World Cup day nine in a nutshell: Brazil late show as the Switzerland comeback beats Serbia


Philippe Coutinho and Neymar strike for Brazil

Last Updated: 22/06/18 9:32pm

Neymar celebrates with Douglas Costa after scoring Brazil's second goal

Neymar celebrates with Douglas Costa after scoring Brazil’s second goal

We round up Friday’s talking points from Russia, as Brazil leave it late to beat Costa Rica before wins for Nigeria and Switzerland.

Each day during the tournament, we will be pulling together all the big stories and best reaction right here in a nutshell, so you do not miss a thing.

Here are the highlights from day eight at the World Cup…


Brazil 2-0 Costa Rica

Brazil left it late – very late – to see off a stubborn Costa Rica and pick up their first win of the World Cup at the second attempt.

Philippe Coutinho’s shot through the legs of Keylor Navas in injury time gave the five-time World Champions the lead, after Neymar had seen a penalty given by referee Bjorn Kuipers, but then overturned thanks to VAR.

The PSG forward had the last laugh though, finding time to double Brazil’s lead and give them a good shot of reaching the last 16.

Last laugh for Neymar

How fouls and frustration gave way to flair and a final flourish as an emotional Neymar wrapped up Brazil’s win over Costa Rica…

Nigeria 2-0 Iceland

Ahmed Musa scored twice on his return to the starting line-up as Nigeria kept their World Cup knockout hopes alive and dealt Iceland’s chances a blow with a 2-0 win in Volgograd.

The Leicester forward, on loan at CSKA Moscow last season, struck a volleyed opener four minutes after the restart and further repaid boss Gernot Rohr’s faith with a fine second 15 minutes from time.

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Gylfi Sigurdsson looked set to give Iceland a late lifeline when Alfred Finnbogason earned a VAR-awarded penalty but the Everton playmaker ballooned his 83rd-minute effort over the bar.

Serbia 1-2 Switzerland

Xherdan Shaqiri’s 90th-minute goal gave Switzerland a vital 2-1 victory over Serbia in a thrilling World Cup Group E encounter in Kaliningrad.

The Stoke midfielder broke clear over halfway and went through on goal with Serbia at the other end of the pitch, slotting brilliantly under Vladimir Stojkovic after the Swiss had earlier been 1-0 down.

Serbia were fastest out of the traps and went ahead through Aleksandar Mitrovic’s header (5), but could have been further ahead before the break as Dusan Tadic and Dusko Tosic went close.

Switzerland equalised after the break (52) as Granit Xhaka ran onto a loose ball to produce a superb 25-yard drive into the far corner, before Shaqiri’s winner at the death.

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates Switzerland's winner against Serbia

Xherdan Shaqiri celebrates Switzerland’s winner against Serbia

Moment of the day

Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers made one of the bravest decisions we have seen at this tournament, overturning his own penalty award when Neymar went down cheaply under Giancarlo Gonzalez’s challenge.

It looked like it might be the moment for a frustrated Brazil to make a breakthrough, with the score at 0-0 and time running out – but after some conversations with the VAR official, Kuipers went over to watch a replay of the incident, before awarding Costa Rica a free-kick.

Key quotes

We do want to be boring. We’re a football team, we’re not here to fulfil stories or fill pages.

Roberto Martinez on why his Belgium squad ‘seem calm’

What is happening right now is what has happened to the national team over the past four years, unfortunately: anarchy… I see a team that is lost.

Diego Simeone does not hold back on Argentina’s struggles

Tweet of the day

Stat of the day

In the news

Gareth Southgate gave a strong opinion on England’s apparent leaked line-up for Sunday’s game with Panama, saying the British media had to decide whether it wanted to “help the team or not”.

Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland had been photographed holding what appeared to be the team for England’s next game, with Marcus Rashford seemingly chosen ahead of Raheem Sterling in attack.

Southgate also said Dele Alli, who limped off towards the end of the Tunisia game on Monday with a leg complaint, had only a “slim chance” of being fit to face Panama.

A photograph of a note carried by assistant manager Steve Holland (right) was leaked to reporters

A photograph of a note carried by assistant manager Steve Holland (right) was leaked to reporters

The Egyptian FA has ruled out Mohamed Salah leaving the World Cup early despite their elimination – whether or not Liverpool are eager to have him back.

“I have no idea about Liverpool,” said the president of Egypt’s FA, Hany Abo Rida. “But we have our captain Mohamed Salah and under the rules FIFA requires him to be inside his camp and requires him to stay with his team.”

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Writing in Arabic, Salah declared on Twitter: “Everyone in Egypt is together and there is absolutely no disagreement between us. We respect each other and the relationship is great.”

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah will not be leaving the World Cup early, say the Egypt FA

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah will not be leaving the World Cup early, say the Egypt FA

Argentina’s World Cup hopes are hanging by a thread following the 3-0 drubbing by Croatia and one Argentine television show was in no doubt of how grave the situation is.

TyC Sports held a minute’s silence in the aftermath of the Group D defeat, which leaves Argentina relying on other results to qualify for the knockout stages. Their final group game is against Nigeria in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.

Argentinian TV hosts held a minute’s silence after their 3-0 Croatia defeat at World Cup

Argentinian TV hosts held a minute’s silence after their 3-0 Croatia defeat at World Cup

And finally…

Russia deployed a truck to spray roads with vanilla extract outside a World Cup fan zone and stadium on Friday to ward off swarms of gnats at soccer matches in Volgograd.

Volunteers in the southern Russian city also handed out insect repelling wipes to fans to help them fend off bugs that England and Tunisia players could be seen swatting away as they played their opening World Cup group game on Monday.

A flame-coloured truck sprayed a vanilla-based solution onto streets around the stadium from a row of sprinkler hoses.

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