Brazil 2-0 USA – nightmare is over as Brazil get back to their irresistible best
Four years of crap was flushed away in New Jersey last night as Brazil returned to the flamboyant style we all know and love. In his first game in charge of Brazil, Mano Menezes and his bright young things did much to erase the memory of the drab, unadventurous football the world had to endure under previous coach, Dunga.
The South Americans struck twice through Neymar and Alexandre Pato but could have had a hatful against a competitive USA in a very enjoyable friendly in New Jersey.
With an enthusiastic home crowd behind them, the USA got off to a bright start. But after weathering an early storm, Brazil began to play the type of enchanting football everyone associates with the South Americans.
Once they stopped giving the ball away, Brazil quickly took control. From early on it was clear that the Yellow and Blues were much more balanced than they were under their predecessor. Menezes had set his team up with just the right blend of defence and creativity. Despite fielding three forwards, there was always plenty of cover in midfield. Robinho in particular worked his socks off (yes, Man City fans, I said Robinho).
Excellent use of the width led to both goals. And although physically lightweight, forwards Neymar and Alexandre Pato showed they have what it takes to unlock defences and take their chances. Pacey and skilful, Neymar and Pato frightened the life out of the US backline every time they got the ball. Neymar especially, was confident and cocky and totally unfazed on his debut and you could almost sense the big boys in the Premiership dusting off their cheque books ready to match Santos’ asking price for the 18-year-old. Teammate Paulo Henrique Ganso was elegant and thoughtful throughout and came very close to making it 3-0 when he struck the post.
Altogether, it was a fabulous start by Menezes. It’s hard to believe that the Brazilian Football Confederation’s first choice to replace Dunga – Muricy Ramalho – would have had Brazil playing like this.
Full marks to Brazil and Mano Menezes. The coach has set himself an extremely high benchmark though only Brazilians will expect that his team perform like this every game. Of course, it’s far too early to get carried away. Let’s remember that this was just a friendly against combative but not top notch opposition. But if this is how it’s going to be under Mano Menezes, then more of it.
USA: Howard (Guzan), Spector, Bocanegra (Goodson), Bradley, Gonzalez, Donovan (Findley), Bedoya (Gomez), Bornstein, Buddle (Altidore), Edu, Benny Feihaber (Kljestan)
Coach: Bob Bradley
Brazil: Victor, Daniel Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, André Santos, Lucas, Ramires (Hernanes), Ganso (Jucilei), Robinho (Diego Tardelli), Neymar (Ederson) (Carlos Eduardo), Alexandre Pato (André)
Coach: Mano Menezes
Gols: Neymar, 28; Alexandre Pato, 45
Yellows: David Luiz (BRA)
Venue: New Meadowlands Stadium, New Jersey, USA
Officials: Silviu Petrescu, Joe Fletcher, Daniel Belleau (all Canada)