Neymar could be an injury doubt for Paris St Germain’s Champions League clash with Liverpool next week after limping off during Brazil’s 1-0 friendly win over Cameroon in Milton Keynes on Tuesday night.
PSG’s £200million playmaker suffered an apparent groin problem and was replaced after eight minutes, to boos from a record Stadium MK crowd.
Everton’s Richarlison, Neymar’s replacement, headed in on the stroke of half-time for his third Brazil goal on his sixth appearance to secure victory for the Selecao.
Milton Keynes was the latest stop on Brazil’s global tour, billed as glamour locations for glamour friendlies.
Stadium MK is situated in a retail park and by a Swedish furniture store and an incongruous occasion was highlighted by the stadium announcer advertising the next fixture. League Two leaders MK Dons host Morecambe in a week’s time.
There was an anticipation in the air from a record footballing crowd – the attendance of 29,669 surpassing the previous best for the Dons’ January 2016 FA Cup fourth-round clash with Chelsea. Only in the 2015 Rugby World Cup have more people flocked to Stadium MK.
A mixture of cheers and jeers welcomed Neymar, his World Cup theatrics providing ammunition for his detractors.
And there was little sympathy when the night’s star attraction went off after making little impact.
He sought treatment after five minutes and returned to send a curling right-footed shot high and wide within a minute.
He immediately collapsed before being replaced. PSG host Liverpool on November 28.
Richarlison appeared dangerous from the moment he was introduced and Roberto Firmino went close three times.
The Liverpool striker almost turned in Willian’s cross, but Andre Onana made a fine instinctive save.
Firmino next sent a free header wide from Richarlison’s cross and was then denied by the goalkeeper from point-blank range.
Richarlison scored from the resulting corner, powerfully heading in Willian’s set-piece.
Cameroon might have levelled after 52 minutes, but Stephane Bahoken could not get a touch on Karl Toko Ekambi’s cross.
Fabrice Ondoa almost gifted Brazil a second when Ederson cleared down field and the Cameroon substitute goalkeeper came 30 yards out of goal and collided with Yaya Banana.
Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus, on for Firmino, was through, but could only hit the post from a tight angle.
Jesus’ City team-mate Danilo shot just wide soon afterwards and Barcelona midfielder Arthur next struck the top of the crossbar from 25 yards.
Napoli’s Allan fired straight at Ondoa with four minutes to go and then the latter made a double save, first denying Jesus and then Richarlison.
Jacques Zoua hit the woodwork with a header in the final moments as Cameroon missed out on an equaliser.