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Neymar: Brazil coach Tite provides update on star man’s ankle injury

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Brazil coach Tite hopes Neymar will be fit to continue the World Cup after picking up an ankle injury in their first 2-0 win over Serbia.

Richarlison scored both goals, the second a sublime jumping volley, but that was overshadowed by Neymar limping late and appearing emotional from the bench.

The striker has had ankle problems in the past but Tite doesn’t think the problem is serious, telling a press conference: “We are convinced that Neymar will continue to play in the World Cup.”

Brazilian doctor Rodrigo Lasmar added: “We have to wait 24 to 48 hours to get a better assessment. We have not scheduled an MRI and tomorrow we will have a new assessment.

Defender Danilo also picked up an ankle problem, hobbling in the final minutes.

Neymar spent 11 minutes on the pitch after picking up an injury before being substituted.

When asked why he didn’t make the decision sooner, Tite replied: “I didn’t see that Neymar was injured. The ability he has to overcome him, that fooled me. I only saw it now when I watched the video.

Brazil were lukewarm in the first half, creating just a few clear chances, but improved considerably after the break, with Richarlison justifying his selection in front of a host of other talented forwards.

Tite said: “I think it was an important win with many wins in the same game. (In the first half) it was not our usual standard. In the second half we repositioned the people and we improved the technique.

“I had six, seven names to call (on) and whoever I called, we would have had a great team. Richarlison is fantastic. You see how he controls a ball, he goes up and he adjusts all his plans. “

Serbia coach Dragan Stojkovic was disappointed with his team’s performance in the second half: “I think we were level in the first 45 minutes, I didn’t see that they were much more dominant at this stage.

“But in the second half we fell physically and we weren’t a team anymore. And of course, Brazil knew how to take advantage of this because they have excellent players.

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org