Brazil v Costa Rica, Group E, 22 June 2018

Brazil v Costa Rica, Group E, 22 June 2018

A 15-year-old Pakistani boy conducted the coin-toss for the match between Brazil and Costa Rica on Friday at the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russian Federation.

How much an emotional victory proves to be a launch pad rather than a false dawn remains to be seen as the pre-tournament favourites made heavy work of a Costa Rica side that have now lost their past four games.

However, the 26-year-old showed why he is a three-time Champions League victor with a string of stunning saves to deny Neymar and Coutinho.

Paris Saint-Germain's record signing was in danger of losing his cool completely when VAR overturned a decision to award him a penalty with just 10 minutes left to play. The player constantly pleaded for sympathy while the official routinely told the PSG star to get on with it.

"Don't touch me, don't touch me", the forward intimated.

The pressure he is under to succeed with the Selecao is obvious, and emotion got the better of him at the full time whistle when he broke down in tears.

Brazil have won 18 of their last 20 against CONCACAF nations and if we exclude Mexico - the strongest of those teams - they've won all their last 20, with 17 wins at half-time and an average of more than three goals per game scored.

In the seventh minute of injury time, Douglas Costa whipped in a cross from the right and Neymar deftly tapped it into the net.

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Another Neymar free kick was headed away by Giancarlo Gonzalez, with Brazil's early fizz fading, before Coutinho overhit a pass towards Gabriel Jesus and Silva headed a Neymar cross wide.

Both Firmino and Costa had come on as substitutes in the second half.

"If I was the referee I would not go back but I respect that because it is subject to interpretation", the Brazil manager said.

Brazil, which tied Switzerland in its first game of the World Cup, has one more group-stage game - against Serbia - before the knockout rounds begin.

"We don't need referees to win the game, we just want them to be fair". We don't need any help, the players don't need help, I don't want help.

Soon after the win, Brazil supporters took to social media to praise the performance of the team.

With Neymar still short of his best following the foot injury, Brazil once again turned to Coutinho for inspiration.

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