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Brazil 2-0 Peru: Neymar stars as Selecao maintain perfect record
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Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring against Peru during the South American qualification football match
Brazil's Neymar celebrates after scoring against Peru during the South American qualification football match

Neymar scored one and set up another as Brazil maintained their perfect record in CONMEBOL 2022 World Cup qualifying with a 2-0 victory over Peru in Recife on Thursday.

Playing for the first time since Sunday's qualifier against Argentina was controversially suspended mid-game, Selecao netted twice in a lively first half to set up the win.

Brazil's opener came in the 14th minute when Neymar laid off for Everton Ribeiro, who scored the winner in last week's 1-0 triumph in Chile.

Neymar grabbed the second goal five minutes before the break, the Paris Saint-Germain star tapping home from close range as Brazil made it eight wins from eight games on the road to Qatar 2022.

On a night when Argentina's Lionel Messi overtook Pele as the leading goalscorer in South American history with a hat-trick, Neymar's strike took him to 69 for Brazil, moving within eight of the Brazil great.

Both sides had early chances in a lively opening, with Gabriel 'Gabigol' Barbosa having an effort blocked while Gianluca Lapadula shot over for Peru.

Peru goalkeeper Pedro Gallese made a strong save with his left arm as Gerson broke forward, firing on target on his left.

Brazil broke the deadlock in controversial circumstances after Neymar bundled over Anderson Santamaria and raced down the byline to centre for in-form team-mate Ribeiro to side-foot home – Peru's protests fell on deaf ears.

Lucas Paqueta almost doubled Brazil's advantage with a 34th-minute chance, before Neymar scored Selecao's second goal six minutes later.

Danilo passed for Gabigol, whose cutback fell to Ribeiro. The Flamengo midfielder's shot was blocked into Neymar's path for a point-blank finish.

Peru substitute Gabriel Costa's 72nd-minute cross-cum-shot tested Brazil goalkeeper Everton as the depleted hosts, missing several key players unable who were not released by their Premier League clubs, seemed content with the victory.

Veteran Brazil substitute Hulk rounded Gallese late but blasted wide on his preferred left foot.

What does it mean? Brazil on track

Tite's flawless Brazil are on track for Qatar 2022, remaining six points clear of second-placed Argentina in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying standings. Peru have only eight points from nine games, sitting five points behind Ecuador and Colombia in fourth and fifth.

Brazil equals own streak record

Brazil are eight from eight in this qualifying period but have actually won nine consecutive South American qualifiers, which is the equal longest streak in CONMEBOL history. The feat matches the Brazil side that won nine in a row from September 2016 to August 2017. The Selecao have also won all their 22 competitive games in which Neymar has scored.

Peru lose to Brazil… again

Peru have not beaten Brazil in their past 13 matches in South American World Cup qualifying, losing nine games and drawing four.

What's next?

The next international window will see Brazil play away to lowly Venezuela on October 6, while Peru have a crucial home clash with Chile on the same day.


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