Brazil began their 2026 World Cup Qualifiers in beautiful style as they crushed Bolivia 5-1 on Friday night. Neymar scored a beautiful brace for the Selecao. In doing so, he surpassed the late Pele to turn into his nation’s all-time main purpose scorer.
Of their first recreation beneath interim head coach Fernando Diniz, the hosts received off to an ideal begin. They received a penalty within the 15th minute.
Nonetheless, Neymar’s feeble effort was saved by Bolivian goalkeeper Guillermo Viscarra because the guests survived.
But, within the 24th minute, Brazil received their opening purpose. Actual Madrid winger Rodrygo slotted in from shut vary. After Raphinha’s preliminary shot was saved by Viscarra, Bolivia didn’t clear the ball. Rodrygo was the quickest to react and received his reward.
The Selecao began the second half with two quickfire targets from Raphinha and Rodrygo as they cruised to a 3-0 lead by the 51st minute.
It was at all times going to take a monumental effort for the guests towards the opposition on the day. But, regardless of a reputable first half, the guests crumbled beneath strain after the restart.
Neymar is an icon for Brazil
The house crowd went into elation within the 61st minute when Neymar thumped house a unfastened ball within the field.
This was the 31-year-old’s 78th purpose for his nation, as he went previous Pele to steer the goalscoring charts for the enduring footballing nation. Bolivia did seize a solitary comfort within the 78th minute by Victor Abrego earlier than Neymar accomplished the demolition together with his second of the night time deep into stoppage time.
The consequence encompassed a historic night time for Neymar who later stated, “I by no means imagined reaching this report. I need to say that I’m not a greater participant than Pele. I at all times wished to make my very own story, write my identify within the historical past of Brazilian soccer and the nationwide workforce. And right now I did that.”
Brazil tackle Peru of their subsequent encounter whereas Bolivia host reigning World Champions Argentina.
Picture credit score: IMAGO / Xinhua