October 15, (THEWILL) – Brazil returned to winning ways on Thursday with a 4-1 drubbing of Uruguay at the Arena da Amazonia, Brazil.
The five-time world champions took a step closer to qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The Selecao, whose perfect qualifying record came to an end with a 0-0 draw in Colombia on Sunday, raced to a two-goal lead against a ragged Uruguay side in just 18 minutes, thanks to goals from Neymar and Raphinha, who was making his first international start.
Raphinha doubled his tally in the 58th minute as Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera did his best to keep the score from getting any worse in Manaus.
Luis Suarez’s 77th-minute free-kick meant that Brazil, who had gone six qualifiers without conceding a goal and nine in home World Cup qualifying games, had conceded twice in their last three games. Brazil’s fourth goal came late in the game from Gabriel ‘Gabigold Barbosa.
In the 10th minute, Neymar scored after chesting down Fred’s lofted ball into the box, getting past Muslera and drilling home from a tight angle past Sebastian Coates on the line.
Raphinha made history by becoming the first Leeds United player to score for the South American giants, scoring after Neymar’s shot was deflected into his path by Diego Godin and Muslera.
In the 34th minute, Brazil should have had a third goal when Neymar and Raphinha both took too many touches inside the box and failed to shoot.
After the break, Muslera kept Uruguay in the game by denying Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus twice in a row, as well as Raphinha.
Before Brazil added a third, Edinson Cavani, who started alongside Uruguay’s all-time leading scorer Luis Suarez, had a goal disallowed for offside in the 56th minute.
Raphinha scored his second, capping off a quick counter-attack with a shot off the post from Neymar’s release as the clock approached the hour.
Muslera made two excellent saves to deny substitute Barbosa, before Suarez scored a consolation goal with a free-kick into the bottom corner, his 65th international goal.
Barbosa scored after a VAR review, heading in a cross from Neymar to make it two goals in three international appearances.
After 11 games, Brazil maintains a six-point lead over Argentina. The Selecao are 15 points ahead of Uruguay in fifth place, with six games remaining, putting Tite’s Brazil in a position to qualify for the World Cup. Uruguay leads Chile by three points in sixth place, with the top four teams qualifying automatically for Qatar and the fifth team having to compete in a play-off.
Despite La Celeste coach Oscar Tabarez starting Suarez alongside Cavani for the first time since the Copa America, Uruguay were outclassed by Brazil throughout, with the hosts dominating shots 22-5 and shots on target 13-3. The defeat comes after a 3-0 loss to Argentina on Sunday.