After Vinotino took an early lead at the UCV Olympic Stadium in Caracas, Marquinhos tied for 71 thanks to a corner taken by Raphinha. Gabigol swung the scales in Tite’s favour by converting a penalty at 85, and Antony increased the margin at 90 + 5.
An early score by Eric Ramrez in the 11th minute had proved to the bottom players’ superiority over Canarinha, who were missing Neymar, who had been suspended owing to accumulating yellow cards.
Brazil, the clear leads, already has 27 points in nine appearances, with the suspended classic against Argentina of the triple date of September still to come, while Venezuela has just four units in 10 engagements.
– Courage and disillusioned hope
Venezuela, which has lost its last ten games in a row, arrived with many absences. If Neymar was missed in Brazil, the list of losses in the hosts’ ranks was vast and featured key players such as Salomón Rondón, Yangel Herrera, and Yordan Osorio.
However, his temporary coach, Leo González, issued a warning ahead of the match against Brazil: “This team is going to try to go (to the field), even if many declare me insane, to win.”
He was being truthful. He fielded an audacious lineup against the five-time world champions, with Yeferson Soteldo on the bench and Adalberto Pearanda and Darwin Machs on the wings. Rondón, the best scorer in Vinotinto history with 31 goals, was absent once more, but Eric Ramrez was present.
Gabigol, Gabriel Barbosa, missed the game’s first goal chance in minute 6. Tite’s ‘Seleço’ was bared its teeth.
The local refused to back down.
Soteldo, who wore Pelé’s number 10 jersey for Santos and now plays for Toronto FC in Major League Soccer, played with confidence and ignited the red spark.
Unhinged jaws as a centre of the elusive creative midfielder was headed to the net by Ramrez: Venezuela, the bottom, the desperate, took advantage of the indomitable leader!
After an attack by Everton Ribeiro, Brazil retaliated with a ball that hit the post, but neither Venezuela nor Soteldo backed down and continued to play.
A youthful center-back, Josua Mejas, was one of González’s surprises at starting 11, but he had to leave the field with a left arm injury before the second half began.
Raphinha altered everything –
Tite made his first substitution after the halftime, replacing Raphinha with Everton Ribeiro.
Raphinha began to hurt after missing the previous triple date owing to the limits set by teams in England to hand up their players due to the covid-19 pandemic.
Thiago Silva appeared to level the score in 57 with a header to the centre of the Leeds United winger, but the action was ruled out for offside, which was confirmed by a VAR query.
The introduction of Vinicius Jr. near the hour mark of the game helped Brazil to solidify its more dramatic reaction against a Venezuela that was now forced to delay lines.
And equality arrived through Marquinhos in a Raphinha-served corner.
La Vinotinto was leaking, despite its best efforts. This lasted until ‘Gabigol’ was shot down in the vicinity. He gathered information and converted himself.
Brazil, on its way to victory, could relax. Antony, another of Tite’s substitutions, sealed the game 3-1 with an assist from Raphinha.