Brazil's Gabriel Jesus, center, Filipe Luis, left, Roberto Firmino, practice during a training session in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Brazil will face Costa Rica on June 22 in the group E for the soccer World Cup. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)

Gabriel Jesus or Firmino? Brazil's dilemma vs Costa Rica

June 20, 2018 - 4:56 am

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (AP) — The liveliest selection debate swirling around Brazil's national team heading into the World Cup has become more intense one game into the tournament.

Should it be Gabriel Jesus or Roberto Firmino in the lone-striker role?

A favorite of Tite's since the coach took charge in June 2016, the 21-year-old Jesus started Brazil's opening group game — a 1-1 draw against Switzerland — but struggled to impose himself.

He made way in the second half, as usual, for Firmino, who made more of an impression in the 11 minutes he had on the field in Rostov and nearly scored a late winner from a header.

While Jesus is coming off a mixed first full season at Manchester City, the 26-year-old Firmino enjoyed the best year of his career for Liverpool and was one of the team's key figures in its run to the Champions League final.

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