With Neymar injured, Richarlison will score for Brazil at the World Cup ( News Hawaii )

LUSAIL, Qatar — With Neymar limping off the field with an ankle injury, Richarlison came through for the “Seleção”.

A spectacular acrobatic kick was followed by an easy tap-in from close range as Richarlison scored both goals in Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Serbia on Thursday at the World Cup.

After the match, the Tottenham striker learned the extent of Neymar’s injury.

“It is very important for us to have him at 100% for that match,” said Richarlison, whose first goal came after the build-up started by Neymar. “I’m going to go to the hotel and see what he’s doing.”

Brazil team doctor Roderick Lasmar said Neymar sprained his right ankle. He said he would speculate whether he would be available to play in the next match against Switzerland on Monday.

“We put a prayer in her when she was on the bench and then in physiotherapy,” said Lasmar. “The test is not already scheduled, but we will decide if it is needed. He will be under observation. We will know more tomorrow. “

Neymar was also injured in the 2014 World Cup. Playing at home in Brazil, his tournament ended in the quarterfinals against Colombia with a back injury when he had to be taken off the field in bed. Brazil ended up losing to Germany 7-1 in the semifinals.

Neymar was fouled nine times in the match against Serbia, four more than any other player so far this year at the World Cup. But while Neymar was taking care, the opposite defense could not stop Richarlison.

He had his back to goal with some touch to use the ball in the air near the penalty spot, then spun around and jumped to the ground before knocking the ball into the net with his right foot in the 73rd minute.

“My childhood dream has come true,” said Richarlison, who is playing in his first World Cup. “We knew it was going to be difficult to get past them. I’m used to playing against defensive teams like that in England. I wanted the opportunities I had and I did.”

Brazil struggled past the Serbian defense until Richarlison scored from close range in the 62nd. Vinícius Júnior was present at both goals.

Neymar, seeking his first title with Brazil, remained on 75 goals for the national team, two shy of Pela’s scoring record.

He was untrained several times and sprained his right ankle in half. He was crying for the bench after being substituted in the 79th and limping out of the race.

The Brazil coach Tite started with an attack of the squad which included four forwards – Neymar, Vinícius Júnior, Raphinha and Richarlison. Attacking midfielder Lucas Paquetá played alongside Casemiro, the only defensive midfielder.

But Serbia had more players at the back and was able to keep Brazil from creating many meaningful opportunities. Neymar tried to control the pace, but the effort was wasted. He, Vinícius Júnior and Raphinha all failed in the early stages of the day.

Brazil’s main chance before Richarlison’s opening goal had been from Alex Sandro who hit the post in the 60th, with a low long shot. Neymar had the best chances with a free kick in the 50th and a shot from the penalty spot in the 55th.

Serbia had their wrong results for the match.

“We have three key players who are injured – it’s too much for us,” said Serbia coach Dragan Stojković. “We are not Brazil with 200 million people. We are a very small country.”

At the age of 30, Neymar reached his third World Cup as the main attraction of Brazil. He helped the “Seleção” win the 2013 Confederations Cup and his first Olympic gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, but he is yet to win a major title with the national team.

Brazil, trying to win its first World Cup in two decades, is unbeaten in its last 20 open games, with 17 victories. He finished first in his group in the last 10 World Cups.


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