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Neymar' s hat-trick gives Santos a come-from-behind win

02-10-2012 13:14 BJT

RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- Coming to life in the second half, Santos came-from-behind to beat Botafogo-SP 4-1 in the Sao Paulo state championship on Thursday. Neymar played brilliantly, scoring three goals and helping his team to its fourth in a matter of eighteen minutes.

Host Botafogo-SP claimed the game' s opening goal in the 36th minute when a Santos defensive meltdown allowed Camilo to receive a crossed ball wide-open in front of the goal. Firing a one-timer, Camilo blasted the ball past keeper Rafael to score.

Still lethargic, Santos began to warm up towards the middle of the second half. Neymar tied the match in the 76th minute by heading in a free kick from Paulo Henrique Ganso. The 20-year-old scored again just two minutes later, converting a penalty kick in which he suffered the foul.

Completing his hat-trick in the 2nd minute of stoppage time, Felipe Anderson lofted the ball to an unmarked Neymar who then calmly targeted his shot and whipped the ball past a helpless keeper, Marcio.

Neymar could have scored his fourth goal of the game when he masterfully displayed his individual talent and weaved through the Botafogo-SP defense in the 3rd minute of additional time, but the athlete unselfishly rolled the ball off to teammate Felipe Anderson who then tapped in an easy goal.

The win marks Santos first with its normal cast of starting players playing together in 2012. The result improves the team to eighth place with 9 points after six rounds. In the next round of play the team will receive Linense on February 12. However, the team will most likely consist of reserve players as Santos prepares for its debut in the 2012 Libertadores Cup against Bolivia' s The Strongest FC on February 15 in La Paz.

Editor:Zhang Rui |Source: Xinhua

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