Rio de Janeiro, Thanks to a hat-trick from superstar Neymar, Brazil was able to turn the tide against Peru and win Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying match 4-2 at Estadio Nacional in Lima.
Brazil trailed the hosts after Andre Carrillo opened the scoring in the fifth minute, but they equalized with Neymar’s first goal in the 27th, according to Deutsche press agency (dpa).
Peru were ahead once more when Renato Tapia scored three minutes into the second half, but Brazil came out on top after goals from Neymar in the 82nd and 94th minutes and another from Richelson in the 65th minute.
Peruvian ex-Bundesliga player Carlos Zambrano was red-carded towards the end of the game.
The previous day Peruvian strikers Raul Ruidiaz and Alex Valera had tested positive to the novel coronavirus but did not show serious symptoms.
With 64 goals, Neymar passed super striker Ronaldo in the Brazilian national team’s all-time scoring tally and is now behind legend of the sport Pele, who tops the list with 77 goals.
Earlier on Tuesday, Argentina won their second qualifying match for the 2022 football World Cup, defeating Bolivia 2-1 in La Paz.
The hosts initially appeared to have an advantage in the high-altitude match – at 3,650 metres above sea level – and took the lead with a Marcelo Martins goal at 24 minutes.
Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez then equalized moments before the end of the first half.
Joaquin Correa secured the win for the Albiceleste with a goal in the 79th minute.
Argentina won their first qualifying match against Ecuador last week 1-0, while Bolivia were trounced 5-0 by five-time world champions Brazil.
The start of the South American qualifying campaign for the 2022 finals in Qatar was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Games are played behind closed doors and amid strict safety and hygiene rules as the region is currently one of the pandemic hotspots.
Following the death of association president Cesar Salinas, Bolivian football is being rattled by internal conflicts. Several clubs have not released their players, while national coach Cesar Farias has been accused of corruption.
Source: Bahrain News Agency