Brazil, with a goal and an assist from Neymar, achieved a soothing 2-0 victory against Ecuador on Friday, extending its advantage as leader of the qualifying rounds for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, in the midst of an extra-sports storm.
It took Canarinha horrors to find a crack in the wall of the Ecuadorian team until in the 65th minute Richarlison scored with a shot full of rage, from Neymar.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker was not comfortable during the match due to the strong and rigid marking of the Ecuadorians, but his was the second goal of the night, from a penalty, in the 94th minute.
The triumph allows the five-time world champion to continue her spectacular start in these South American qualifiers. Five games, five wins and the undisputed leader.
Ecuador resisted vigorously throughout the first half, but was deflated in the second. Their goalkeeper, Alexander Domínguez, avoided a win at the Beira-Rio stadium in Porto Alegre.
However, Brazil is more leader in the qualifying rounds, with 15 points, four more than Argentina, which tied at home against Chile; and six above Ecuador.
Those of Tite began stunned, but they knew how to react in the second part.
Too many extra-sports problems: the new complaint for sexual assault against Neymar revealed by Nike, discussions in the locker room about the organization of the Copa América in Brazil in the midst of the pandemic and, finally, the alleged wear and tear of Tite with the Confederation leadership Brazilian Soccer (CBF).
The lace came this Friday with a complaint this time against the president of the CBF, Rogerio Caboclo, accused of moral and sexual harassment by a worker of the entity.
Little was said about football since the start of the concentration and little football was seen on the Beira-Rio pitch. Brazil seemed disconnected, without ideas with Casemiro, Fred and Lucas Paquetá in the middle.
Gabigol, who returned to start with the national team five years later, was willful, he ran into space. The problem was that the ball did not reach the rival area clearly.
The clearest opportunity the Flamengo striker had in the first half was ruined by Domínguez. In another he kicked the air.
La Canarinha dominated, although Gustavo Alfaro’s painting did not seem to be uncomfortable. It closed well and tied Neymar short, most of the time harshly.
Of the Ecuadorian attack, the best of the qualifying rounds to date, there was no news. Enner Valencia didn’t even smell it.
At the edge of the break, Brazil put one more gear. Gabigol saw his goal well disallowed for offside and Neymar tested Domínguez from afar, who cleared in an unorthodox way.
Shirt 10 gave the scare after an ugly tackle by Jhegson Mendez in midfield. The PSG star, obfuscated, was able to continue without major problems.
In the resumption, Brazil showed another radically different face, more active, faster. Neymar and Richarlison claimed penalties. Neither the referee nor the VAR saw anything.
Tite moved the bench for the first time in the 62nd minute. He took Fred off the field and put in Gabriel Jesus. More dynamite.
Three minutes later he came to know Richarlison after a pass and a recovery from Neymar. The Everton striker went straight to hug his coach. A united wardrobe in the face of adversity on and off the field.
From the goal, Brazil let loose. Gabigol was able to put the second in several opportunities. It wasn’t his day. In the end Neymar sentenced a penalty whistled by the VAR after a foul on Gabriel Jesus.
The former player of Santos and Barcelona missed the maximum penalty at first. But Domínguez went ahead, the VAR saw him and ordered the penalty to be repeated. In the second he did not fail.
2-0, three points and a perfect pass for Brazil in these qualifying rounds, which seems unbeatable.
– Data sheet:
2.Brazil: Alisson; Danilo, Éder Militao, Marquinhos, Alex Sandro; Casemiro, Fred (m.62 Gabriel Jesus), Lucas Paquetá; Neymar, Richarlison (m.91 Fabinho) and Gabigol (m.76 Roberto Firmino).
0. Ecuador: Alexander Domínguez; Ángelo Preciado, Robert Arboleda, Xavier Arreaga, Pervis Estupiñán; Carlos Gruezo, Alan Franco, Jhegson Méndez (m.76 Michael Estrada), Ángel Mena (m.84 Juan Cazares); Ayrton Preciado (m.70 Fidel Martínez) and Enner Valencia (m.76 Jordy Caicedo).
Coach: Gustavo Alfaro
Goals: 1-0, m.65: Richarlison; 2-0, m.94: Neymar.
Referee: Venezuelan Alexis Herrera admonished Ángelo Preciado, Fred, Enner Valencia, Ayrton Preciado, Eder Militao and Alexander Domínguez.
Incidents: match of the seventh day of the South American qualifiers for the Qatar 2022 World Cup, played at the Beira-Rio stadium, in the city of Porto Alegre. There was a minute of silence for the victims of covid-19.