Jesus out and Cunha in for Brazil’s World Cup qualifiers

SAO PAULO (AP) — Injured Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus was replaced by Hertha Berlin’s Matheus Cunha in Brazil’s squad on Friday for the two opening rounds of South American World Cup qualifiers in October.

The Brazilian Football Confederation said in a statement its medical team heard from City that Jesus was injured on Monday during the 3-1 win against Wolverhampton in the English Premier League, without elaborating. Jesus scored the third goal near the final whistle.

The 21-year-old Cunha received his first call-up from Brazil. He has scored twice for Hertha Berlin in two matches of the new season.

Cunha was Brazil’s top goal-scorer in qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics, with five in seven matches.

Brazil starts training on Oct. 5 outside Rio de Janeiro. Four days later it will begin qualifying against Bolivia in Sao Paulo. On Oct. 13 coach Tite’s team will face Peru in Lima.

The other strikers in the squad are Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Everton (Benfica), and Richarlison (Everton).

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