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World Cup Matchday 9: Live Commentary

Friday’s theme at the 2018 FIFA World Cup is redemption for several teams as they look to bounce back in their respective second group stage matches.

Kicking off the day is Brazil’s clash with Costa Rica in St. Petersburg. After getting banged up in their 1-1 draw with Switzerland, playmaking forward Neymar looks ready to go for Brazil. Willian and Gabriel Jesus also start for Tite’s men against a stubborn Costa Rica defense. Costa Rica will look to find the back of the net for the first time this tournament. Johan Venegas, Marco Urena, and Bryan Ruiz headline the Ticos attack.

Our second match sees Nigeria seek their first points in Russia against Iceland. The Nigerians fell 2-0 to Croatia in their opener and will look for consistency offensively in this one. Alex Iwobi and Victor Moses are two dangerous playmakers for Nigeria. Iceland defended proudly against Argentina in their 1-1 draw last Saturday, and will try to do the same against a pace-led Nigerian attack. Gylfi Sigurdsson and Alfred Finnbogason star up front for Iceland.

The day wraps up with Serbia’s date with Switzerland in Kaliningrad. Aleksandar Kolarov’s free kick saved the Serbs in their opener as they defeated Costa Rica 1-0. Now they will deal with a pressure filled Swiss side who will look to pester them from the opening whistle. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Dusan Tadic will pull the strings offensively for Serbia. Xherdan Shaqiri and Steven Zuber will look to counter for the Swiss who stole a point from Brazil in their opener.

The SBI Editorial Staff will be on hand all day long providing live commentary of the matches. Feel free to jump in the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Enjoy the action.

Comments

  1. VAR comes into play to look over a penalty decision for a potential foul against Neymar, but the referee upholds his decision: No penalty

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  2. NEYMAR JUST WIDE! So close from the Brazil star, who curls his shot just past the top right corner of the goal in the 72nd minute.

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  3. ANOTHER SAVE FROM NAVAS!The Costa Rican goalkeeper has been incredible so far. This time, he stops a rocket of a Coutinho shot and holds on. Single-handedly keeping Costa Rica alive.

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  4. OFF THE BAR! Gabriel Jesus fires a shot off the crossbar before Coutinho forces a big save out of Navas. Brazil turning it on now.

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  5. SAVE NAVAS! After punching away the initial cross, Navas is called into action again is he keeps out a close-range Neymar shot in the 48th minute.

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  6. I don’t see Neymar being targeted. He holds on to the ball too long and takes a dive every chance he gets. I’m willing to bet most of injuries come from the awkward landings.

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  7. HALFTIME: Goalless so far, but VERY physical. Neymar a target once again but no real incident quite yet. Both teams with chances, but not much there yet.

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  8. Big chance for Brazil but Navas comes out to slide it away. Ball over the top for Neymar frees the PSG star but Navas comes out and pokes it away. Great work from the Costa Rica keeper.

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  9. GOAL GABRIEL JESUS but he’s offside! Marcelo’s shot goes through the Ticos defense and right to Jesus, who is a step offside.

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  10. Second straight game that Neymar is being targeted in a big way. Hacked down every time he gets the ball. Have to wonder if officials will do anything about it any time soon.

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  11. Chance for Costa Rica! Borges with a first-time shot from near the penalty spot, but it’s wide. Good look for Los Ticos.

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