A scintillating goal from Neymar drew him level with Romario in Brazil’s all-time top scorers list as they cruised to a 3-0 win against Austria yesterday.
The Paris St Germain striker scored his 55th goal for his country, their final World Cup warm-up match. He is now equal third in Brazil’s scoring charts with Romario and only behind Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77) after scoring in Vienna.
Gabriel Jesus opened the scoring while Philippe Coutinho added a third in the second half.
England’s opening World Cup opponents Tunisia pushed Spain all the way in a warm-up friendly before losing to a late Iago Aspas goal in Krasnador.
Gareth Southgate’s side will be favourites to win their first Group G game in Russia but Tunisia showed they will be no pushover when the pair meet in Volvograd on June 18.
Nabil Maaloul’s side looked set to prepare for the tournament with an impressive goalless draw, only for Celta Vigo striker Aspas to come off the bench and strike with five minutes remaining.
France, another nation who will be among the favourites, needed a Kylian Mbappe goal to draw 1-1 with the United States.
The visitors took the lead in Lyon as Julian Green struck on the stroke of half-time. That proved to the only shot on target for USA as France, who started with Paul Pogba in midfield, wasted numerous chances, before Mbappe levelled with 12 minutes remaining as he turned home Benjamin Pavard’s cross.
France take on Australia in their Group C opener and the Socceroos also go into that clash on a positive note after win over Hungary.
Daniel Arzani — the youngest player at this summer’s World Cup — scored his first goal for Australia as they beat Hungary 2-1 thanks to a late own goal. A terrible own goal from Trent Sainsbury cancelled out Daniel Arzani’s strike only for Hungary defender Tamas Kadar to turn past his own goalkeeper in injury time.
Christian Eriksen struck as Denmark beat Mexico 2-0, the Tottenham man adding the second following Yussuf Poulsen’s opener.
Goals from Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech, and Youssef En-Nesyri gave Morocco a 3-1 win over Estonia, while Serbia thrashed Bolivia 5-1 thanks to an Aleksandar Mitrovic hat-trick.
The Newcastle man hit three while Adem Ljajic and Branislav Ivanovic also got among the goals as Jhasmani Campos pulled one back for Bolivia.
Sweden were held to a goalless draw by Peru in Gothenburg having been outplayed by the visitors.
Meanwhile, the combined bid from Canada, Mexico, and the US to host the 2026 World Cup, as well as Morocco’s candidacy, have been ratified for next week’s vote by Fifa.
However, proposals over whether the 2022 World Cup in Qatar should be expanded to a 48-team tournament will now not be on the agenda at the June 13 meeting, according to the game’s governing body.
Following discussions at the Fifa council meeting in Moscow yesterday, it was confirmed both 2026 bids would go forward to a vote from all the member associations at the pre-tournament congress.
Strongly favoured by Fifa president Gianni Infantino, the bid from United 2026 was underlined by a glowing technical assessment last week with an overall score of four out of five.
Morocco, on the other hand, was marked down in several categories — most notably the fact it needs to build or renovate 14 stadiums — and achieved only 2.7 after being graded ‘high risk’ for stadiums, accommodation, and transport.
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