Match Report – Saudi Arabia 1-3 Brazil

Posted on by Matthew T

Brazil ensured they topped Group D at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Wednesday, as Richarlison scored two more goals in a 3-1 win over Saudi Arabia.

Brazil made just the one change from the draw with Ivory Coast – Matheus Henrique replacing the suspended Douglas Luiz in central midfield in the starting 11. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia made two changes from the defeat to Germany in their previous match. Ameen Bokhari replaced Mohammed Al Yami in goal and Khalifah Aldawsari replaced Ayman Al-Khalif, as they switched to a 5-4-1 formation to cope with the attacking quality of Brazil.

It was a far from easy encounter for the Brazilians, with many expecting a comfortable win. Saudi Arabia made it difficult for their opponents and fought hard, as they had in their previous two losses in the group.

Matheus Cunha opened the scoring for the South Americans in the 14th minute. A simple header at the near-post from a Claudinho corner had just about enough power to beat the goalkeeper.

However, midway through the first-half, Saudi Arabia equalised from a set-piece of their own. Salman Al-Faraj’s deep in-swinging free-kick found Abdulelah Al-Amri at the far post, and he made no mistake with a cushioned header back across the goalkeeper.

Saudi Arabia certainly had the fair share of possession throughout the match – 49% overall – but it was Brazil who were the far more threatening. Plenty of chances came and went but they struggled to break down a resistant Saudi Arabian side.

Yet another set piece was the source of the game’s third, and Brazil’s second goal. The fact that it did not arrive until the 76th minute highlighted the battle that the defending Olympic champions were up against. A deep free-kick was only cleared to the edge of the penalty area, and Bruno Guimaraes’ header back into the box was met by Richarlison at the back post. That was the Everton forward’s fourth goal of the tournament.

However, Richarlison was not finished there. In the third minute of injury time, he sealed the win with a tap-in at the far post after some good work by Reinier. The forward has been the star of the tournament so far and leads the top goalscorer chart with five goals from the three group matches.

The win for Brazil means they top Group D of Olympic Games and advance to the quarter-finals to play Egypt on Saturday. The defending champions will be expected to progress comfortably again as they look ahead to go one better than the full national side, who lost in the final of the Copa America earlier this summer. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s tournament is over after three narrow defeats from their three group matches.

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