Richarlison and Neymar scored in the second half to ensure the perfect record for Brazil in the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
Brazil defeated Ecuador 2-0 to remain at the top of the 10-team World Cup qualifying group. Richarlison and Neymar scored in the second half as Brazil maintained their perfect record. The match had some drama in the closing stages. Despite dominating the game, the Selecao were wasteful in front of the goal. Neymar was the best player in the match for Brazil.
Everton striker Richarlison broke the deadlock in the 66th minute. Neymar laid the ball to Richarlison at the left side of the penalty area. The 24-year-old struck a powerful left-footed shot past Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Dominoguez at the near past. It was Richarlison’s 9th goal for the national team.
Neymar sealed the match from the penalty spot in the 94th minute after some drama. Gabriel Jesus got fouled by Ecuador’s Ayrton Preciado. Initially, the referee denied Brazil’s claim for a penalty but after the VAR intervention, the referee pointed to the spot. Neymar’s weak penalty kick was comfortably saved by Alexander Dominguez.
After the save, Dominguez released the ball. Ecuador went on a counterattack. The referee blew his whistle to stop the match. However, he told the Brazil team to retake the penalty. The goalkeeper moved away from the goal line before Neymar took the kick. The PSG striker converted the spot-kick in the second attempt to seal the three points.
Brazil dominated as they attempted 13 shots on target compared to Ecuador’s zero. Striker Gabriel Barbosa who was making his first international start in five years had a goal disallowed for off-side three minutes from the interval.
The win helped Brazil to 15 points. They are four points ahead of Argentina, who drew 1-1 to Chile Ecuador third with nine points. The top four teams in the table automatically go to Qatar 2022 and the fifth-placed team will play an inter-continental play-off match.
Brazil will next take on Paraguay at Asuncion on June 8th. Ecuador will face Peru on the same day.