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Neymar still important without goals - Dunga

Brazil coach Dunga has defended captain Neymar in the wake of his side's 3-0 World Cup qualification win over Peru.

The Barcelona star was unable to replicate his superb club form at the Itaipava Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador as he was outshone by Douglas Costa.

Bayern Munich winger COsta opened the scoring halfway through the first half before setting up the second and playing a role in Brazil's third goal, too.

Nevertheless, Dunga was quick to stress Neymar was still vital to his team's success.

"Neymar was marked by two or three players, thus creating space for others," the Brazil coach told Globo Esporte.

"Neymar was the one who opened up space for Renato Augusto for the second goal. He did a lot of work and played his part for the team."

The win over Peru saw Brazil climb to third place in the table with seven points from four games and Dunga is optimistic about their chances of reaching the 2018 World Cup.

"We must finish in the top four in order to qualify," he added.

"Everybody has been speaking about how difficult it would be, but the team is growing.

"We climbed from seventh spot to fifth place and now to third. We are on the right track to qualify, which is all that matters."