Paris Saint Germain (PSG) star Neymar was a major absentee for five-time world champions Brazil as they were forced to a 1-1 draw by hosts Ecuador in what was a Matchday 16 clashas far as the South American section of this year’s FIFAWorld Cup tournament on Qatari soil is concerned.

Brazil shot into an early lead through midfielder Casemiro. The Real Madrid star gave the Brazilians an early lead in the sixth minute and things got better for the visitors when Ecuador were reduced to ten men after the red card to their shot stopper, Alexander Dominguez. The Ecuador goalkeeper was sent off in the 15th minute. The numerical advantage for the Brazilians lasted for just five minutes due to the red card to Tottenham Hotspur right-back Emerson Royal. Emerson was the first player booked during the game as he was already on a yellow card in the second minute. His dismissal was on 20 minutes for two yellow cards.

Brazil were unable to see out the game against the Ecuadorians without star player Neymar after Felix Torres scored the equaliser for the home team with fifteen minutes left on the clock for a share of the spoils.

Neymar have now missed the last two Qatar 2022 World Cup qualifiers for the Selecao and they have not won any of those two games. He was not in the squad for the first of those two matches against arch rivals Argentina in November 2021 due to a slight injury. Without Neymar, Argentina were forced to a goalless draw at home by the Brazilians. His latest absence which made him miss the Ecuador game is due to a long-term injury problem picked up during the league game at Saint Etienne in November.

Brazil are now four points ahead of Argentina after they beat Chile 2-1 away from home through the goals from Angel Di Maria and Lautaro Martinez, while Ben Bereton scored for the Chileans. All the goals came in the first half.