Fortaleza (Brazil), Oct 14 (IANS) Midfielder Willian scored two first-half goals as Brazil secured the first win of their 2018 World Cup football qualifying campaign against Venezuela. Christian Santos pulled a goal back before veteran striker Ricardo Oliveira sealed a 3-1 victory for the five-time World Cup winners here on Tuesday, reports Xinhua. 

Just five days after a 0-2 defeat to Chile in their opening South American zone qualifier, Brazil were far from convincing in the sapping Fortaleza heat. But they will take heart from a performance that at least saw them attempt to return to their attacking instincts. Coach Dunga will also be relieved to recall his captain and talisman Neymar for Brazil’s next outing against Argentina in Buenos Aires on November 13. 

Neymar has missed Brazil’s last four competitive matches after his sending off against Colombia in the Copa America tournament in June. It took only a minute for Brazil to open the scoring in front of a vocal crowd at the Castelao Arena. Luiz Gustavo cut out an errant Venezuelan pass and the ball fell to Willian, who beat his marker before firing an unstoppable 20-yard shot past Alain Baroja. Brazil dominated possession but were unable to capitalise until just before half time. Again it was Willian who inflicted the damage. 

Filipe Luis started the move by beating two defenders on the left flank before squaring the ball to the top of the penalty box. Oscar intelligently lets the ball pass between his legs and Willian needed only one touch before driving a fizzing shot into the top corner. Brazil continued to dictate terms after the interval. But Santos left the home fans in stunned silence just beyond the hour mark when, against the run of play, he struck from close range after Oswaldo Vizcarrondo’s headed pass. The hosts regained their two-goal buffer via Ricardo Oliveira’s header at the far post after Fernando Amorebieta failed to clear a Douglas Costa cross. 

Meanwhile, Argentina are still searching for their first win of the qualifying campaign after a 0-0 draw against Paraguay in Asuncion. Gerardo Martino’s side looked toothless in attack without their injured four-time world footballer of the year award winner Lionel Messi. 

In other South American zone qualifiers on Tuesday, Ecuador won 2-0 at home against Bolivia and Uruguay routed Columbia 3-0 in Montevideo.

  • SHARE
    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

    Related Posts

    Ashes 2017/18: David Warner is His Own Man if Runs Keep Coming – Darren...

    Australia vice-captain David Warner turned on the “banter mode” switch recently when asked about his approach for the upcoming Ashes series. He candidly stated that...

    IND vs NZ 2017: It Will Be a Huge Challenge For All The Batters...

    India's recent struggles against the likes of Mohammad Amir and Jason Behrendorff has exposed their issues against left-arm pacers. India's top three batsmen - Shikhar...

    SA vs BAN 2017: Thigh Injury Ends Tamim Iqbal’s South Africa Tour

    The beleaguered Bangladesh side has suffered yet another big injury blow, as their star opener, Tamim Iqbal has been out of the remainder of the...

    PAK vs SL 2017, 4th ODI: We Have to Take Responsibility as a Batting...

    With every passing game, Sri Lanka is discovering a new low, and the fourth One-Day International against Pakistan on Friday (October 20) was not...

    ZIM vs WI 2017, 1st Test: Jason Holder Expecting ‘Some Reverse Swing’ in Bulawayo’s...

    With the dry track at Bulawayo's Queens Sports Club likely to assist the spinners, Windies is relying on the reverse swing to make inroads in...