Friday 22 June 2018, 15:57

Dramatic wins for Brazil, Swiss as Nigeria stay alive

  • Brazil and Switzerland both won in the final minutes

  • Costa Rica eliminated, Nigeria live to fight another day

  • BRA 2-0 CRC | NGA 2-0 ISL | SRB 1-2 SUI

DAY REPLAYED - Brazil and Switzerland left it late to claim victory and overcome defiant performances from Costa Rica and Serbia. In the process, Costa Rica became the fifth team to be knocked out of the tournament, while their three rivals in Group E will fight it out for the two available places in the Round of 16 at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

Los Ticos' resilient display, featuring a sensational performance by Keylor Navas, looked like it was going to be enough to keep Brazil at bay until Philippe Coutinho broke the deadlock in the first minute of stoppage time. Neymar, who ended the match in tears, went on to make it 2-0. Later in the day, goals from Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri were enough to give Switzerland victory over Serbia, who started strongly but faded after taking the lead. Die Nati’s fate will be in their own hands going into the final group matches.

In the day’s second clash, the remaining match of the second round of fixtures in Group D, Nigeria defeated Iceland by two goals to nil to remain in with a chance of qualifying for the Round of 16. In doing so, they gave renewed hope to Argentina, who now have every chance of advancing from the group stage providing they can overcome the Super Eagles next Tuesday. Having put two goals past La Albiceleste back in 2014, Ahmed Musa repeated the trick against Iceland and thereby became the second African player to score two braces at the World Cup. The first was Roger Milla, who achieved the feat at Italy 1990.

Did you know? Out of the two goals registered today in stoppage time by Brazil, the second – scored by Neymar in the seventh minute of injury time – was the latest strike ever recorded in regulation time at a FIFA World Cup. The record was previous held jointly by four goals, each scored in the fifth minute of stoppages.

Tomorrow’s matches Saturday, 23 June Belgium-Tunisia, Group G, Moscow (Spartak Stadium) Korea Republic-Mexico, Group F, Rostov-on-Don Germany-Sweden, Group F, Sochi

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