Revolution

World Cup Day 9: Groups D and E tighten up, Costa Rica out

(Mike Kireev/NurPhoto)

Couldn't keep up with the goings-on in Russia? BostonSportsJournal.com has you covered with all the highlights in quickie form, complete with BSJ insight and analysis.

FOUR THOUGHTS FROM FRIDAY'S ACTION

Costa Rica bows out, but not without a fight; Brazil gets first W: Despite incredible defending, despite stout goalkeeping, Costa Rica is out of the '18 World Cup following a 2-0 defeat to five-time world champion Brazil. The South American side had a solid percentage of possession in the first half, but didn't have the ability to break Los Ticos down; in fact, it was Costa Rica which had the first true attempt at goal. But from the start of the second half, the Brazilians pounded away at Keylor Navas, who thoroughly flummoxed Neymar and Co. at every turn. VAR also denied Brazil of a 78th-minute penalty: Costa Rica defender Giancarlo Gonzales had barely touched Neymar, who then oversold a flail. Referee Bjorn Kuipers had originally pointed to the spot, but went to video review and overturned it. Yet mere seconds into second-half stoppage time, Brazil finally got the best of Navas as Phillipe Coutinho slotted through his legs on beautiful build-up. Neymar added the dagger six minutes later to wrap it up.

Super Eagles take flight in Volgograd: It was the scoreline -- if not the scoreline, the result -- Argentina wanted. Ahmed Musa's brace gave Nigeria its first win at the World Cup, and at the same time put Iceland in a spot of bother.