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- Neymar notched up his 78th & 79th goals for the Seleção surpassing Pelé as all-time topscorer
- The Canarinha began their 2026 World Cup Qualifying campaign with a bang in boiling Belém
- Bolivia crashed to a 65th straight away defeat as they lost 5-1
Brazil Player Ratings: Rodrygo and Neymar give Diniz dream start
Ederson 6/10 – Nothing to do all night except pick the ball out the net
Danilo 7/10 – smart pass to create opener and constant attacking threat with little to do the other end
Marquinhos 6/10 – accomplished performance mostly based around build up play, bit slow on goal
Gabriel Magalhães 6.5/10 – suffered crushing blow to ribs early on, battled through and shut out Marcelo Martins before hobbling off late on
Renan Lodi 6.5/10 – worked hard off the ball to make space, accurate passing and crossing.
Casemiro 7.5/10 – Classic Casemiro performance making everything look simple with the ball and unflustered when he had to defend, more touches than any other player on pitch
Bruno Guimarães 8/10 – an intelligent performance, playing short as Diniz demands but switching play when opportunity arose, completed all 49 passes attempted
Neymar 8/10 – missed penalty, tried to break the lines ball carrying which almost worked in 40th minute – finally got his goal after hour mark and added one late on.
Rodrygo 8/10 – alert for the opener and his movement caused issues all night, two well deserved goals and an assist.
Raphinha 8.5/10 – quiet but effective as he positioned himself wide on therigth to cause maximum damage when he received the ball
Richarlison 5.5/10 – the main threat in the box, lively but unable to find a goal missing two big chances – was in tears on the bench.
Caio Henrique N/A
Matheus Cunha N/A
Roger Ibañez N/A
Gabriel Jesus N/A
Bolivia Player Ratings: Viscarra heroics in vain
Guillermo Viscarra 8/10 – 16th minute penalty save was key and backed it up with fantastic string of saves including pick of bunch from Richarlison header in first half.
Diego Medina 6/10 – solid on right, winning most of his duels
Marcelo Suárez 5/10 – tried his best to keep yellow swarm at bay
Adrián Jusino 4/10 – gave away a penalty and was flat-footed on first goal, difficult night for central defender
Jairo Quinteros 6/10 – reduced Richarlison’s effectiveness with strong display
Roberto Fernández 5/10 – unable to keep Raphinha quiet
Diego Bejarano 6.5/10 – robust in the middle, maybe overstepped the mark but stuck to task admirably until subbed off
Boris Céspedes 4.5/10 – a ghost, just 8 touches in his hour on the pitch getting involved in two duels
Gabriel Villamíl 5/10 – moved to right in possession to try and find space, ineffective
Jaume Arrascaita 7/10 – Bolivia’s main source of pace further forward, showed flashes but a thankless task in this system
Marcelo Martins 6.5/10 – captain’s performance trying to hold ball up in front and defended stoutly at set pieces
Luciano Ursino 4.5/10 – failed to win a duel, booked soon after coming on
Héctor Cuellar 5/10 – tried to make it harder for opponents but guilty of easy fouls
Carlos Roca 5.5/10 – acquitted himself adequately
Víctor Abrego 7/10 – fantastic goal, the first for Bolivia since 2004
Jaume Cuellar N/A
Brazil vs Bolivia Match Summary and Highlights
Bolivia began in an ultra-defensive shape and an ultra-aggressive style as they looked to close the spaces and frustrate Brazil. Gustavo Costas’ plan seemed to have backfired when the Verdeamarelha won a penalty inside 15 minutes, a handball by Jusino inside the area gave Neymar a golden chance to break Pelé’s record early. Although he missed the yellow and green wave continued throughout the half and slowly broke down the Verde’s resistance.
At times it felt that Fernando Diniz’s insistence on playing short would play into the hands of his rivals as they couldn’t make possession count. However, the opening goal brought collective relief and the team responded in style.
Na lista dos maiores de todos os tempos! 🔝🔥
— CONMEBOL.com (@CONMEBOL) September 9, 2023
The second half saw the green wall wilt in the blistering heat of Belém, temperatures of 37c with 80% humidity didn’t favour the defending side. Within two minutes they were two goals down as Raphinha cut inside to score, within a blink of an eye it was three when Rodrygo bagged his second.
The much awaiting Neymar goal arrived just after the hour and when Costas had called on three substitutes to try and refresh his tired team. Arriving late in the box the Al-Hilal forward overtook Pelé as the new king in the Canarinha’s scoring charts. His second goal in stoppage time was the icing on the cake. Between Neymar’s brace, the Bolivian substitute Víctor Ábrego scored a fantastic consolation goal late on.
Man of the Match: Raphinha
While much of the build up play came down the left, often through Neymar, the Barcelona man was patient on his wing before exploding into life. His shot forced the saved and defensive rebound that brought about Rodrygo’s first goal. He added a goal himself and was by far the most effective forward in the early stages when the game was well contested. Even in stoppage time he was alert to assist Neymar for his second. If it wasn’t for Vinicius Junior’s injury he wouldn’t even have been in the squad, but the Barcelona man has created a selection headache with this top performance.
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