Esporte Brazil and Neymar shine in win against Peru
Neymar was the key figure at the Arena Pernambuco, assisting Everton Ribeiro in the 14th minute and scoring his own from close range in the 40th. But he was still upset at the end of the match, despite overtaking Romário as the Seleção’s top goal scorer in World Cup qualifiers, with 12 goals.
“I don’t know what else I need to do with this shirt for people to respect Neymar,” he said. Local media accused the striker of being out of shape in the 1-0 win at Chile last week, which apparently stimulated him to walk around shirtless during trainings to show he is fit.
Neymar received a yellow card near the end of the match, which suspends him for the next round of qualifiers at Venezuela.
Brazil showed against Peru it could still field a competitive team despite being without 10 players who were instructed by their clubs not to travel to South America for the international window. Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino (Liverpool); Ederson, Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City); Thiago Silva (Chelsea); Fred (Manchester United); Richarlison (Everton), Raphinha (Leeds), Claudinho and Malcom (Zenit) were not available to the Seleção.
Brazil coach Tite tested defender Lucas Verissimo, midfielders Bruno Guimaraes, Gerson and Everton Ribeiro, and strikers Gabriel Barbosa, Hulk and Matheus Cunha against Peru.
Tite said earlier this week he will call Premier League players for the following rounds of World Cup qualifiers against Venezuela, Colombia and Uruguay. He anticipated he will have “a lot of headaches” to decide who will come.
The defeat at Brazil leaves Peru in seventh place, with eight points.
Also on Thursday, Uruguay managed to get a last-minute home win against Ecuador which was key for its hopes to qualify for the World Cup. The header by Gastón Pereiro in stoppage time allowed Uruguay to get to 15 points and take Ecuador’s third place on the table. The Ecuadorians remain with 13 points, in fourth, also well positioned to go to Qatar next year.
Fifth-place Colombia also got an important 3-1 home victory against Chile in a great performance by striker Miguel Borja. He scored the first from the spot in the 19th minute and added another one minute later. Chile reduced the deficit in the 56th minute with Jean Menezes, but Luis Diaz added the final goal for Colombia in the 74th minute.
Also on Thursday, sixth-place Paraguay beat Venezuela 2-1. The hosts scored with David Martinez and Alejandro Romero in the 7th and 46th minutes. The visitors netted their only goal in the 90th minute with Jhon Chancellor. Venezuela is on the bottom of the table with four points.