The Stat Line Of The Night — 7/13/11 — Neymar
Brazil entered the 2011 Copa America tournament as favorites to take home the trophy, along with hosts Argentina, but after earning only two points in their first two group stage matches, they were in danger of bowing out earlier than anyone could have imagined. In order to avoid such a catastrophe, they needed their young, world-class stars up front to provide goals. They did just that.
A.C. Milan’s 21-year-old striker Alexandre Pato provided two of Brazil’s goals last night, but the real story was the play of 19-year-old forward Neymar, who scored goals in the 48th and 76th minute to seal the 4-2 victory for Brazil over Ecuador and lead them into the knockout stages of the tournament. Neymar looked dangerous every time he touched the ball, setting up several changes and capitalizing on a few of his own opportunities as well. It was the type of break-out performance that Brazilian fans were hoping to see from their young phenom, and it earned him “The Stat Line of the Night” for Wednesday, July 13, 2011.