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Japan 0-1 Brazil: 5 Talking Points as Neymar's penalty is enough to see off the Samurai Blue | International Friendlies 2021-22

Neymar was on target as Brazil defeated Japan in an international friendly game
Neymar was on target as Brazil defeated Japan in an international friendly game
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Shubham Dupare

Brazil wrapped up their international break with a narrow 1-0 win against Japan on June 6, courtesy of Neymar Jr.'s second-half penalty.

Brazil started with an almost full-strength squad with the likes of Neymar, Alisson, Casemiro, and Vinicius Jr all starting against the home team. Japan also fielded a strong starting XI but were the second-best team for the majority of the game.

A festa do gol brasileiro contra o Japão! Mais um jogo, mais uma vitória da #SeleçãoBrasileira. A Copa do Mundo tá chegando, hein? VAMOS!Fotos: Lucas Figueiredo / CBF https://t.co/At9WcrcUhc

Japan will host and take part in the Kirin Cup with a game scheduled against Ghana on Friday. The visitors are done with their friendly commitments for now. Their game against Argentina, scheduled to take place in Australia on Saturday, June 11, was called off.

As Neymar scored consecutively in Brazil's second friendly game, here we take a look at the five talking points from the game.


#5 Japan's eight-game unbeaten run comes to an end but they fought well against the No. 1 side in the world

Japan avoided a loss by a huge margin against Brazil
Japan avoided a loss by a huge margin against Brazil

Japan put in a spirited display against the Selecao but in the end, a late penalty proved to be their undoing. They defended well and were also lucky to have been spared by some poor finishing by the South American giants.

The hosts could've gone behind in the second minute of the game but Lucas Paqueta's effort was deflected off the post. Goalkeeper Shūichi Gonda was often called into action. He made four saves until the final whistle, including a save off his stretched leg to deny Raphinha in the first half.

Japan qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, avoiding a loss in their last seven games in the qualifying campaign. Their undefeated run was extended to eight games when they secured a 4-1 win against Paraguay last Thursday, June 2.

However, the loss against Brazil brought that run to an end.


#4 Japan remain winless against Brazil

Japan failed to build on their 4-1 win over Paraguay
Japan failed to build on their 4-1 win over Paraguay

Japan might be a footballing powerhouse in Asia, but they were no match against the Brazilians on Monday. They failed to record a shot on target out of their seven attempts. Meanwhile, the Copa America 2021 finalists dominated the proceedings, recording 21 shots with five of them on target.

While a win for Japan never looked likely, they were close to pulling off a draw here. This was the 13th meeting between the two sides across all competitions. However, Japan have not been able to secure a win against the five-time World Cup Champions.

The visitors' 13-game undefeated run is the longest such streak against an opponent without ever losing in their history.


#3 Brazil extend their undefeated streak to all competitions to 13 games

Japan v Brazil - International Friendly
Japan v Brazil - International Friendly

Brazil made it two wins from two friendly games scheduled in June with a narrow victory against Japan. The win was not as grand as their 5-1 thrashing of South Korea on June 2. However, it helped them extend their unbeaten run to 13 games across all competitions.

They have tasted defeat since their 1-0 loss against Argentina in the Copa America final last year. They looked good in the two games and put in an impressive attacking display while also being solid in defense.


#2 Neymar scores a penalty for the second game in a row

Japan v Brazil - International Friendly
Japan v Brazil - International Friendly

Neymar missed almost half of his team's World Cup qualification campaign through injury and suspension. However, he has resumed his duties with the national team on a positive note.

He scored in both the friendly games played by Selecao this month. He scored two against South Korea and one against Japan, with all three goals coming from the penalty spot.

He has scored or assisted in all his last five appearances for the national team, scoring five goals and assisting three more in the period. His accuracy from the penalty spot is a good sign ahead of the World Cup finals, with his last four goals coming from the spot.


#1 Neymar inching ever-closer to Pele's goalscoring record with Brazil

Can Neymar become Selecao's all-time top scorer before the end of the year
Can Neymar become Selecao's all-time top scorer before the end of the year

Neymar scored his third goal in two games, which took his tally with his national team to 74 goals. Selecao legend Pele is the leading goalscorer for the team with 77 goals. The Paris Saint-Germain forward is now on track to overtake the former Santos striker.

74 international goals for NeymarOnly three away from equaling Pelé's record as Brazil's all-time top scorer 🇧🇷 https://t.co/6Lqzt1nqxg

The 30-year-old could've perhaps surpassed Pele already. However, recurring injuries have either kept him out of action directly or impacted his form with the national team.

The South American giants face Switzerland, Ghana, and Cameroon in their group stage fixtures at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Given Neymar's current form, he'll likely be able to become his country's all-time top goalscorer before the year comes to an end.


Edited by Aditya Singh
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