He might not be firing yet for Liverpool, but Roberto Firmino helped his country win their first World Cup qualifier against Bolivia. Firmino contributed two of the five goals netted by Brazil on Friday night in Sao Paolo. This win means that Brazil begins their World Cup dreams atop the Conmebol qualifying table, a place they’ll hope to stay for the duration.
Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho also contributed to Bolivia’s woes, while the fifth goal was an own goal, to add insult to injury.
The best news for Liverpool fans is that despite bagging his brace, Firmino only put in 70 minutes before being subbed out for Richarlison. Fabinho also traveled with the team but remained an unused substitute for this match.
The next stop is Peru, where they will play another qualifier on Tuesday.
On the other side of the world, Takumi Minamino put in 70 minutes for his native Japan in a friendly against Cameroon, which took place in Utrecht on Friday. The match ended 0-0, which was a perfect metaphor for making dozens of people travel together and play a close contact sport for a game that means nothing and that no fans can attend. No one wins.