian nation to make a World Cup semi.

04:30 pm: A look-back at Brazil’s first game and what they need to do going forward...

Bright start, but fell apart once they conceded the equaliser against the Swiss. Neymar came in for some heavy-handednessfrom the opposition, but the PSG star should expect more of that during this World Cup.

Phil Coutinho’s goal aside, very little to write about their opening draw. Fred could be the man to re-ignite the spark in midfield with Gabriel Jesus receiving little to no service in the opener. Pre-tournament favourites but opponents are ready to stonewall and hack the Samba boys down if required.

Brazil’s attack others need to start pressurising the opposition up front in order to create time and space for Neymar. Jesus started but Roberto Firmino could be well worth a punt from the start, for Tite.

04:25 pm: A reminder of where Brazil stand...

04:20 pm: On Thursday, a South American powerhouse played their crucial 2nd game after a 1-1 draw in their 1st game. The result? A 3-0 thrashing. What went wrong for Argentina?

“Messi got Argentina here”

“Messi is still the greatest”

“Messi. Messi. Messi.”

One could go on. But in the moment his team needed him most, Messi went missing. He was far from the only Argentina player to have an absolute stinker - but given the heights he has scaled in his career, he was undoubtedly the biggest under-performer.

The Argentine superstar had 49 touches against Croatia but only two came inside the opposition box. In the first half, he had just 20 touches, spending huge swathes of time on the right flank, watching the game from a distance; watching like someone who didn’t want to be involved.

Read more from Ashish Magotra here.

04:13 pm: Team news is in nice and early and yes, Brazil fans. Neymar Jr is in the starting XI.

(Graphic: @FIFAWorldCup / Twitter)

04:06 pm: Neymar can do anything and everything on the football pitch. But against Switzerland, he just wasn’t allowed to.

Neymar draws players to himself. Every opposition coach knows that if the Brazilian is allowed to run free, he will cause havoc and they all attempt to put a leash on him. Switzerland did that by asking Valon Behrami to be his shadow at all times and then as soon Neymar would get the ball in the final third, three to four players would be onto him in a flash.

On Sunday, movement with the ball was a luxury for Neymar.

But then, this is the fate of the legends. From Pele to Johan Cryuff; from Lionel Messi to Ronaldo and everyone else in between. The opposition knows they are good and will do everything in their power to stop them. The greats don’t have it easy. They never do.

What will Neymar do against Costa Rica? Maybe, take a leaf out of Pele’s book. Read more here.

04:03 pm: Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the Group E encounter between Brazil and Costa Rica. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say it’s been a dark few hours for a South American powerhouse. After Argentina’s (frankly) embarrassing defeat, Brazil take the field looking for their first win – much like La Albiceleste did last night. Can Neymar and Co step against Costa Rica?