Brazil survived a real scare as stoppage-time goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar earned the five-time champions a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in Saint Petersburg.
Tite's Selecao looked to be enduring another day of frustration as Los Ticos' rearguard kept them at bay, before the VAR system overturned a penalty decision given in Neymar's favour following a tussle with Giancarlo Gonzalez 11 minutes from time.
Costa Rica had thought they had escaped to earn a famous draw but were undone by two goals at the death.
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The result sees Brazil move to the top of Group E on four points ahead of Serbia's clash with Switzerland later this evening.
Tite and Co will now turn their attention to Wednesday's final group clash with Serbia in Moscow while Costa Rica sign off against Switzerland in Nizhny Novgorod.
Coutinho takes centre stage but rusty Neymar will come good. A fourth World Cup game without a win and some major criticism seemed to be the order of the day for Brazil - until Coutinho intervened at the death. The Barca man has been his country's talisman so far in Russia, with Neymar showing signs of rustiness despite his goal. The PSG forward could well play his way into form as the tournament progresses and Brazil are fortunate to have other match winners in the meantime. They looked in real trouble when the VAR system overturned the penalty award, but they will now head into the Serbia clash in buoyant mood and confident they will continue the country's run of qualifying from every group stage since 1966.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Philippe Coutinho (Brazil). Followed up his sensational strike in the draw with Switzerland with the crucial opener. The ex-Liverpool playmaker grew in influence in a much-improved second half and tested Keylor Navas on a couple of occasions before finally breaking the deadlock.
BRAZIL: Alisson 6, Fágner 6, Thiago Silva 7, Miranda 7, Marcelo 7, Coutinho 8, Casemiro 7, Paulinho 7, Willian 5, Gabriel Jesús 6, Neymar 7. Subs: Douglas Costa 7, Firmino 7, Fernadinho n/a.
COSTA RICA: Navas 7, Gamboa 7, Acosta 7, González 6, Duarte 7, Oviedo 7, Venegas 7, Guzmán 7, Borges 6, Bryan Ruiz 6, Ureña 6. Subs: Bolanos 6, Calvo 6, Tejeda n/a.
13' - COSTA RICA CHANCE! Gamboa motors to the right byline and cuts it back brilliantly for Celso Borges, who arrives on cue inside the box but guides his low effort just wide of the far post.
49' - BRAZIL HIT THE BAR! Jesus heads a right-wing cross against the crossbar. Costa Rica can't quite clear their lines and Coutinho sees a goal-bound shot from just inside the box deflect just wide.
56' - BRAZIL CHANCE! Navas brilliantly tips Neymar's first-time shot over the bar after a strong run and cross from Paulinho on the right.
72' - BRAZIL CHANCE! Neymar hides his face in his shirt after seizing upon a mistake by Gamboa, racing clear but somehow failing to hit the target with a right-foot shot.
79' - BRAZIL VAR CONTROVERSY! Costa Rica are furious and they are surrounding the referee. Gonzalez penalised for pulling back Neymar. It will be reviewed by VAR... and the referee has decided not to award the spot kick! Wow!
90+1' - GOAL! Brazil 1-0 Costa Rica. Brazil have nicked it. Coutinho arrives on cue to stab a low shot through Navas' legs after Jesus had initially failed to collect Firmino's knock down.
90+7' - GOAL! Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica. Neymar seals the victory as he guides home Costa's cut back from the right.
Brazil’s second goal was timed at 96:49 – the latest recorded 90th minute goal in a World Cup match since 1966.
Neymar is now the outright third top goalscorer for Brazil, trailing only Pelé (77) and Ronaldo (62).
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