'The referee must have been delighted to tell Neymar that it wasn't a penalty' 1 month ago

'The referee must have been delighted to tell Neymar that it wasn't a penalty'

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill has said that match referee Bjorn Kuipers would have been delighted to have told Brazilian forward Neymar that he had not been awarded a penalty in Brazil's 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Friday.

Second-half goals from Philippe Coutinho and Neymar gave Brazil their first win of the group stage after an opening round draw with Switzerland.

However, before Coutinho broke the deadlock in stoppage time, Brazil were denied a penalty when Neymar threw himself to the ground after some slight contact from Costa Rican defender Giancarlo González.

O'Neill said that Kuipers would have been delighted to inform Neymar that he had not won a penalty after he went to the television booth to review the incident with the Video Assistant Referee.

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"I think when he's gone over to VAR he's realised it was a mistake but deep down he would have been delighted on the way back that he's going to be telling Neymar that it's not a penalty," said O'Neill on ITV's post-match show.

"There were some unusual occurrences during the course of the game; number one; there were two referees; Kuipers and Neymar. Really terrific.

O'Neill continued: "Here's him saying to Kuipers do you know who's refereeing this game? It's me, just don't forget that.

"Kuipers had decided do you know what I'm going to referee this game. Keep quiet. Wrap up."