Roberto Firmino was amongst the goals on Friday night as Brazil overcame the United States men’s national team with a 2-0 friendly win.
Brazil boss Tite answered the wishes of many fans as he handed the Liverpool forward a start up top in between Neymar and Douglas Costa.
His faith was rewarded in the 11th minute when Firmino put himself in the right position to stab home Costa’s soaring cross from the right-hand side.
It was far from a moment of his familiar individual ingenuity, but instead a typical striker’s goal to remind of the conventional poacher’s threat he carries.
He reacted to Costa’s sudden burst of pace before anybody, capitalising on the USA defence’s own failure to anticipate the danger coming their way.
GOL DE FIRMINO! How Douglas Costa and him were not starters in the World Cup is beyond me… pic.twitter.com/6mlb8H6iad
— Seleção Brasileira (@BrazilStat) September 8, 2018
Firmino provided the kind of no.9 positioning that Brazil were in need of more often from Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus at the World Cup.
Tite’s decision to stick with the latter throughout his side’s time in Russia began to prove divisive in light of Firmino’s bright cameos.
That said, Jesus’ prominence came as no surprise given his form as starter throughout Brazil’s qualifying campaign in the build up to the tournament.
Both represent valuable assets in pressing the ball across the opposition defence, but it is perhaps Firmino who has staked a greater claim in recent months as the goalscorer his country requires.
Fellow Reds Alisson and Fabinho both earned starts on the night, with the latter being deployed at right-back.