Brazil beat Cameroon 1-0 in a friendly on Tuesday despite losing captain Neymar to injury after seven minutes, as Richarlison’s goal made it six wins and six clean sheets for Tite’s side since the World Cup. Brazil took some time to recover from Neymar’s departure after the Paris St Germain striker limped off with what looked like a groin strain, but his replacement Richarlison got the game’s only goal with a superb header from a corner a minute before halftime.
A slew of halftime substitutions led to a more open game in the second half as Brazil gradually took control. Substitute Gabriel Jesus was unlucky not to double the lead after 53 minutes when he hit the post from outside the box with the goalkeeper stranded and Artur saw his 25-metre drive smack the top of the bar.
Allan also had two good chances to make the scoreline more representative of the action, but Cameroon keeper Fabrice Ondoa was in fine form after coming on at halftime.
“In our last game I had a chance but unfortunately didn’t score,” Everton’s Richarlison told reporters. “Today I was able to concentrate better, get a goal and help the team.” “Tite asked us to play more openly, to switch places with Willian. We needed movement to confuse their central defenders. It worked, we created spaces and had chances to score.”
The win was Brazil’s sixth in succession since they were knocked out the World Cup by Belgium in July. The result continued Clarence Seedorf’s difficult start as Cameroon coach, with his team having recorded one win his first five games having scored only two goals.
Neymar says injury not serious
Brazil striker Neymar limped out of their 1-0 friendly win over Cameroon on Tuesday but later calmed fears his injury might be serious with a message confirming the problem was not something he was unduly concerned about. The Paris St-Germain player was substituted after tweaking his groin as he shot at goal with seven minutes gone in the international match at Milton Keynes in England.
Team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar told reporters that while a scan was needed to confirm the exact diagnosis, he did not think the injury to Neymar’s adductor muscle would keep him out long and Neymar confirmed that early diagnosis.
“Thanks to everyone who sent me messages wishing me a quick recovery, I don’t think it’s anything serious,” Neymar wrote on Instagram. “We ended the year happy with the work we’ve done up until now, these last games were important to help us recover after the setback that was the World Cup,” Neymar added. “We remain strong, focused and looking to always get better.”
Neymar’s injury was not the only concern for PSG on Tuesday with his club strike partner Kylian Mbappe also withdrawn before halftime in France’s 1-0 friendly win against Uruguay. The forward fell awkwardly on his right shoulder after a challenge from Uruguay goalkeeper Marin Campana.