Brasil mostram Grã-Bretanha Ouro Mulheres StandardTeam GB Segure Suécia
Brazil Show Britain Gold StandardTeam GB Women Hold Sweden
MIDDLESBROUGH, England, July 21, (Agencies): Neymar turned in a fine individual display by scoring one goal and setting up another as Brazil warmed up for the Olympics with a 2-0 victory over Britain on Friday.
The 20-year-old striker whipped in a free kick for Sandro to head the gold medal favorites in front in the 12th minute.
Neymar got on the scoresheet himself in the 35th with a penalty after Hulk was tripped by Britain defender Micah Richards.
The British rarely looked capable of scoring as they were outclassed ahead of their first appearance in the Olympics since 1960.
Britain started with Daniel Sturridge playing as a lone striker as he attempted to prove his match fitness after a bout of viral meningitis.
But they relied on goalkeepers Jason Steele and Jack Butland, who each played a half, to ensure Brazil didn’t leave the Riverside Stadium with a bigger victory.
Leandro Damiao, supported by Oscar, Neymar and Hulk tormented England’s back four from the start.
But the hosts could have leveled after Sandro’s opener. Richards met Ryan Giggs’ free kick beyond the far post, although defender Thiago Silva was on hand to clear a downward header.
After Neymar extended Brazil’s lead from the spot, the Santos star forced a save from Steele at his near post and saw a long-range effort deflected over the bar.
After the break, Butland was forced to save from Oscar and Damiao in quick succession with his defense offering little protection.
There was a glimmer of hope for Britain when Danny Rose crossed to Craig Bellamy, but the Welsh forward’s effort was denied by a point-blank save.
There was a lively finale, with Butland making a one-handed save to block Neymar’s shot towards the bottom corner and then palming Alexandre Pato’s header over the crossbar. Britain has not fielded an Olympic team since the 1960 Games in Rome because football federations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland feared losing their independence within FIFA.
The world body assured the football associations their status won’t be affected by participating in the 16-team competition as the Olympics return to London for the first time since 1948. There are no players from Scotland or Northern Ireland in the squad, with only England and Wales represented.
In Middlesbrough, England, Britain’s women’s soccer team, who take part in the first event of the Olympic Games when they play New Zealand in Cardiff next Wednesday, drew 0-0 with Sweden in their first official match at the Riverside Stadium on Friday.
The game, the first half of a double-header with the men’s Olympic team due to play Brazil later, was full of fine technical play from two evenly matched teams making their final preparations in a low-key encounter before the start of the soccer tournament next week.
The British team, whose only other match was a behind closed doors training game which ended in a 3-1 win over South Africa this month, came closest to a goal when Rachel Yankey, making her 120th appearance for England as a second half substitute, hit a post with a well-taken left-foot shot after 70 minutes.
Sweden, who finished third in last year’s women’s World Cup and are fourth in FIFA’s world rankings threatened several times and Sofia Jakobsson, who plays professionally in Russia, wasted a good scoring chance just before halftime.
Caroline Seger, winning her 93rd cap for Sweden, had her side’s two best scoring chances, but failed to take either.
The two sets of players will be seeing plenty of each other over the next few weeks, whether they meet in the later stages of the Games or not as they are sharing the same accomodation block in the Olympic Village.
Britain, taking part in the Olympics for the first time, face Cameroon and gold medal favourites Brazil in their opening group matches, while Sweden are grouped with world champions Japan, Canada and South Africa, their first opponents in Coventry next Wednesday.
The soccer tournament traditionally starts before the opening ceremony to accommodate the competition programme which features 16 men’s teams and 12 womens.