Neymar cut a distraught figure on the substitutes' bench after coming off towards the end of Brazil's win over Serbia on Thursday and the forward will now undergo a scan on his ankle
Neymar handed Brazil a World Cup injury scare last night - as Richarlison lit up the tournament with a stunning strike.
Tottenham striker Richarlison scored twice – his second a breathtaking volleyed scissor kick - but the win was soured by a potentially serious injury to Neymar. Brazil’s star player suffered an ankle injury and came off in the 80th minute after playing through the pain barrier - but his World Cup is hanging in the balance.
Brazil’s team doctor said: “Neymar has a right ankle trauma. Due to the impact that he had with the knee of the Serbia player we immediately started the treatment when he was on the bench.
“With physiotherapy, we need to wait 24 to 48 hours to have a better assessment. We have not scheduled an MRI and tomorrow we will have a new assessment. We need to wait now, we can't make any premature comments on his condition.
“He stayed on the pitch and continued playing for 11 minutes, before he was substituted.”
Brazil coach Tite said: “Neymar felt this pain throughout the game but he decided to stay on the pitch to help his team. So it’s remarkable he could stand this pain to continue playing for his team.”
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Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic said: “My team was completely physically down and I want to know why, because I don’t know why. It was strange.
“We have three key players who are injured, which is too much for us. We’re not Brazil, with 200 million people, we are a very small country.
“Those are the facts. I'm very sorry for that. Brazil were much better than us in the second-half and deserved the win.”
Serbia provided more than a stern test for Brazil in the first half, keeping chances for their opponents to a minimum as they managed to get in for the half-time break with the scores still goalless.
Brazil winger Raphinha arguably had the best chance of the first half but his tame effort was straight at Serbia's goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic, who had dived at the feet of Vinicius Jr to deny him minutes earlier.
Serbia even mounted one chance on the counter attack but Dusan Tadic put his cross too close to Alisson, who plucked the ball out of the air ahead of the waiting Aleksandar Mitrovic.
If the first half was largely uneventful, Richarlison soon set the game alight. The Everton striker pounced on a rebound just after the hour mark to put Brazil in front after Vinicus's effort had been denied.
Neymar's fleet-footed work in the build-up did not go unnoticed as he evaded several challenges on a night where he was fouled nine times. Richarlison's next trikc stole the show, however, as he controlled a cross before turning with the ball in the air to acrobatically volley it into the net.
In doing so, Richarlison became the first Brazilian to score twice on his World Cup debut since Neymar in 2014. The goalscorer was then replaced six minutes after bagging his brace, but the condition of Neymar will no doubt dominate the headlines.
Neymar sat on the turf clutching his ankle before he was substituted after 80 minutes and looked in despair on the bench. After the game he hobbled through the mixed zone media area with his headphones on, not pausing to stop to chat as his team-mates shielded him from reporters.
Brazil waits on the news of his scan with bated breath.
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