Neymar faíscas Brasil na vitória
Neymar sparks Brazil in victory
MIDDLESBROUGH, England — 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.
|Olympic warmup: Brazil’s Oscar (left) and Britain’s Danny Rose vie for the ball on Friday at Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough. AP|
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 the hosts 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 toward 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.