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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football friendlies: Neymar, Firmino on target as Brazil beat US

Football friendlies: Neymar, Firmino on target as Brazil beat US

Last updated on: September 08, 2018 11:03 IST

Neymar

IMAGE: DeAndre Yedlin of USA defends Neymar of Brazil during their friendly match at MetLife Stadium. Photograph: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Two goals in the first half from Roberto Firmino and Neymar gave Brazil an easy 2-0 victory over the United States in a friendly match in New Jersey on Friday.

Firmino put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes when he tapped a volley home from close range after fine work on the right wing from Douglas Costa.

 

Brazil doubled their lead two minutes before half-time from the penalty spot after Fabinho was adjudged to have been tripped in the box by Wil Trapp.

Although the award looked generous, Neymar made no mistake, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-0.

Brazil, playing their first match since Belgium knocked them out of the World Cup quarter-finals, improved their record against the United States to 18 wins in 19 games.

The visitors were on top throughout against a young U.S. team that have been without a full-time coach since Bruce Arena resigned after they missed out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.

Neymar almost made it 3-0 after 51 minutes but Matt Miazga cleared off the line, and while the United States threatened with cross balls they could not get past Brazil keeper Alisson.

Both teams made several changes in the second half, with Arthur, Lucas Paqueta, Everton and Richarlison all making their debuts for Brazil.

"A friendly is important for us to prepare for the Copa America next year, that is our principal objective," Alisson said. "Some lads had a chance to make their debut and the win was good for their confidence.

"I think we can get a lot better but we did a nice job today under the conditions. The pitch didn't help but we managed to pass the ball well against a team that tried to pressure us. It was a good test."

Brazil's next game is against El Salvador in Maryland on Sept. 11, while the United States head to Nashville to take on Mexico the same day.

Two goals in the first half from Roberto Firmino and Neymar gave Brazil an easy 2-0 victory over the United States in a friendly match in New Jersey on Friday.

Firmino put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes when he tapped a volley home from close range after fine work on the right wing from Douglas Costa.

Brazil doubled their lead two minutes before half-time from the penalty spot after Fabinho was adjudged to have been tripped in the box by Wil Trapp.

Although the award looked generous, Neymar made no mistake, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-0.

Brazil, playing their first match since Belgium knocked them out of the World Cup quarter-finals, improved their record against the United States to 18 wins in 19 games.

The visitors were on top throughout against a young US team that have been without a full-time coach since Bruce Arena resigned after they missed out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.

Neymar almost made it 3-0 after 51 minutes but Matt Miazga cleared off the line, and while the United States threatened with cross balls they could not get past Brazil keeper Alisson.

Both teams made several changes in the second half, with Arthur, Lucas Paqueta, Everton and Richarlison all making their debuts for Brazil.

"A friendly is important for us to prepare for the Copa America next year, that is our principal objective," Alisson said. "Some lads had a chance to make their debut and the win was good for their confidence.

"I think we can get a lot better but we did a nice job today under the conditions. The pitch didn't help but we managed to pass the ball well against a team that tried to pressure us. It was a good test."

Brazil's next game is against El Salvador in Maryland on Sept. 11, while the United States head to Nashville to take on Mexico the same day.

Uruguay, Argentina rack up big wins in U.S. friendlies

Luis Suarez

IMAGE: Uruguay's Luis Suarez celebrates scoring. Photograph: Andres Stapff/Reuters

A Luis Suarez brace, the second a cheeky ‘Panenka’ penalty, helped Uruguay ease to 4-1 win over Mexico, while Argentina rebounded from a poor World Cup to thump Guatemala 3-0 in a pair of big friendly wins in the United States on Friday.

The Uruguayans, knocked out of the World Cup by eventual winners France in the quarter-finals, took the lead in Houston in the 21st minute thanks to Jose Maria Gimenez before Raul Jimenez equalised from the spot for Mexico four minutes later.

Man of the Match Suarez grabbed his double in nine first-half minutes, the second an audacious 40th minute chipped penalty, before Gaston Pereiro completed the scoring on the hour mark with his first international goal.

Jimenez could have pulled one back for Mexico, but his second penalty of the match was saved by keeper Fernando Muslera with 16 minutes remaining.

In Los Angeles, a new-look Argentina, missing Lionel Messi, who is taking a sabbatical from international football, and the retired Javier Mascherano, were still too strong for an inexperienced Central American opposition.

Gonzalo Martinez got Argentina’s first from the penalty spot after 27 minutes, before Giovani Lo Celso doubled their lead eight minutes later with a sweetly struck half volley from 25 meters.

Giovani Simeone, son of Athletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone, scored the third on his national team debut two minutes before halftime to complete the scoring.

The game petered out in a second half following a raft of substitutions but the win was a welcome tonic for a team that disappointed in Russia, handing caretaker coach Lionel Scaloni a solid start.

“Ever since I was a boy my dad told me that one day I would be here,” a delighted Simeone told reporters. “No matter the rival, there was a lot of anxiety to see this new Argentina. In the first half we did everything we had to do.”

In another friendly involving South American sides in the United States, Colombia came from behind to beat neighbours Venezuela 2-1 in Miami.

Darwin Machis put Venezuela ahead after just three minutes, but Radamel Falcao equalised with a header nine minutes into the second half before Yimmi Chara got the final touch to a goalmouth scramble to seal Colombia’s win in the last minute.

Argentina take on Colombia in New Jersey next Tuesday, the same day Mexico play the United States in Nashville.

Guatemala play Ecuador in Bridgeview, Illinois, while Brazil, who beat the U.S. 2-0 earlier on Friday, go to Maryland to play El Salvador.

Classy Belgium thrash hapless Scotland 4-0 in friendly

Belgium

IMAGE: Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates. Photograph: Lee Smith/Reuters

Belgium handed error-prone Scotland their biggest home defeat in over 45 years as they coasted to a 4-0 friendly win helped by Michy Batshuayi’s second-half double at Hampden Park on Friday.

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard had put the visitors on top in the Nations League warm-up as the Scots suffered their heaviest home reverse since February 1973 when they lost 5-0 to England.

World Cup semi-finalists Belgium dominated the match with Lukaku putting them ahead just before the half-hour mark after a defensive mix-up before they ran riot after the break.

Scotland gifted the visitors the first goal when goalkeeper Craig Gordon rolled the ball to John McGinn, who was dispossessed by Mousa Dembele before Dries Mertens set up Lukaku to score.

Hazard made it 2-0 with some trickery and a fierce drive in Belgium’s first foray of the second half before he set up Batshuayi for the third after Charlie Mulgrew gave the ball away.

Batshuayi netted his second from the edge of the area with Ryan Jack to blame after he lost possession in midfield.

Belgium open their Nations League campaign in Iceland on Tuesday, while Scotland start at home to Albania on Monday.

“The players were well focussed overall and for us it was a good exercise for Tuesday,” said Belgium manager Roberto Martinez. “Take the scoreline away, we were very clinical in front of goal.”

The gulf in class was shown by the fact that Scotland got their first corner in the 84th minute as they struggled against an experienced Belgium side, who came third at the World Cup.

But it was the home side’s mistakes that cost them dear.

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