SAO PAULO: Neymar’s second-half goal gave Brazil a 2-1 victory over Colombia on Tuesday as the former world champions registered their second consecutive win to take the second place in the South America qualifying group for Russia 2018.
The home side got the perfect start after just 80 seconds when Miranda rose to head home a corner and score his first goal in 33 appearances for the national side.
Brazil, playing just their second game under new coach Tite, dominated the first half with a high-pace pressing game but struggled to make clear cut chances and paid the price in 35 minutes when Colombia equalised against the run of play.
James Rodriguez floated in a free kick from 35 yards out and Brazilian defender Marquinhos headed the ball into his own net.
Neymar took a pass just inside the box with 73 minutes gone and his angled drive was well placed into the far corner to beat Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina.
It was his 48th goal in 72 international games and takes the Barcelona striker equal to Zico on Brazil’s all-time goal-scoring list.
The result in the humid heat of Manaus lifts Brazil to 15 points, ahead of Argentina, who came from behind to draw 2-2 against bottom-placed team Venezuela, on goal difference.
Colombia sit two points behind them in fourth place in the 10-team South American group.
Uruguay, who beat Paraguay 4-0 earlier in the evening, top the table with 16 points, while Ecuador, who play Peru in the night’s final match, are currently in fifth with 13 points.
Chile could only draw 0-0 with Bolivia and sit in seventh place in the 10-team table.
The top four qualify automatically for Russia 2018 and the fifth place side goes into an intercontinental play off. -- Reuters