Tue, Mar 29, 2011 - Page 20 News List

Brazil beat Scotland 2-0 in friendly


Silva of Brazil, right, battles with Scott Brown of Scotland during their friendly match in London on Sunday.

Photo: EPA

Neymar scored a goal in each half on Sunday to halt Brazil’s losing streak with a 2-0 friendly win over Scotland in London.

The Santos striker rounded off a flowing move three minutes before halftime and struck his second from the spot in the 77th minute after winning a penalty in a tangle of legs with Scotland midfielder Charlie Adam.

Brazil lost their last two friendlies 1-0, but an understrength lineup was mostly untroubled in front of the 53,087 fans at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and could have won by more.

Neymar, only playing because of an injury to Alexandre Pato, hit the bar at the start of the second half and goalkeeper Allan McGregor made a double save moments later. Substitute Jonas also blazed a shot over the bar when unmarked in injury-time.

Brazil have now outscored Scotland 16-3 and remain undefeated in the 10 meetings between the sides.

“It’s a good starting point,” said Brazil coach Mano Menezes, who is trying to build a team to defend the Copa America title in Argentina in July. “We want the Brazilian team to represent the ideal people have of the Brazil team.”

However, while Menezes will be buoyed by a victory earned without the attacking talents of Robinho, Ronaldinho, Kaka and Pato — through either injury or poor form — Scotland manager Craig Levein can also take positives from a spirited performance against the world’s No. 5-ranked side.

Although Scotland could not eke out any clear chances against a defense built on Lucio, Thiago Silva and Daniel Alves, the physicality of Scott Brown and guile of Adam unsettled Brazil’s midfield for periods of the second half.

“One thing’s for sure, we won’t have many tougher friendlies than that,” Levein said. “There’s always the thought in the back of your mind that you might get turned over, but that didn’t happen.”

“I was really pleased with the way the players stuck at it,” he said.

Still, Brazil’s greater quality always looked likely to tell.

“We were very superior as we expected,” Menezes said. “When you get new strikers and lose someone like Pato before the match, it brings you more risks, but the team behaved well.”

Jadson, playing in a withdrawn role on the right of Brazil’s attack, hit a 20th-minute shot with the outside of his right boot, but the effort was saved low by McGregor. Neymar slipped as he chased the rebound and the chance passed.

Leandro Damiao headed over minutes later from a corner and Lucas Leiva’s cross from the right byline was only kept out by an inadvertent handball on the line by defender Gary Caldwell. The offense was not spotted and the ball looped back and out for a goal-kick.

Scotland looked set to hold out until halftime, but a penetrating move upfield led to Neymar collecting a left-wing cross just inside the area.

He seemed to have lost control with his first touch, going one way while the ball went the other, but recovered immediately to curl a right-foot shot around a defender and past the diving McGregor.

Brazil had two chances to extend the lead in the first two minutes of the second half, Neymar curling a shot just over the bar, before Ramires robbed James McArthur of possession on the edge of the area. McGregor just managed to get his fingers to Ramires’ pass to Neymar and then blocked a follow-up shot by Leandro Damiao.

“It was a good match,” Menezes said. “The team set up well throughout the match and kept trying to take control. We know our players have talent. We just need to take our time and not rush things.”

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