World Cup: Coutinho, Neymar lead Brazil over Costa Rica

World Cup: Coutinho, Neymar lead Brazil over Costa Rica

June 22 (UPI) — Philippe Coutinho nutmegged Costa Rica goalie Keylor Navas for Brazil’s first goal in a 2-0 win in a Group E clash Friday at the World Cup.

Brazil and Costa Rica played 90 scoreless minutes heading into stoppage time. Defender Marcelo then took the ball toward the box before bending in a cross from the left side in the 91st minute. The ball fell into Roberto Firmino.

The Liverpool star found Gabriel Jesus with a header. Jesus got one touch on the ball with his right foot, but lost control. Coutinho then came flying in and ripped a shot on the ground with his toe.

The ball cruised toward the goal, going through the legs of Navas before finding the back of the net. The goal sent the Brazilian team into bedlam.

Coutinho’s teammate Neymar put in the dagger in the 97th minute. That time, Brazil’s Casemiro slid the ball to his right, finding Douglas Costa in the box. Costa then lofted a short pass to his left to a hovering Neymar. The Brazilian striker easily tapped the ball out of the air past Navas.

Neymar is now by himself as the No. 3 all-time leading goal scorer for Brazil, trailing Pele and Ronaldo. The Paris Saint-Germain star sat down on the field crying near midfield after the game, overcome with emotion.

Brazil will finish the group stage with a match against Serbia at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Spartak Stadium in Moscow, Russia.