Recalled Arthur revels in goal and winning Brazil return
In another match, Colombia went down 6-1 to a superb display from Ecuador
Midfielder Arthur returned to the Brazil side and got the goal that set them on their way to a 2-0 win over Uruguay on Tuesday but the Juventus player said four wins out of four do not mean Brazil can rest on their laurels.
Arthur’s first half goal was fortunate as it took a deflection that wrongfooted the Uruguayan keeper, but the stroke of luck came at the right time and helped ease the nerves of a side missing free-scoring Neymar.
Everton striker Richarlison added a second on the stroke of half time, but while the five-times world champions maintained their 100% record in the race to reach Qatar 2022 Arthur said they must not get cocky.
“There is always room for improvement,” he said. “We are not getting arrogant because we’re unbeaten.”
“We know that every game is difficult and every game different but we are on the right path. Not because we’ve won but because sometimes we’ve been playing well.
“We are on the right path, we have total faith in the coaches and they have faith in us and so we’ll keep looking to achieve our objective, which is to qualify for the World Cup finals.”
Arthur, who underwent a turbulent transfer from Barcelona to Juventus earlier this year, had been out the national setup side, but with Casemiro absent he was recalled for the duel in Montevideo and impressed as he got his name on the scoresheet for the first time wearing a yellow shirt.
The defeat was just the second Uruguay have suffered at home in their last 32 games - both times to Brazil – but although they will consider themselves unfortunate after they hit the woodwork twice and had a goal disallowed, Arthur said Brazil deserved their win.
“I think we looked more to go forward,” he told reporters.
“We worked the ball more. Our forward passes were better, they looked more to play long balls. I think we were rewarded with the win because we went after it more than they did.”
Meanwhile, Colombia conceded six goals in a World Cup qualifier for the first time since 1977 on Tuesday as they went down 6-1 to a superb display from Ecuador in Quito.
The six goals were as many as Ecuador had scored in their previous 16 games against their neighbours.
Ecuador, who failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, scored four times in the first half only for a James Rodriguez penalty to cut the deficit just seconds before halftime.
Colombia, who were beaten 3-0 at home by Uruguay last week, struggled throughout and Gonzalo Plata restored Ecuador’s four-goal advantage 12 minutes from fulltime only to be shown a second yellow card for his celebration.
Pervis Estupinan made it 6-1 in the final minute of the match to ensure a miserable day for Colombia.
Ecuador cemented their place among the early pacesetters in the South American qualifying group for Qatar 2022 with nine points from their first four games.
The top four teams in the 10-team South American group qualify automatically for the World Cup and the fifth-placed side goes into an inter-regional playoff.
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