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Neymar clashes with referee as Brazil beat Colombia to qualify for 2022 World Cup

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Lucas Paqueta got the vital goal 72 minutes into the match with a shot that goalkeeper David Ospina got a hand to but could not stop.

Neymar, meanwhile, was lucky to end the match on the pitch after appearing to square up to the referee in bizarre scenes midway through the second half.

Neymar appeared to square up to the referee during Brazil's win over Colombia on Thursday
Neymar appeared to square up to the referee during Brazil’s win over Colombia on Thursday
Lucas Paqueta netted the only goal to send Brazil to the Qatar World Cup next winter
Lucas Paqueta netted the only goal to send Brazil to the Qatar World Cup next winter
Vinicius Jr, Paqueta and Neymar celebrate together in front of the adoring Sao Paulo crowd

Vinicius Jr, Paqueta and Neymar celebrate together in front of the adoring Sao Paulo crowd

The PSG star, seemingly unhappy with one of the referee’s decisions, ran up to the match official and screamed directly in his face, going on to receive a yellow card – but can count himself lucky he didn’t see red.

‘Colombia sometimes play it very tight so we needed to use all the tools we had at our disposal,’ Brazilian defender Marquinhos said, highlighting their improvement in the second 45 minutes.

‘Our team was intelligent and we were able to take advantage of spaces when they opened up in the second half and so create more chances.’

The win extended Brazil’s home run in the qualifiers to 11 consecutive victories, a record in the South American region. The game also marked their 10th consecutive home qualifier without conceding a goal, another record.

Neymar had to fend off a pitch invader at full-time as security rushed over to drag the man off

Neymar had to fend off a pitch invader at full-time as security rushed over to drag the man off

The match in Sao Paulo was a feisty one with neither side imposing themselves in a physical game on a rainy surface that produced 44 fouls and seven yellow cards

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