Gabriel Barbosa hit the penalty spot in the 85th minute as Brazil came from behind to maintain their record-breaking CONMEBOL World Cup record with a 3-1 win over Venezuela.
The Selecao had not lost a game in the last 17 World Cup qualifiers 2022 against Venezuela (W16 D1) – the largest in Brazil to face an undefeated opposition – but the South American giants found themselves emotionally traumatized during the break on Thursday.
Eric Ramirez’s first international goal was in the underwear Venezuela dreamed of an unexpected win in the 11th minute, but Marquinhos equalized in the 71st minute in Caracas.
Gabigol was fouled five minutes before he left his place to lead CONMEBOL leaders Brazil to their ninth victory in nine qualifiers on the road to Qatar 2022, with Antony adding a third goal in the 96th minute.
Brazil got off to a good start in low-key Venezuela, as Gabigol saw the effort light up just in the back in the seventh minute.
In opposition to the play four minutes later, Venezuela added a surprise by leading Ramirez.
Yeferson Soteldo flipped the wing and delivered a one-inch cross to Ramirez, who made no mistake as he headed his head past Alisson and in the lower corner of the net.
Ramirez’s goal ended a series of six consecutive clean sheets in Brazil in a World Cup qualifier – far longer than any other team in the history of the CONMEBOL tournament.
Brazil continued to control the process but had nothing to show for it after Everton Ribeiro was shot in the crossbar in the 22nd minute, defending his team-mates to pull the trigger.
Venezuela came into the break unscathed but Brazil put the ball in the net after 11 minutes in the second half.
Fortunately for Venezuela, Thiago Silva’s goal against Brazil was disallowed due to an offside, much to the dismay of the Selecao.
Venezuela continued to take the game to Brazil as the tournament opened, with visitors chasing the measure, bringing back the unity with a great Marquinhos title in 19 minutes from last.
Brazil broke Venezuela’s heart in the closing stages after Gabigol – who was sidelined as he tried to recapture Vinicius Junior’s return – recovered well before Antony made it 3-1 in the final kick.