London, Nov 21 (IANS) Brazil prevailed 1-0 in a friendly against Cameroon outside London, but the injury that forced captain and superstar Neymar to leave the field in the 7th minute cast a shadow over the win.
Visibly in distress after taking a shot, the striker on Tuesday made his way to the sideline for medical attention and then returned to the match, reports Efe news.
On his next touch, Neymar made another try on the Cameroon net before falling to the ground.
Neymar “felt discomfort,” Brazil team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar said later. “He will need a bit more time to evaluate it and take a scan, but in principle it is not a serious injury.”
The departure of the Paris Saint-Germain forward dampened the enthusiasm of the nearly 30,000 spectators who attended the friendly mainly to watch Neymar in action.
Brazil coach Tite tapped Richarlison to replace Neymar and the Everton man delivered the game’s only goal in the final minute of the first half, heading in a corner by Willian.
Both teams made wholesale substitutions in the second half and Cameroon backup goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa nearly cost his team a second goal when he came off his line and left the net unguarded for Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus, whose shot hit the post.
Ondoa, however, redeemed himself in the final stretch by stopping Jesus and Richarlison in quick succession on the same offensive sequence.
With Brazil’s 2018 campaign over, Neymar’s injury is of more immediate concern to PSG coach Thomas Tuchel than to Tite, especially after the Parisians’ other star forward, Kylian Mbappe, left Tuesday’s France-Uruguay friendly with an injury.