As anticipated, Willian made his return to the Brazil national team starting lineup on Tuesday night. He had lost his starting spot to Philippe Coutinho in the previous match against Bolivia, but thanks to Neymar's suspension for yellow card accumulation, the Chelsea man was back in the lineup just as he had been for 27 of the previous 29 matches.
With his mother's illness weighing heavy on his mind, Willian made good account of himself, scoring Brazil's second early on in the second half with an impressive, tight-angle finish on a cross from Renato Augusto. Note the heart-warming group hug and celebration from the rest of his teammates, including all the bench players, too.
Future Manchester City strike Gabriel Jesus grabbed Brazil's first in the variable conditions in Venezuela, which played also played a part in Willian's close encounter with an advertising hoarding.
Fortunately, the Chelsea midfielder was no worse for the wear and was able to resume playing. He was withdrawn with just a couple minutes to go in favor of former Shakhtar Donetsk teammate (edit: sort of, for all of 30 days) Taison.
Current Chelsea teammate Oscar once again just watched the proceedings from the bench. He has yet to play for Brazil this calendar year, with his last start coming over a year ago, in September of 2015, in the first match of the 2018 World Cup qualifying cycle, a 2-0 loss to Chile.
With the win, new head coach Tite's fourth in four tries, and Uruguay's 2-2 draw in Colombia (Juan Cuadrado played the full 90), Brazil have taken over top spot in the qualifying league. The top four teams automatically qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, and after a couple early hiccups, Brazil seem to have righted the ship and look well on course to qualify easily.