Brazil kept their 100% record in the ongoing CONMEBOL 2022 World Cup qualifiers intact with a 3-1 comeback win at Venezuela on Thursday. Without Neymar, the five-time world champions were pegged back early in the contest but rallied back with three goals to seal their ninth win in as many games and extend their lead at the top of the qualification standings. 

Dinamo Kyiv forward Eric Ramirez scored with just 11 minutes on the clock to give the hosts the lead, his thumping header finding the bottom corner beyond Alisson’s reach to give Venezuela the dream start. 

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However, their resistance could only keep Brazil from scoring till the 71st minute, when Paris Saint-Germain defender Marquinhos rose the highest to nod in Raphinha’s outswinging corner delivery and get the ‘Selecao’ on level terms. 

Venezuela, who are currently bottom of the
standings with just one win and one draw from 10 games, were hoping to hold
Brazil to a draw but Tite’s second-half substitutes ensured the visitors sealed all three

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Gabriel Barbosa won a penalty with just
nine minutes to go as he was brought down inside the area by Venezuela defender
Oscar Gonzales after substitute Vinicius Junior’s shot was parried into his path
by keeper Joel Graterol.

The Flamengo striker made no mistake,
burying the spot-kick into the roof of the net following an eccentric run up.

Ajax youngster Antony then scored a third
in stoppage time to confirm all three points for the ‘Selecao’. Raphina was the
creator once again, bursting into the box with a delightful run before squaring
his pass for the 21-year-old forward to net his first international goal.

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The win increases Brazil’s lead at the top
of the qualification standings to eight points over second-placed Argentina –
who were held to a goalless draw at Paraguay earlier.

Brazil will next be in action away to
Colombia on Sunday, with Venezuela set to host Ecuador.