In a thrilling 2026 World Cup qualifier, Brazil faced a resilient Venezuela side that ended their 15-match home win streak with a stunning overhead kick at the death. Neymar, as always, played a pivotal role, but an unstoppable bicycle kick from Venezuela’s Eduard Bello denied Brazil the victory, resulting in a 1-1 draw.
Despite the Selecao’s dominance in extended periods of the match, their inability to seal the game allowed an opportunity for an equalizer, and Bello capitalized on it.
In the first half, both teams had half-chances. Neymar’s long-range effort sailed over the bar, while Salomon Rondon posed occasional threats in Brazil’s box. Casemiro came closest to breaking the deadlock with a long-range attempt, but it was brilliantly thwarted by a diving save.
The second half saw Brazil seizing control quickly, with Gabriel heading Neymar’s corner kick into the net. Neymar, who had been orchestrating Brazil’s attacks, missed an opportunity to extend their lead shortly after, firing over the crossbar in a classy counter-attack. Rodrygo also squandered a chance of his own.
Despite their persistent efforts, Brazil couldn’t secure a second goal. Ederson had to make an excellent full-stretch save, while their solid defensive work kept Venezuela at bay. However, Bello’s bicycle kick in the final minutes of normal time was an absolute stunner and an unstoppable piece of brilliance that secured a dramatic draw for Venezuela.
Goalkeeper & Defense:
- Ederson (7/10): Made a crucial save but was helpless against the equalizer.
- Danilo (4/10): Limited impact before leaving the game due to injury.
- Marquinhos (5/10): Showed some looseness on the ball and came close to costly errors.
- Gabriel (7/10): Scored a beautiful header and remained solid in defense.
- Guilherme Arana (6/10): Offered a steady performance at left-back.
- Bruno Guimaraes (6/10): Maintained composure and disrupted the opposition’s play.
- Casemiro (6/10): Produced a well-denied effort and distributed the ball effectively.
- Neymar (8/10): Displayed his usual attacking flair with dazzling skills and runs. Assisted Gabriel’s goal.
- Rodrygo (5/10): Missed a significant chance in the second half and faced difficulties.
- Richarlison (5/10): Made good off-ball runs but lacked a final product.
- Vinicius Jr (5/10): Struggled with passing accuracy and decision-making.
Subs & Manager:
- Yan Cuoto (6/10): Maintained composure and had a solid debut.
- Gabriel Jesus (6/10): Provided more in link-up play than Richarlison.
- Andre (5/10): Showed determination but was at risk of a red card soon after entering the game.
- Gerson (N/A): Inadequate time to make an impact.
- Matheus Cunha (N/A): Limited time to influence the game.
Interim manager Fernando Diniz (7/10) selected a strong lineup that produced a somewhat middling performance. The Selecao, as usual, relied heavily on Neymar, and a miraculous strike from Venezuela dampened their hopes of victory. A frustrating draw for Brazil in this gripping World Cup qualifier.