FIFA World Cup

World Cup warm-up: Neymar on target yet again as Brazil thrash Austria 3-0

Neymar marked his return to the starting line-up with a brilliant goal with Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho scoring as well.

Neymar marked his return to the starting line-up with another brilliant goal as Brazil eased to a 3-0 win over Austria in Vienna on Sunday in their final friendly ahead of the World Cup. Gabriel Jesus and Philippe Coutinho netted either side of Neymar’s strike at the Ernst Happel Stadion, as the world’s most expensive player confirmed his return to fitness following a foot operation three months ago.

It was an encouraging way for Tite’s side to complete their preparations before their departure for their base in the Russian Black Sea resort city of Sochi. The Brazilians were due to arrive there in the early hours of Monday, ahead of their opening game at the tournament against Switzerland next Sunday.

Neymar’s goal was his 55th in a Brazil shirt, allowing him to draw level with Romario on his country’s list of all-time leading scorers – only the great Pele and Ronaldo have scored more goals for Brazil than the Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

The 26-year-old had come off the bench to score in last weekend’s 2-0 win over Croatia in Liverpool, his first appearance since suffering a foot fracture playing for PSG in February and then returning to his homeland for surgery.

He played 84 minutes in the Austrian capital after replacing Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho in the starting line-up, surviving a couple of bruising challenges from Austria’s Watford defender Sebastian Proedl, who was booked in the second half. Brazil, wearing black armbands in tribute to the country’s tennis legend Maria Esther Bueno who died on Friday aged 78, had chances to go in front before Jesus opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

Marcelo’s long-range shot was blocked, but the ball fell to Jesus inside the area and the Manchester City striker took a touch before finishing beautifully past Heinz Lindner in the Austrian goal. Jesus is Brazil’s leading scorer under Tite’s management, ahead of Neymar, who got his name on the scoresheet in the 63rd minute.

It was a quite superb effort, the former Barcelona man controlling Willian’s chipped pass on his thigh just inside the box and then leaving Austrian defender Aleksandar Dragovic on the floor with some delightful footwork before rolling the ball home. Tempers had flared just before that with the Brazilians taking exception to tasty tackles on Neymar and Coutinho.

But their class told in the end as Neymar’s goal was followed by a fine effort from Coutinho, who later also hit the bar from long range.

Brazil touch down in Russia

A confident Brazil squad arrived in Russia in the early hours of Monday morning as they set their sights on winning the World Cup for the sixth time.

Neymar and the rest of the team touched down in Sochi, the Black Sea resort city where they will be based during the tournament, just before 3am local time on a flight from Vienna.

Brazil begin their campaign next Sunday, June 17, when they face Switzerland in Rostov-on-Don. They will also come up against Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

Following a mountaineer as he reaches the summit of Mount Everest

Accounts from Vikas Dimri’s second attempt reveal the immense fortitude and strength needed to summit the Everest.

Vikas Dimri made a huge attempt last year to climb the Mount Everest. Fate had other plans. Thwarted by unfavourable weather at the last minute, he came so close and yet not close enough to say he was at the top. But that did not deter him. Vikas is back on the Everest trail now, and this time he’s sharing his experiences at every leg of the journey.

The Everest journey began from the Lukla airport, known for its dicey landing conditions. It reminded him of the failed expedition, but he still moved on to Namche Bazaar - the staging point for Everest expeditions - with a positive mind. Vikas let the wisdom of the mountains guide him as he battled doubt and memories of the previous expedition. In his words, the Everest taught him that, “To conquer our personal Everest, we need to drop all our unnecessary baggage, be it physical or mental or even emotional”.

Vikas used a ‘descent for ascent’ approach to acclimatise. In this approach, mountaineers gain altitude during the day, but descend to catch some sleep. Acclimatising to such high altitudes is crucial as the lack of adequate oxygen can cause dizziness, nausea, headache and even muscle death. As Vikas prepared to scale the riskiest part of the climb - the unstable and continuously melting Khumbhu ice fall - he pondered over his journey so far.

His brother’s diagnosis of a heart condition in his youth was a wakeup call for the rather sedentary Vikas, and that is when he started focusing on his health more. For the first time in his life, he began to appreciate the power of nutrition and experimented with different diets and supplements for their health benefits. His quest for better health also motivated him to take up hiking, marathon running, squash and, eventually, a summit of the Everest.

Back in the Himalayas, after a string of sleepless nights, Vikas and his team ascended to Camp 2 (6,500m) as planned, and then descended to Base Camp for the basic luxuries - hot shower, hot lunch and essential supplements. Back up at Camp 2, the weather played spoiler again as a jet stream - a fast-flowing, narrow air current - moved right over the mountain. Wisdom from the mountains helped Vikas maintain perspective as they were required to descend 15km to Pheriche Valley. He accepted that “strength lies not merely in chasing the big dream, but also in...accepting that things could go wrong.”

At Camp 4 (8,000m), famously known as the death zone, Vikas caught a clear glimpse of the summit – his dream standing rather tall in front of him.

It was the 18th of May 2018 and Vikas finally reached the top. The top of his Everest…the top of Mount Everest!

Watch the video below to see actual moments from Vikas’ climb.

Play

Vikas credits his strength to dedication, exercise and a healthy diet. He credits dietary supplements for helping him sustain himself in the inhuman conditions on Mount Everest. On heights like these where the oxygen supply drops to 1/3rd the levels on the ground, the body requires 3 times the regular blood volume to pump the requisite amount of oxygen. He, thus, doesn’t embark on an expedition without double checking his supplements and uses Livogen as an aid to maintain adequate amounts of iron in his blood.

Livogen is proud to have supported Vikas Dimri on his ambitious quest and salutes his spirit. To read more about the benefits of iron, see here. To read Vikas Dimri’s account of his expedition, click here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Livogen and not by the Scroll editorial team.