THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Neymar, Coutinho strike late to put Brazil bid back on track

WORLD CUP: It took Brazil two late strikes to defeat a dogged Costa Rica on Friday while Switzerland managed to come from behind to beat Serbia 2-1 thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri’s last minute shot.

footballWorld-Cup
By AFP

Saturday 23 June 2018, 12:03PM


Neymar hit the latest goal in World Cup history. Photo: Gabiel Bouys / AFP

Neymar hit the latest goal in World Cup history. Photo: Gabiel Bouys / AFP

Brazil needed two injury-time goals to defeat a dogged Costa Rica on Friday as Philippe Coutinho and Neymar scored to put the five-time World Cup winners back on track for the last 16.

The Brazilians looked to be heading for a second frustrating draw in a row before Barcelona forward Coutinho poked the ball through Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas' legs in the 91st minute in St Petersburg.

Neymar, who had a penalty award ruled out by referee Bjorn Kuipers after he consulted the Video Assistant Referee, volleyed in the second goal seven minutes into injury time. It was the latest strike in World Cup history.

The world's most expensive player slumped to his knees in tears at the end and later posted a message on Twitter and Instagram hitting back at criticism of his emotional reaction.

"Not everyone knows what I went through to get here. Even parrots can talk, but walking the walk... not everyone does it. I cried out of happiness, overcoming, grit and desire to win," Neymar said.

It was only Neymar's fourth competitive match since breaking a bone playing for Paris Saint-Germain in February.

- Argentina group finely poised -

In stark contrast to Brazil's relief, Argentina and the under-performing Lionel Messi were in disarray following their shambolic 3-0 defeat to Croatia on Thursday.

The Argentina management was forced to deny stories that the players wanted coach Jorge Sampaoli sacked before their final group game against Nigeria -- they said the claims were "absolutely false".

Adding to the acrimony, several Spanish media outlets reported on an audio recording of former Argentina international Diego Simeone in which he lambasts the "anarchy" in the team and says he would choose Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo over Messi, if he had the choice.

"Messi is very good, but it is clear that he is very good because he is surrounded by extraordinary players (at Barcelona)," said Simeone, who now manages Atletico Madrid. 

"The question I ask is 'if you have to choose between Messi and Ronaldo in a normal team, who would you choose?'"

Argentina's uphill battle to qualify for the knockout phase may however have been aided by Nigeria's 2-0 win over Iceland on Friday that leaves Group D intriguingly poised.

A defeat would have put the Super Eagles out of contention, but Ahmed Musa struck twice to become the first Nigerian player to score at two World Cups and give his country just their second win in 14 games at World Cup finals.

BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET

That sets up a showdown between Nigeria and Argentina in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday. If Argentina win they still have a chance of finishing second behind the already-qualified Croatia and reaching the knockout stage.

- Political overtones -

In Friday's late game, Switzerland came from behind to beat Serbia 2-1 thanks to Xherdan Shaqiri's 90th minute long-range thunderbolt to move level with Brazil on four points in Group E.

It was a poignant victory for Shaqiri and fellow Swiss goalscorer Granit Xhaka, who along with team-mate Valon Belrami were booed relentlessly by Serbia's fans because they have roots in Kosovo, a former province of Serbia whose declaration of independence Belgrade refuses to recognise.

Both Shaqiri and Xhaka celebrated their goals by hooking their thumbs and hands together in a 'double-eagle' celebration, a gesture representing Kosovo's flag.

"You can see what I did, it was just emotion," he said.

A win in Kaliningrad would have guaranteed Serbia a place in the knockout stage for the first time since becoming an independent nation, regardless of their result against Brazil in the last group game. 

Aleksandar Mitrovic gave Serbia the perfect start after five minutes, but the Swiss gradually worked their work back into the game in rainy Kaliningrad.

The Swiss now face Costa Rica on Wednesday when a draw would be enough to send them into the knockout stage. Serbia face a more daunting challenge against Brazil.


Follow the World Cup with The Phuket News

Keep up to date with all the FIFA World Cup results and group standings by following The Phuket News by clicking here.

You can also get a free printable copy of The Phuket News World Cup wallchart via the link.  

Best of luck for your home nation!

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Safety measures ordered to reduce accidents at Chalong-Kata roadworks

Huh, 3months work for 1.5 km road resurfacing? This is a joke, yes? Can't be true. 1.5 km: 1 ...(Read More)


Police search for man missing at Phuket reservoir

... Thousands? Really? And all for free? Wow! My point is, taking care of water quality. Not about ...(Read More)


Police search for man missing at Phuket reservoir

"It should be a no-go area" Thousands of people like to visit those areas like Bang Wad Da...(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: A testament to life

Sure he was a good bloke but most readers wouldn't have known him, one story about his passing i...(Read More)


Police search for man missing at Phuket reservoir

This water reservoir is for housing water supply, right? Are private people allowed to be there, d...(Read More)


Six healthy movements to loosen your spine

OMG. Your neck in movement 2 looks terrible. Never do it like that! You should keep your neck in lin...(Read More)


Government readies handout of free SIM cards for the poor

The whole 'free internet exercise' confirm in a way that the government expects that the poo...(Read More)


New tax law to see online, bank transfers to be monitored

.... 'My' guests are 'non paying friends'. Arriving Phuket airport they hand over ...(Read More)


Thailand worst in Asean for road deaths

Anyone who has driven on Thai roads already knows this. Driving standards are abysmal, common sense ...(Read More)