LIVERPOOL, England (AP) – Brazil striker Neymar made a spectacular return on Sunday after a three-month absence with a foot injury and celebrated a superb individual goal with his surgeon.
Playing for the first time since February, Neymar scored the opening goal in Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win against Croatia in Liverpool. Neymar then ran to hug the Brazilian soccer confederation doctor, Rodrigo Lasmar, on the sidelines.
Neymar had replaced midfielder Fernandinho at halftime with the score at 0-0 and needed only 23 minutes to make his mark.
The Brazilian received the ball from Philippe Coutinho, dribbled past Croatia defenders Sime Vrsaljko and Duje Caleta-Car and smashed the ball into the net from around five meters (yards).
Neymar had injured his right foot playing for Paris Saint-Germain and underwent surgery in Brazil in early March.
Roberto Firmino scored Brazil’s second goal in the 90th minute.
The five-time World Cup champions play their last pre-World Cup friendly against Austria on June 10.
Brazil’s World Cup opener is on June 17 against Switzerland.