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Brazil 1-0 Uruguay: Neymar goal seals narrow win for the Selecao in feisty friendly with Uruguay

Neymar, Brazil and this match got there in the end. It was a late penalty scored by that marvellous trickster in yellow that settled it, and how appropriate that such a slow burner of a game was decided by one of those crawling, stuttering run-ups.

For the duration of the first half and a chunk of the second, this looked for all the world like one of those occasions when the best ingredients go into a pot and you still end up with a heap of nothing.

But then it came to the boil, first through Uruguayan pressure after the break, before Brazil then nabbed the winner, scored by Neymar on 76 minutes from the spot.

MATCH FACTS AND STATS

BRAZIL (4-3-3): Alisson 7; Danilo 5.5, Marquinhos 6, Miranda 6, Filipe Luis 6.5; Arthur 6.5, Walace 5, Renato Augusto 6 (Allan 59, 6); Douglas Costa 6 (Richarlison 67), Firmino 6, Neymar 8

Subs not used: Brazao, Willian, P Castro, Jesus, Sandro, Ederson, Dede, Paulinho, Rafinha, Fabinho

Goals: Neymar 75(pen)

Bookings: D Costa, Walace

URUGUAY (4-3-3): Campana 7; M Suarez 6 (Lemos 81), Mendez 6, Caceres 6, Laxalt 6; Bentacur 7, Torreira 6.5, Vecino 6; Pereiro 6 (Rodriguez 76), L Suarez 7, Cavani 6

Subs not used: Silva, Velazquez, Cabaco, Lodeiro, De Arrascaeta, Sanchez, Gomez

Bookings: Torreira, M Suarez, Vecino, Laxalt, Caceres, Cavani

Referee: Craig Pawson (England).

It had to be him because just about everything else in the game centred on Brazil’s No 10. That meant most of the chances in the first half, the majority of the crowd noise, a handful of lovely passes and a selection of Uruguay’s worst fouls.

They had six bookings in all in this not so friendly meeting of South American nations and the ones handed to Lucas Torreira and Edinson Cavani each came for hacks at Neymar.

The latter was particularly spiteful and made all the more interesting because Cavani and Neymar are team-mates at PSG. Cavani had said earlier in the year that past ‘problems’ with his colleague had been resolved, but evenings like this inject one or two doubts into the mind.

For Neymar, it was a 60th international goal, and all by the age of 26. Not the most important game of his career, but a reminder, if it was needed, that he really does belong in a bigger league than Ligue 1.

For his Brazil manager Tite, it was a 25th win in 28 matches. Not too shabby, either, even if the World Cup quarter-final exit defines his time in charge so far.

The first half was largely mundane, barring some early, fleeting flashes of intensity and quality from Neymar and two isoilated attacks in retaliation by Uruguay.

First to Neymar, who in the opening stages was on a solitary mission to batter his South American neighbours. On six minutes, his hard bouncer of a free-kick was pushed wide by Martin Campana, a moment later he had a goal rightly disallowed for offside and a further four minutes on he shot over the bar.

Among it all he dipped a lovely ball over the Uruguayan backline for Roberto Firmino and drew a clattering foul from Lucas Torreira that got the Arsenal midfielder a booking.

That was pretty frantic, all told, but his involvement became less pronounced after the foul, and by extension so did Brazil’s control of the half.

Brazil’s striker Neymar (R) reacts after being tackled by Uruguay’s midfielder Lucas Torreira, who

that got the Arsenal midfielder a booking.

That was pretty frantic, all told, but his involvement became less pronounced after the foul, and by extension so did Brazil’s control of the half.

WATCH HIGHLIGHT

 

 

ajay
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