Brazil vs. Croatia - Football Match Report

Brazil vs. Croatia - Football Match Report

Neymar scored a superb individual goal just 24 minutes into his comeback from a metatarsal injury for Brazil against Croatia at Anfield on Sunday.

Joining him on the bench will be Roberto Firmino, who is coming off the back of a fine season with Liverpool but will not start in front of his home stadium.

Brazil, who became the first team to qualify for the World Cup in March, face Austria next Sunday before starting their Group E campaign against Switzerland on 17 June.

Tite's announcement came as no surprise, as Neymar has been training with his Brazilian team-mates in preparation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Brazil, in their first visit to Merseyside since 1995, started on the front foot but nearly fell behind 14 minutes in when Liverpool's Dejan Lovren headed a corner inches wide.

The Brazilian received the ball from Philippe Coutinho, dribbled past Croatia defenders Sime Vrsaljko and Duje Caleta-Car and smashed the ball into the net from around five meters.

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There was still work to do but Neymar somehow managed to force the ball past goalkeeper Danijel Subasic and in off the cross-bar from the edge of the six-yard area.

Croatia's goalkeeper Danijel Subasic (L) reacts as Brazil's striker Neymar celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the global friendly football match between Brazil and Croatia at Anfield in Liverpool on June 3, 2018.

Tite said there was no doubt that Neymar gives them something extra but said that needed to be kept in perspective.

The defeat was Croatia's second in their last three friendly games (won one) ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Neymar's introduction at the start of the second half drew an enthusiastic reaction, from the Anfield crowd and his team-mates alike.

But after the break, the Croatians began to defend deeper and allowed Brazil the space to begin to express themselves - a situation Neymar exploited to the full.

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