Saint Petersburg: The kick of Coutinho and Neymar has beat Costa Rica by 2-0 in Saint Petersburg on Friday.
Brazil, the five-time world champion, will aim to get their FIFA World Cup 2018 campaign back on track in their Group E match against the Central American team Costa Rica.
Brazil have topped their group in World Cups since 1982 and are eager to get back to winning ways after drawing 1-1 with Switzerland in their Group E opener. Costa Rica will also look to bounce back from their narrow 0-1 defeat to Serbia.
The Central Americans looked likely to hold on for a hard-earned draw, particularly after Neymar had a penalty award chalked off by referee Bjorn Kuipers after he consulted the Video Assistant Referee.
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.
At the final whistle, Neymar sat down on the grass and wept, with the emotion of victory hitting home after the tense Group E contest at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.
Neymar started despite limping out of training on Tuesday with a hurt ankle, which the Brazilian FA said was sustained as a result of snapping Swiss defenders.
After a ponderous start, Brazil enjoyed a gradual crescendo during the first period but their dominance in possession was not reflected in chances created.
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.
It was a compelling battle. One sumptuous Neymar flick sent the ball flying over Gamboa’s head and later he made an excellent run onto Coutinho’s pass, only to squander the chance with a heavy touch.
Marcelo, Coutinho and Neymar, however, hardly make for the most conscientious combination out wide and when Johan Venegas ran clear down the right, his pullback should have been converted by Celso Borges, who skewed past the post.
Brazil might have had a penalty when Oscar Duarte blocked Paulinho at a corner and Costa Rica rode their luck again after the break, as Neymar, Gabriel Jesus and Coutinho all went close.