Neymar sent off for mask celebration

Neymar sent off for mask celebration

Published Apr. 7, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Emerging Brazilian soccer star Neymar was pulling a glum expression Thursday after he was sent off for donning a mask of his own face while rejoicing at a spectacular solo goal.

The 19-year-old striker, who accused Scotland fans of racism in a recent exhibition game, was at the center of more controversy Wednesday night when he was dismissed for an illegal celebration in Brazilian side Santos' 3-2 win over Chile's Colo Colo in the Copa Libertadores.

After dribbling past several defenders and chipping the goalkeeper to extend the home team's lead, Neywar raced away to his adoring fans before picking up a paper mask thrown to the field.

He was sporting a wide grin as he attached the mask to his face upside down before pointing to fans and photographers in delight at his achievement.


But the Uruguayan referee failed to see the funny side and handed Neymar a second yellow card for an illegal celebration to end his participation in the game after only 52 minutes.

He was not alone in being sidelined, though, with five players dimissed in the angry contest.