Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

Alisson pleased with Brazil response against South Korea after blow of losing to arch-rivals Argentina

Liverpool goalkeeper says team are ready to take on next challenge of sealing place in 2022 World Cup

Brazil goalkeeper Alisson Becker says Tuesday’s victory against South Korea in Abu Dhabi proves the team are back on track as they set sights now on qualification for the 2022 World Cup.

The five-time world champions defeated their Asian rivals 3-0 in the friendly at the Mohamed bin Zayed Stadium, snapping a run of five matches without a win. Lucas Paqueta, Philippe Coutinho and Danilo got the goals.

The victory, which came off the back of Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to Argentina in Saudi Arabia, was Brazil’s first since they secured a ninth Copa America crown in July.

Attention will now turn to sealing a place at the World Cup in three years’ time, with South American qualification beginning in March. The draw takes place next month.

“We are ready,” Alisson said. “When you play for Brazil, you are always under pressure. You need to show everyone that you are good enough to wear this shirt, because it’s a heavy shirt. But we are ready.

“Obviously, we came from five not-so-good results: some draws and the loss against Argentina. But we know our potential, we know our goals, we know where we want to be. And we want to be at the World Cup in 2022. We know what we need to do on the pitch for this to happen and we did that tonight.

“We have each to work properly to improve. It was something we needed to do. The first game against Argentina was a bad result for us, but tonight we won and we could make a great performance also.

“We always want to improve, we always play to win, but sometimes it doesn’t happen. We will do everything to try to put Brazil always in top places. And we will try always to conquer a victory in the games, but sometimes it's not easy. But we always give our best to make it happen.”

Despite missing star playmaker Neymar through injury, Brazil were largely the better side against a more than competent South Korea.

Left-back Renan Lodi excelled with two assists, while Liverpool midfielder Fabinho and Bayern Munich midfielder Coutinho were particularly impressive.

Allison, the Liverpool No 1, said the team had enjoyed their recent stay in the Middle East, which served as part of their Brazil Global Tour.

“It’s good for us. For me especially, that we had some sunny days. In Liverpool, we don’t have too much,” he joked. “But it was a special for our preparation for the qualifiers. We needed to have a victory this night, to have a good game and we could play well and could win against South Korea, which is a good side who play very well. They made our game difficult. But we are happy that we have won tonight.

“It was a nice game. We were needing a victory to put us in a good place because we are coming from five bad results, drawing and a loss against Argentina. That sometimes puts you in a difficult situation. In this game we did very well.

"We did everything that the manager asked us to do on the pitch. We put everything to win this game and give us confidence for the rest of the season.”

Alisson missed 11 matches for Liverpool at the beginning of the season because of a calf injury sustained in the Premier League opener against Norwich City, but returned for the table-toppers midway through last month.

After 12 games, Liverpool are eight points clear of second-placed Manchester City, the defending champions.

Asked if he was fully recovered, the Fifa Best Men's Goalkeeper of the Year said: “Yeah, I feel 100 per cent fit. I was just needing the continuity of playing and I have this now.”

Updated: November 20, 2019 12:30 PM

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