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Dhaka Tribune

Neymar different class, but Dunga focuses on team

Update : 15 Jun 2015, 08:01 PM

Neymar scored the first, made the second and was named ‘man of the match’ in Brazil’s 2-1 Copa America win over Peru on Sunday, but coach Dunga preferred to focus on the team’s performance rather than the number 10’s individual brilliance.

The combative Brazil coach made three changes in the second half, the most telling of which was in the 65th minute when he replaced centre forward Diego Tardelli with Douglas Costa, who scored the winner in the third minute of injury time.

“Neymar was decisive but Dani Alves was decisive, Miranda was decisive at certain moments, Douglas Costa was decisive,” Dunga told reporters after the game.

“You talk about Neymar and say that he made the pass for the goal but Dani Alves made a pass for a goal.”

Dunga was clearly seeking to accentuate the collective spirit in his squad but even he must know that Neymar was head and shoulders above his team mates in a pulsating contest.

The striker was at the heart of all Brazil’s good moves, in spite of being singled out for some tough tackling by a committed Peru side who were unfortunate to lose.

The 23-year-old captain exhibited some terrific skill, at one point deftly lifting the ball over the same Peruvian player twice in a matter of seconds, only to be bundled to the ground. After Brazil lost an early goal, Neymar put away Dani Alves’ cross with a textbook header and almost got a second only to see his 25-yard shot crash off the bar.

The goal was his 44th in 64 internationals and takes him to fifth place on Brazil’s all-time scorers list behind only Pele, Ronaldo, Romario and Zico, according to the Copa America’s official statisticians.

“He is a player who can make a difference,” said David Luiz. “I am happy we have his quality on our side.”  

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