Brazil came out on top Tuesday of the second day of South American qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, beating Peru in Lima (2-4) thanks to a hat-trick from Neymar. Brazil retain the lead in these qualifications thanks to a better goal difference (+7 against +2) than Argentina, the only other team to have won their first two matches. For his 103rd game for the national team, the Paris SG striker became the second highest scorer in the history of the five-time world champions with 64 goals, two more than “Fenomeno” Ronaldo.
Only Pelé did better, with 77 goals in 92 matches. A record within the reach of Neymar, 28, who scored his first two goals in Lima from the penalty spot. Brazil’s opening on Friday, against a weak team from Bolivia, had been a walk in the park (5-0). Tuesday, even if the Peruvians were diminished, with two players withdrawing last minute because of the coronavirus, the Brazilians had much more difficulty for this reissue of the Copa America final that they had won (3-1) in July 2019 at the Maracana.