Mon. May 16th, 2022

BBC Sports

Leeds winger Raphinha helped Brazil to fight back to a 3-1 win over Venezuela after coming off the bench for his international debut.

The 24-year-old, who withdrew from a squad in September as Premier League clubs blocked players going to high-risk Covid areas, set up two goals.

“Tite asked me to do what I did with Leeds,” said Raphinha, referring to Brazil’s coach.

“I don’t think I let him, nor my team-mates, nor the Brazil fans down.”

Brazil trailed 1-0 at half-time in Caracas after Eric Ramirez’s goal for the hosts, raising the possibility of the five-time World Cup winners losing to Venezuela for the first time in 18 qualifying matches for the tournament.

However Tite brought on Raphinha in place of Everton Ribeiro at half-time and, aided by fellow second-half substitutes Vinicius Jr and Antony, he turned the game around.

Raphinha’s corner was headed in by Paris St-Germain defender Marquinhos for the equaliser on 71 minutes before Gabriel Barbosa scored a penalty to put the visitors ahead.

Deep into stoppage time, Raphinha whipped in a cross for Ajax’s Antony to make the game safe.

“I was really anxious to make my debut and after I wasn’t allowed to come the first time I got even more anxious to be here and wear a Brazil shirt,” Raphinha added.

“So I think that I gave my best and it was good for me individually and to help my team-mates on the pitch.”

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is a soccer lover and writer. He is a graduate of Biological Sciences, presently teaching in a secondary in Lagos.

Leave a Reply