What might the No. 1 South American World Cup team and No. 2 in FIFA’s world rankings really need right now? What about another assailant? Brazil found one in Raphinha, who scored two goals in his debut appearance for the senior men’s squad, leading Brazil to a 4-1 triumph over Uruguay.
The encounter between the two traditional South American giants was billed as the highlight of Thursday’s schedule, with Uruguay sending out major names Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani in an attempt to take points at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus. The visitors, however, were comprehensively overwhelmed by the Brazilians’ talent, speed, and fluidity, whose assaults were frequently artistically outstanding.
Brazil had scarcely broken a sweat when it went ahead 2-0 after 18 minutes. Neymar first grabbed onto a floating ball over the top into the box. He did his magic, finding a gap between the defenders on the goal line to give the team a 1-0 lead.
Raphinha then scored two goals: the first was a straightforward putback at the far post (18th minute), while the second (58th minute) concluded a sweeping attacking play that began far beyond Brazil’s own penalty area. Brazil was on the opposite end of the field in five passes, and Neymar supplied Raphinha in stride, and he completed the rest with his finish.
Uruguay’s Luarez scored on a set piece to make it 3-1, only for Brazil replacement Gabriel Barbosa to score on a wonderful assist from Neymar, who placed the ball on his head, but a VAR check was required to ensure it wasn’t offside.
First-place Brazil (10-0-1, 31 points) is moving closer to mathematically earning a spot in the Qatar World Cup in 2022. Meanwhile, Uruguay is fighting for one of the top four spots or a fifth-place finish, which would secure a spot in a play-in series.