Neymar scores unbelievable goal as Brazil book world cup spot

Tricia Pearson
April 5, 2017

NEYMAR netted his 52nd Brazil goal as he helped them book their place in next year's World Cup with a win against Paraguay.

Brazil have become the first country outside of the hosts to book a spot at the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation after beating Paraguay in Sao Paulo.

Brazil will qualify for the World Cup with four games in hand at the Arena Corinthians if it beats Paraguay and sees Chile and Ecuador failing to win home matches. When he took charge of his first qualifying game, Brazil were adrift in sixth spot, with only nine points from six games.

Coming off a tremendous 4-1 away win against second place and historical foe Uruguay, Brazil seem to have recaptured some of their luster of old.

With four rounds of fixtures remaining, Brazil have 33 points, followed by Colombia (24), Uruguay and Chile (23).

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After sinking into a long depression after the trauma of their humiliating 7-1 semi-final thrashing by Germany at the 2014 World Cup, Brazil have undergone a transformation since Tite took over as manager a year ago.

Although some already put him as future best player in the world, including big names like former Italian defender Alessandro Costacurta, Neymar rejected comparisons with multiple Ballon D'Or winners Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, his teammate at Barcelona. Argentina's Lucas Pratto sits on the pitch during a 2018 World Cup qualifying soccer soccer match against Bolivia in La Paz, Bolivia, on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Uruguay lost 2-1 to Peru in Chile.

Under manager Tite, who replaced Dunga earlier on in the campaign, Brazil have returned to their swashbuckling roots, playing a trademark brand of free-flowing attacking football.

Argentina was clearly rattled, slumping to a 2-0 loss to the second last team in the group without the Barcelona star.

In the 53rd minute, Neymar was brought down in the penalty area by Rodrigo Rojas, but the Brazilian ended up missing from the spot as Paraguay goalkeeper Anthony Silva went the right way to pull off a great save. "We are achieving our goals, which are to win and reach the World Cup as well".

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