Stats: Neymar held in check as Brazil beat Chile on penalties

Neymar Brazil 2

Brazil advanced to the quarter-finals of the World Cup at the expense of Chile, but their talisman struggled.

Brazil striker Neymar had a difficult game against a resilient and physical Chile side, but the World Cup hosts advanced to the quarter-finals nonetheless.

The Barcelona star has been talismanic for Brazil all tournament, and although he started strongly in the Round-of -6 clash, he later faded and hobbled with an injury.

A look at Neymar's stats in the three group stage matches shows how important he has been to his side so far.

  TeamPosMinsTouches Per GamePoss Lost Per GamePasses Per GameTotal ShotsTotal On TargetGoalsChances CreatedApps
Neymar Brazil FW 249 63.33 19.00 34.00 11 8 4 6 3

Neymar was particularly efficient in possession for a forward in the group stage. In 249 of a possible 270 minutes, the 22-year-old racked up an average of just over 63 touches and gave the ball away less than 20 times per game.

The Barcelona forward was prolific in front of goal, finding the net with four of his 11 shots, and he laid on six potential scoring opportunities for his teammates on top of that.

Against Chile, however, the frontman was considerably less effective and found it difficult to influence the game.

  TeamPosMinsTouchesPoss Lost PassesShotsOn TargetGoalsChances CreatedApps
Neymar Brazil FW 120 74 27 28 4 1 0 3 1

Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli said before the game that his side's plan was to crowd Neymar whenever he looked to receive the ball in order to get him out of his rhythm. For large stretches of the game, his plan worked.

Despite the extra 30 minutes of playing time, Neymar touched the ball 74 times - just 11 times more than his previous average - and lost possession far more frequently than in the group stage.

He hit the target with only one of his four attempts on goal, and that was a tame header late in the game that did not really trouble Claudio Bravo in the Chile goal.

The stats do not tell the full story, however. Neymar's darting runs in the first half were at the centre of much of Brazil's attacking play, and alongside the often motionless Fred he was electric.

In fact, Neymar will be remembered for only one thing when looking back on this game - his decisive penalty in the shootout that saw Brazil through. He stepped up to take the crucial fifth spot kick, and after a slow, measured run-up, he slotted into the bottom left-hand corner.

Neymar will need to have more of an influence on the game if Brazil are to continue to progress in the later rounds of the tournaments, but with this performance he showed that even if things are not going his way he can deliver, despite all the pressure on his young shoulders.

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