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Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
EMPICS Sport Brazil goalscorer Neymar with (left) Casemiro and (right) Douglas Costa.
# Up and Running
Late goals from big names Coutinho and Neymar hand Brazil first win of the tournament
The Barcelona attacker bagged his second of the competition, before their talisman added another against a dogged Costa Rica side.

WORLD CUP CONTENDERS Brazil got their tournament up-and-running thanks to two late goals against hard-working Costa Rica in St Petersburg.

Having dropped points against Switzerland in their opening group game, the five-time winners found two injury-time strikes as Philippe Coutinho scored his second in as many matches, before Neymar doubled their advantage in a 2-0 victory.

Gabriel Jesus had a goal disallowed in the first half, and the Manchester City forward also hit the crossbar after the break.

It looked as though Brazil had earned a penalty when referee Bjorn Kuipers pointed to the spot on 77 minutes, but the Dutchman changed his mind with the help of VAR and gave a free-kick to Costa Rica for a dive from Neymar.

With time running out, however, Barcelona schemer Coutinho popped up to make the breakthrough with substitute Roberto Firmino and Jesus also involved.

And Neymar scored his first of the competition on 97 minutes to make sure of the result. Serbia meet Switzerland in the other Group E game this evening (7pm), while Nigeria face Iceland in Group D at 4pm.

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