After knocking on the door for nearly the entirety of the game, Brazil were fittingly rewarded for their hard work and persistence as Philippe Coutinho broke the deadlock and Costa Rica's dogged resistance in the first minute of extra time. With the Central Americans visibly deflated, Brazil star Neymar added a second with nearly the last kick of the game. Costa Rica did an incredible job at stifling Brazil for 99 per cent of the game but they will come away empty-handed despite giving their all.
Here's the lowdown for the game:
Brazil 2 (Coutinho 90th, Neymar 90th+6) Costa Rica 0
2. THE WOW MOMENT
Brazil star Neymar began sobbing inconsolably the moment the final whistle sounded and you would have thought he had either won the World Cup or been eliminated.
The PSG man has a bit of a reputation for being a drama queen but to be fair, he had been frustrated all game by decisions not going his way and the eventual result would have been a huge relief to him. The win takes a huge burden off his shoulders.
3. THE TALKING POINT
Neymar again with a dramatic plunge in the penalty area in the 77th minute. Referee Bjorn Kuiper gave the penalty after he judged Neymar to have been fouled but whether it was someone in his ear or the fervent appeals of the Costa Ricans, he opted for a VAR review and then overturned his earlier decision correctly.
A livid Neymar was booked for dissent and this could have been a real sore point for Brazil had they not managed their eventual breakthrough. In hindsight, it looked like a dive and Kuiper deserves credit for not bowing to the constant whining and protesting he got from Neymar all game.
4. THE STAR
Keylor Navas. The Real Madrid goalkeeper almost managed to single-handedly keep his country's World Cup hopes alive with a series of fine saves from the Brazilians in the second half and could do nothing about Brazil's two goals. But it was not to be for the man who had such a fine tournament in Brazil four years ago.
5. WHAT THE RESULT MEANS
Brazil move to the top of Group E on four points with Serbia and Switzerland yet to play their second match. This would have been no more than what Brazil expected at the beginning of the day but after Costa Rica's tenacious resistance a victory seems like something to celebrate.
The Samba Boys will likely go through should Serbia beat Switzerland later. The Costa Ricans, on the other hand, are headed home with no points to show for after two games.