Neymar back in action for Brazil
PSG's fit-again Brazil superstar Neymar returned to action with the Selecao, scoring a goal and providing an assist in a 2-2 friendly draw with in Miami on Saturday.
Neymar, who bagged a goal and an assist that were insufficient to enable Brazil to beat Colombia in a friendly on Friday in Miami (2-2), can take solace in the fact that he finally played again three months after sustaining an ankle injury.
Since that blow against Qatar in June, which deprived the world's most expensive player of appearing in the Copa America, won at home by the Seleçao, the Brazilian from Paris Saint-Germain had not taken the field in a competitive match.
In the damp Florida atmosphere, his 61st goal in 98 appearances - from a cross by friend and captain Daniel Alves - got Brazil back on level terms (59'), after they had found themselves a goal down following a brace from Muriel: first from a penalty spot (24') and then at the conclusion of a fine team move (34').
Neymar had previously been very precise in finding Casemiro's head from a corner, which gave his team an initial 1-0 lead.
In this match, played at a fairly high pace despite the oppressive conditions, Neymar grew in strength on the left side of attack - without showing any signs of fatigue.
He could have scored in the first half if his shot, which seemed destined for the bottom corner, had not clipped the heel of Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino (43'), and he also had a fair shout for a penalty for a tackle from Sanchez that sent him crashing into an advertising hoarding (82').
shooting into the window of former OGC Nice Ospina goalkeeper Nice Ospina, who was celebrating his 100th selection, had not been pushed back by Firmino's heel (43rd), and he was hoping to get a penalty after a charge from Tottenham's Davinson Sanchez that sent him into an advertising panel (82nd).
Neymar's physical condition was reassuring for both national-team coach Tite, and club Paris Saint-Germain, for whom he is yet to make an appearance this season. Neymar will want to confirm the first signs of his return to grace on Tuesday, once again with Brazil, in a friendly against Peru in Los Angeles.