Raphinha dazzles in latest Brazil appearance as clip shows Leeds United man terrorising Colombia

By Joe Donnohue

Leeds United winger Raphinha earned a second cap for Brazil on Sunday evening as his country toiled to a 0-0 draw with Colombia.

Brazil currently top the standings in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying, but were frustrated in the coastal Caribbean city of Barranquilla as a baying home crowd witnessed what was a tense and fractious stalemate.

Raphinha was restricted to a watching brief for the opening 60 minutes, but with a breakthrough looking unlikely, Brazil manager Tite called upon the 24-year-old shortly after the restart, opting to use the Leeds man as his first substitute.

He replaced Flamengo striker Gabriel Barbosa and almost made an instant impact with a couple of neat give-and-go's on the right-hand side.

As the match wore on and Colombia held firm for a what could yet prove to be a vital point in qualifying, the game took on a much more fragmented complexion.

Stoppages became frequent, passages of play were hastily broken up by fouls or strong challenges; Brazil's flair silenced.

Raphinha still managed to create opportunities, both for himself and his teammates, though.

In the 76th minute, the Leeds man drifted infield with the ball at his feet, shaping to shoot in a position which is fast becoming his favoured area of the pitch, just outside the penalty area.

Unlike his cultured strike against West Ham United last month, Raphinha unleashed a rasping effort, forcing Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina into an acrobatic save away to his right.

Minutes later Raphinha turned provider, once again cutting inside onto his left foot, but this time delicately bending a cross into the path of AFC Ajax's Antony, whose prodded attempt at goal gave Ospina yet more work to do.

It had been apparent for some time that the game was destined for a 0-0 draw, but Raphinha refused to accept that reality, giving Colombia full-back Johan Mojica a torrid end to the evening, right up until the final whistle.

In the closing stages, Raphinha welcomed the ball into his feet on the near touchline before motoring beyond the flat-footed Mojica.

As Raphinha checked back onto his left foot momentarily, Mojica shifted his weight onto his standing leg, which prompted Raphinha to continue in the original direction of travel: towards the byline.

Consequently, Mojica was floored by Raphinha's superior balance and ability to glide in possession. The chance which the Brazilian subsequently created was squandered inside the area by a Selecao teammate, but that was the third instance in which Raphinha had carved out a real opportunity from very little, in the space of 25 minutes.

His second appearance for Brazil was shorter than his first - just 30 minutes - but over two games, the Leeds wide-man has left quite the impression.

Heading into Brazil's final World Cup qualifying match of the October international break this week, Raphinha could well be in contention to start after a cumulative 75 minutes in the yellow and blue of Brazil.

Tite's side host Uruguay on Thursday evening, approximately 36 hours before Leeds face Southampton in the Premier League.


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