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Neymar returns in scoring style as Brazil beat Croatia

Neymar returns in scoring style as Brazil beat Croatia

Neymar returns in scoring style as Brazil beat Croatia

Neymar had been sidelined for over three months after fracturing his foot while playing for Paris Saint-Germain against Marseille in Ligue 1 on Feb 25.

Croatia's goalkeeper Danijel Subasic (L) reacts as Brazil's striker Neymar celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the worldwide friendly football match between Brazil and Croatia at Anfield in Liverpool on June 3, 2018.

Neymar marked his return from a knee injury in spectacular fashion as Brazil beat Croatia 2-0 in a pre-World Cup friendly at Anfield.

After his foot surgery in Brazil and with his status for Russian Federation 2018 up in the air, Neymar left no doubts that he's ready to go.

After a quiet opening, Croatia went close to taking the lead on 15 minutes but Alisson produced a good save to deny Luka Modric from distance.

Selecao eventually sealed the win in second-half stoppage time as Roberto Firmino out-muscled his marker before lobbing the ball into the back of the net. "I was expecting much less".

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Willian, impressive throughout for Brazil, picked the ball up in midfield and threaded the ball to Philippe Coutinho who found Neymar in the inside-left channel.

Tite said Neymar must be "a protagonist" for his country but added that the others players must also step up.

"Neymar is going to have ups and downs like he had in training until the third, fourth game (on his return)".

Brazil, who became the first team to qualify for the World Cup in March, face Austria next Sunday before starting their Group E campaign against Switzerland on 17 June.

Brazil "improved in the second half after Neymar made the difference".

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