Brazil 2-0 Ecuador: Richarlison scores in World Cup qualifying
Everton forward Richarlison scored as Brazil defeated Ecuador 2-0 to stay top of the South American qualifying group for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Paris St-Germain’s Neymar got the second goal with a penalty taken from a foul on Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.
The result means Brazil have won their five World Cup qualifiers.
They lead the group of 10 South American teams with 15 points in five games, four ahead of second-placed Argentina.
Ecuador are third with nine points after winning three of their previous four qualifiers, and Brazil struggled to break them, despite being the better team for much of the game.
Richarlison made the breakthrough 20 minutes into the second half when goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez couldn’t stop his shot from the near post.
And with just a few minutes to go, Neymar added a penalty after his first attempt was saved. He was cleared to resume the kick after the referee spotted players encroaching on the penalty area.
The free kick was awarded after referee Alexis Herrera initially gave a free kick against Jesus following contact between him and Angelo Preciado in the Ecuador region.
But after a four-minute VAR exam, the official changed his mind and awarded a penalty.
Brazil’s next game will be against Paraguay in Asuncion on June 8, while Ecuador host Peru on the same day.