Coutinho, Neymar strike late to guide Brazil past Costa Rica

But the VAR came into play and after viewing replays, the decision was overturned and the spot kick taken away, with Neymar deemed to have over-exaggerated the contact on him.

Neymar faced the most devoted of markers in Costa Rica's Cristian Gamboa, the Brazilian spending most of the half hopping over scything tackles or dodging past a barging shoulder.

"In my life things have never been easy, why would they be now?"

Brazil were questioned at that tournament for their psychological readiness - the players' looked seriously freaked by Neymar's absence ahead of their 7-1 capitulation to Germany in the semi-final - and the same questions are starting to be asked now.

Celso Borges should have done better when he dragged an effort wide of the target from a Cristian Gamboa cutback after 13 minutes and, for all of their time on the ball, Brazil found it hard to find a way through the Costa Rica defence.

To be fair, Costa Rica had planned to be physical with the Paris Saint-Germain star, fouling him on different occasions to stop him from making a run towards the goal.

Philippe Coutinho struck in the first minute of added time, and Neymar followed six minutes later.

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

More news: Luis Suarez sends Uruguay, and Russia, to last 16 at World Cup

The PSG forward, 26, scored late for Brazil to wrap up all three points for the South Americans.

But Coutinho and Neymar finally broke through, scoring in the 91st and 97th minutes to put Tite's side on the brink of the knockout stages.

RT special guest host said Dutch referee Kuipers should be given the World Cup final gig after the fearless decision to reverse the penalty.

Costa Rica conceded again right at the death.

Brazil outshot Costa Rica 23 to 4 over the course of the match with nine on target to zero for the CONCACAF squad.

Brazil's next game is against Serbia on Wednesday.

Tite said that Neymar, who endured a lengthy spell on the sidelines with a metatarsal injury before the World Cup, is still regaining form and full fitness as Brazil's Group E campaign unfolds.

The 41-year-old has been good friends with Neymar for many years now and, as good as the forward is, he'll certainly appreciate any words of wisdom from his legendary compatriot.

Últimas noticias