Neymar shines for Brazil

Paulinho

Brazil attracted hordes of fans who gathered around the pitch where the team is practising.

Neymar's scintillating goal drew him level with Romario in Brazil's all-time top scorers list as they cruised to a 3-0 win against Austria.

Against Austria, he had no attempt on goal in the opening hour but went down three times following rough challenges by the home side.

The Selecao superstar moved to 55 goals in 85 caps, equaling the record of 1994 World Cup victor Romario.

Russian Federation was a disputed choice when it was handed the World Cup in a closely watched 2010 vote that has since been tainted by bribery charges, and the 2018 tournament takes place against a background of worldwide tensions.

If he lacked conviction in the previous outing and watched his Liverpool counterpart strengthen his case with a goal, then Jesus today looked like a man with a objective.

Brazil have not lost since June 2017, a run of 10 games, and have kept 16 clean sheets in 21 games since Tite took over in June 2016.

The foursome, starting together for the first time, worked superbly in hard conditions on Sunday to break down an Austria side which had beaten Germany only one week earlier.

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Gabriel Jesus should have been penalised for offside when he converted expertly nine minutes before half-time at Vienna's Ernst-Happel-Stadion, but the Manchester City striker's 10th goal in 17 global appearances stood.

"When you are always exchanging passes and moving the ball around, it wears the other team down", said Tite.

Neymar started a game for the first time since injuring his metatarsal in February although he played in the second half of last week's win 2-0 over Croatia when he celebrated his return with a goal.

He also seemed to revel in no longer having to carry the team on his shoulders.

"People talk a lot, I do not know what they are talking about that". "His technical and creative ability is impressive".

The first scare came in the third minute following a late tackle from behind by midfielder Alessandro Schoepf.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.

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