Tim Groothuis, USA Today Sports
Well, not much you can do if you backed Costa Rica +1.5.
You did everything right. You held your ground — while Brazil dominated play (and possession) for 90 full minutes — and entered stoppage time with the score knotted nil-apiece.
As the clock ticked past 90, the timekeeper on the sideline held up the little light-up scoreboard signaling a minimum of six additional minutes to be played. And I use those italics deliberately — as they would come back to bite anyone with a Costa Rica (with the goals) ticket in their hands.
About a minute into stoppage time, Brazil finally was able to find the back of Costa Rica’s net. Marcelo sent a beautiful ball into the box which found Roberto Firmino’s head, who flicked it on to Gabriel Jesus, who then, in turn, flicked it on to Philippe Coutinho — to give the Little Canary a 1-0 lead.
And then an extravagant — and lengthy — Brazilian celebration ensued.
But Costa Rica +1.5 bettors didn’t really mind. After all, they had a goal in their back pockets to spare — and I’m sure they figured, after Brazil scored in stoppage time, that the favorites would be content parking the bus for the remainder of the match (and securing their three points).
It was just a matter of the time running down, now.
And five more minutes would pass — without a goal. This is where things would get, well, moosey.
As the clock now ticked past the 96′ — surpassing the “minimum” of six additional minutes — the refs let the men play on. Surely because of the time Brazil spent celebrating their first goal. But instead of giving Costa Rica more time to try and level the match — they inadvertently gave Brazil more time to extend their lead.
Into the 97th minute, with the game well in hand, Brazil decided to do just that (in fairness … goal differential matters at the World Cup). Douglas Costa would find Neymar on a beautiful cross inside the box, which the No. 10 slotted into the back of the net — and, with that, you could stick a fork in any Costa Rica +1.5 tickets.
As the whistle finally blew (a minute too late for Los Ticos backers), Neymar would sob on the pitch — showing the world what the moment meant to him. And something tells me he wasn’t the only one crying after the result of this match. Yeah, I’m sure a lot of gamblers were crying as well — albeit, not tears of joy.
Zero goals through 90 minutes and change. And then two goals in the final six minutes of stoppage time. It’s alright, guys. Let ’em out. It’s okay.