Brazilians heave sigh of relief with World Cup win

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Brazilian soccer fans celebrate their team's first goal as they watch a live telecast of their team's World Cup match against Costa Rica in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian soccer fans celebrate their team's first goal as they watch a live telecast of their team's World Cup match against Costa Rica in Rio de Janeiro. (Photo: AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilians breathed a sigh of relief Friday after the national team scored two stoppage time goals to beat Costa Rica 2-0 at the World Cup, bringing it closer to a berth in the round of 16.

With yellow-and-green T-shirts and Brazilian flags draped over their shoulders, thousands of people across Latin America's biggest country gathered in bars, restaurants, coffee shops and public squares to watch the game on large TV screens.

They went wild when Philippe Coutinho and Neymar scored Brazil's two goals with only a few minutes left in the game.

The narrow streets, homes and storefronts of Rio's Alemao complex of slums, one of the city's largest, were decorated with Brazilian flags and small yellow and green banners.

Sipping beer with a group of friends and residents at one bar, Daisy Gouveia shouted and cheered when Brazil scores its first goal.

A Brazilian soccer fan celebrates his team's first goal as they watch a live telecast of their team's World Cup match against Costa Rica, at the bus station in Brasilia. Photo/AP
A Brazilian soccer fan celebrates his team's first goal as they watch a live telecast of their team's World Cup match against Costa Rica, at the bus station in Brasilia. Photo/AP

"My heart was beating very quickly during the first half," Gouveia, who is studying for her high school diploma, said. "But in the second half Brazil started playing well and went on to score."

At the same bar, motorbike taxi driver Marcio de Souza said he was elated with the result.

"The match was wonderful. The Costa Ricans blocked us for a while but Brazil was better and clinched the victory, bringing happiness to all Brazilians."

Nearby, a group of friends gathered around a table in front of a flag-decorated house where coffee and cake was being served as they watched the match. For a while several of them complained that Brazil wasn't playing well, but when the first goal was scored the hope of being world champions emerged in their enthusiastic shouts and cheers.

"It is difficult to say who will win the World Cup," slum resident Leandro de Castro said. "The other teams are also very good, so it will be difficult. But I think we can get there and win the World Cup."

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