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Richarlison avoids serious injury despite Cavani tackle that ‘could have broken his ankle’

The Uruguay striker was shown a straight red card for his troubles

Uruguay v Brazil - South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 Photo by Matilde Campodonico - Pool/Getty Images

Richarlison was on target for Brazil in their World Cup qualifying win against Uruguay - though he was lucky to avoid serious injury following a late challenge by Edinson Cavani that led to the Manchester United striker being sent off.

Richarlison headed home Brazil’s opener shortly before half-time after Juventus midfielder Arthur Melo’s 34th-minute opener.

However, the main talking point of the game - certainly for worried Evertonians - came on 70 minutes when Cavani caught the Toffees forward on his ankle with an over-the-top tackle.

Cavani was initially only shown a yellow card, but was upgraded to red after the referee consulted the VAR monitor.

The win maintains Brazil’s 100% start to their qualification campaign and moves them two points clear at the top of the table.

Richarlison, who was substituted shortly after Cavani’s dismissal, attempted to play down the incident after the game, though he did admit he was fortunate to escape without serious injury.

He told reporters:

“I think it was a ball dispute, he went over the top.

“If my foot was stuck it might have even broken my ankle, but I think it wasn’t bad.

“He tried to steal the ball and ended up missing.”

The news will be of huge relief to Evertonians, with Richarlison available to return after suspension for this weekend’s game against Fulham.

The Brazilian was sent off for a nasty tackle of his own on Thiago during last month’s Merseyside derby, with the Spain international yet to feature for Liverpool since.

The Toffees have lost all three games Richarlison has missed and have yet to win without him since the 23-year-old’s move from Watford in 2018.

Carlo Ancelotti will no doubt be eager to get the forward fully checked over by the Everton medical team on his return to Finch Farm.

The TV schedulers have at least given the players an extra day to prepare for their trip to Craven Cottage, with the game now kicking off at midday GMT on Sunday.

There is some concern over midfielder Allan, who missed the game after reportedly picking up a muscle injury and will also need to be assessed on his return to Finch Farm.

Meanwhile, James Rodriguez was on target for Colombia against Ecuador, though Los Cafeteros found themselves on the end of a 6-1 hammering in Quito.

James played the full 90 minutes while Yerry Mina missed the game through suspension after his sending off against Uruguay on Friday.