Brazil 1-0 Japan: Neymar penalty gives visitors away win in friendly

Japan 0-1 Brazil: PSG star Neymar grabs the winner from the penalty spot as visitors record their 11th win in 13 games in friendly at the Tokyo National Stadium

  • Brazil beat Japan 1-0 in Tokyo courtest of a Neymar penalty in the 77th minute
  • Neymar netted his 74th for his country, taking him just two behind legend Pele 
  • Brazil managed five shots on target in the game whilst Japan failed to do so once
  • Brazil are next in action against Argentina in mouth-watering clash on 11 June 

Neymar’s penalty 13 minutes from time earned Brazil a 1-0 win over fellow World Cup qualifiers Japan at Tokyo’s National Stadium on Monday as the Paris St Germain striker moved to within three goals of Pele’s all-time national scoring record.

The forward coolly slotted the ball past Shuichi Gonda to hit his 74th goal in 119 internationals after being frustrated on several occasions by the Japanese goalkeeper in front of a rain-soaked crowd of 63,638 fans.

Brazil’s win came off the back of their 5-1 thrashing of South Korea on Thursday as Tite’s side prepare for their assault on the World Cup in Qatar in November.

Neymar is now only three goals behind Brazil – and football – legend Pele’s all-time record

The visitors threatened early, with Lucas Paqueta hitting the post inside the first two minutes when he latched on to Neymar’s instinctive backheel pass inside the area.

Fred fired over from distance soon after and Raphina forced Shuichi Gonda to save with his feet before Neymar’s firmly-struck, curling effort from outside the area was palmed to safety by the goalkeeper after flying through a crowd of players.

Gonda was on hand again to keep out the visitors three minutes before the end of the half, with Pacqueta slipping the ball through to Neymar, but the Paris St Germain man was denied.

The penalty was awarded to the visitors for a foul on Richarlison  following a Neymar strike

Gabriel Martinelli, Gabriel Jesus and Raphinha were among the 10 Premier League stars to play

Neymar continued to probe, seeing a shot blocked by Endo’s head eight minutes after the restart, while Ko Itakura made a perfectly timed intervention to put himself between the Brazilian striker’s volley and the Japan goal.

The pressure eventually told, however, with Neymar at the heart of the action once more.

The 30-year-old’s initial effort was well saved by Gonda but as substitute Richarlison attempted to collect possession he was brought down by Endo and referee Alireza Faghani pointed to the spot.

The PSG star scored his ninth goal in five appearances against Japan for his 74th Brazil goal

Neymar sent Gonda the wrong way to score for the ninth time in five appearances against the Japanese and move closer to eclipsing Pele’s long-standing mark.

The friendly was Japan’s final game in preparation for the Kirin Cup, which starts on Friday in Japan. 

The hosts will face Ghana in the second semi-final, after Chile take on Tunisia in Kobe.

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