No Neymar. No Philippe Coutino. No Casemiro. No Fabinho. No Eder Militao.

Yes, without the abovementioned names, Brazil and Tite traveled to Montevideo to face Uruguay, who are one of those teams in world football that can unnerve Brazil. And, whenever, the El Clásico del Río Negro takes place, the ghost of Maracanazo juts comes from nowhere to shake Brazil. But since the arrival of Pele and Garrincha, Brazil have overcome that fear of 1950 and maintained a sound record against their stubborn neighbours.

And for which, even though, the major players remained absent, Brazil did not lose the composure in Montevideo and ended up conquering one of the toughest venues in world football.

Uruguay came to this match after thrashing the Colombians, while Brazil were found wanting against Venezuela at Sao Paulo – they huffed and puffed until Roberto Firmino came good to script one of his traditional volleys to pull the match out of the fire, where the visitors were sitting deep and making the frontline struggle like hell in the final third.

Oscar Tabarez, the manager of Uruguay noticed such and decided to apply the same. They did sit back, but yet again, Uruguay would not love to just defend against Brazil, but press and attack to bag the first-ever victory for their beloved manager, who is yet to win a match against the Canarinhos.

Tite went for the 4-4-2 formation – a tactical move, which we hardly noticed in his system – against Tabarez’s 4-3-1-2. The midfield of Brazil was in a diamond-shaped form, where Firmino formed the tip of the diamond, Douglas Luiz stayed at the defensive midfield, Arthur on the left, and Everton Rebeiro on the right. Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus played as strikers.

The inclusion of Arthur changed the scenario of the midfield, which looked stagnant at Sao Paulo. His passing was smooth and accurate, won the ground and aerial duels, provided key passes, and opened the scoring with his powerful right foot. Brazil went up 1-0 and it put them in momentum.

Again, Arthur guarded the left side when Renan Lodi went high up the pitch to aid the attack. Lodi was impactful on the left flank and assisted the second goal for Richarlison. The improvement of Lodi as left-back under Diego Simeone in Atletico Madrid is evident. He is not an over-attacking full-back like Marcelo, who leaves the space and defends less, but the lad knows when to join the attack and run back quickly to guard the left-flank.

Adding a further edge to the attack was Everton Ribeiro, who was superb with his marauding runs as the right-winger and provided great width down the flank in Philippe Coutinho’s absence.

At the back, Brazil were hardly troubled – Uruguay failed to muster even a single shot on target from 5 attempts. They did put the ball in the back of the net in the second-half, but it was ruled offside while Darwin Nunez and Diego Godin both rattled the Brazil crossbar.


Brazil’s display was far better than Sao Paulo and their finishing in the final third was sharper, even though it was not a vintage display like Bolivia and Peru, but one can say, even without the major players, Tite and Brazil exhibited character to maintain the hundred percent record in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2022.

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