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Rodrygo Shines, Vinicius Injured, and Endrick Debuts in Brazil’s 2-1 Loss to Colombia

An eventful game is soured with the news of a first half injury to Vinicius Junior.

Colombia v Brazil - FIFA World Cup 2026 Qualifier Photo by Gabriel Aponte/Getty Images

Brazil lost their second World Cup Qualifying match in a row, and are winless in three matches, after a comeback victory from Colombia. Brazil went up early after Vini Jr setting-up Martinelli for a first-half goal, but two goals from Luis Diaz in the second half turned the tide. From a Real Madrid perspective, there are three players to focus on: Vini, Rodrygo, and 17-year-old debutant Endrick.

Brazil’s interim head coach, Fernando Diniz, opted to start Vinicius and Rodrygo up top, in similar roles and positions to those they occupy for Real Madrid. This gave the coach the opportunity to introduce Martinelli down the left and Raphinha down the right, bolstering the offense in the absence of Neymar.

Vinicius Junior: The 23-year-old was looking to make amends for recent poor Brazilian performances. He started the game in dynamic form with dangerous runs in behind the Colombian backline. Managed to dribble through the left half space and combine with Martinelli to create the first and only Brazilian goal of the night. An assist under his belt and encouraging 20 minutes. At that time, it looked like smooth sailing for Brazil with the new front four creating danger. It would not last. The Real Madrid player went down with an injury, holding his left leg near his hamstring and thigh area signaling a problem. He was replaced after 27 minutes and fears are growing that the Brazilian could be out for 2 months.

Rodrygo: Started in a right sided striker role, the same position he has been playing for Real Madrid but moved towards the left after Vini’s substitution. Donning the #10 in place of Neymar, Rodrygo was Brazil’s best player on the night and their most creative outlet. Floating from right to left and back again, Rodrygo had 1 big chance created and 3 key passes. Surprisingly, Diniz replaced Rodrygo after 69 minutes with Brazil leading 1-0. Once Rodrygo exited the match, it all went down hill. Luis Diaz scored in the 75th and 79th minute securing a 2-1 comeback.

Endrick: The 17-year-old became the 4th youngest player to debut for Brazil. Was thrown on in the last 10 minutes to try and salvage something for an erratic offense. Diniz looked visibly flustered and was throwing players on left and right to trey and change the game. It was far from an ideal game-state for Endrick. Despite the challenge, Endrick looked solid in his limited minutes. Active off the ball and constantly looking to combine with teammates. He played without fear and did not look over-awed by the occasion.

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