Neymar magic stuns Ecuador in qualifier

Sep 2, 2016

Brazil rode a strong second-half performance from Neymar to trump Ecuador 3-0 in 2018 World Cup Qualifying action on Thursday, earning their first-ever win on Ecuadoran soil in the process.

Neymar runs past Ecuador's Cristian Naboa.

Neymar runs past Ecuador’s Cristian Naboa.

Gabriel Jesus led the scoring with a brace, but the win was very much on a dominant display from Neymar. He put the team on his back in the second half, scoring the opening goal on a penalty kick and putting on an absolute show to will his team to victory.

The first half saw a disjointed-looking Brazil side who struggled to move the ball toward the goal against Ecuador, looking on a whole very similar to when they met in the Copa America Centenario group stage. Just like in that game, Brazil struggled to string much together in attack against Ecuador’s energetic defense.

Ecuador, however, lacked the attacking firepower to take advantage of the holes Brazil were leaving in defense as they threw more players forward.

Unlike that match early in the summer, however, Neymar took this game over in the second half, dazzling the crowd with great escapes and pinpoint passes.

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