Sports, Football

Richarlison scores twice as Brazil ease past Ghana


By AFP
Published : 24 Sep 2022 09:50 PM

Richarlison struck twice as Brazil showcased their World Cup credentials by putting on an attacking masterclass in a 3-0 victory over Ghana in Friday's friendly in Le Havre.

Marquinhos headed Brazil in front from a corner and Richarlison doubled the lead before the half-hour. The Tottenham Hotspur striker nodded in a third on 40 minutes.

Unbeaten throughout World Cup qualifying, Brazil's only competitive loss since going out to Belgium in the 2018 quarter-finals in Russia came against Argentina in last year's Copa America final.

Brazil coach Tite fielded a strong, attack-minded side that could well start their opening game of the World Cup against Serbia in Lusail on November 24.

Ghana lost Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey to injury in the warm-up, on what was a challenging night for the Black Stars.

Five-time world champions Brazil hit their stride right away, Neymar unhindered by the small cut during Wednesday's training session that required minor treatment.

In red-hot form to start the season with Paris Saint-Germain, Neymar quickly began to threaten down the left in tandem with Vinicius Junior.

Richarlison blazed over from Lucas Paqueta's cutback, the new West Ham signing also fizzing a shot just past the post.

Brazil were soon in front though as Marquinhos powered in from Raphinha's inswinging corner in the ninth minute.

Raphinha should have scored himself when Vinicius' audacious cross with the outside of his right boot picked the Barcelona man out at the far post.

Neymar created Brazil's second goal, allowing Thiago Silva's pass to run beyond him before rolling it towards Richarlison, who swept a first-time shot low into the corner of Joseph Wollacott's goal.

The PSG star was again the provider as Brazil increased their advantage, whipping in a free-kick that Richarlison glanced home at the near post.

Ghana barely avoided conceding a fourth before the break when Neymar teed up Paqueta, whose effort was saved by Wollacott before Raphinha's follow-up was blocked.

Andre Ayew's header clipped the bar on the hour as Ghana finally tested Brazil, whose rhythm slowed as Tite turned to his bench with the introduction of Antony and Matheus Cunha.

Neymar nearly capped off another sparkling performance with a goal of his own, but shot weakly at Wollacott after a mesmerising run.

Atletico Madrid's Cunha was denied a first Brazil goal in the closing minutes by a desperation goalline block after Wollacott parried Rodrygo's attempt.