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FIFA World Cup 2018: Neymar needs more time, says Brazil coach Tite

The Costa Rica game was just Neymar's fourth game since returning from three and a half months out with a fractured metatarsal at the end of last season.

Published: 23rd June 2018 12:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd June 2018 12:43 AM   |  A+A-

Brazil's Neymar, right, exercises as Brazil head coach Tite instructs players during Brazil's official training. (AP)

By AFP

SAINT PETERSBURG: Brazil coach Tite has said Neymar will need time to find his best form at the World Cup after he scored in a 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday. 

Neymar played the full match at the Saint Petersburg Stadium and saved his best until the 96th minute, adding a second goal after Philippe Coutinho had broken the deadlock five minutes earlier. 

It was only Neymar's fourth game since returning from three and a half months out with a fractured metatarsal at the end of last season. 

"He is resuming a process," Tite said. "He played the full match. He is a human being, he needs some time to resume his high standard. Before then there is a team that has to be strong and not depend on him." 

Neymar had been denied a penalty after referee Bjorn Kuipers decided to reverse his initial decision following a consultation with the video assistant. 

The relief was palpable when Coutinho finally found the net and Tite could not hide his delight as he tripped over while running onto the field.

"I think I kind of pulled a muscle!" Tite said. "I'm limping now after the celebration. We were a bit over-excited."

Costa Rica's hopes of progress from Group E, meanwhile, are over and coach Oscar Ramirez defended his team's ultra-defensive tactics. 

"I don't know what else we could have done," Ramirez said. 

"What we did I think was perfect. You have to think we were playing against the second best team in the world. They have great players. 

"Considering what I have at my disposal and what they have, I think it is reasonable what we did."



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