International friendlies - Neymar pulls strings in Brazil win over Chile

International friendly, Rogers Centre - Brazil 2 (Hulk 14, Robinho 78) Chile 1 (Vargas 70)

International friendlies - Neymar pulls strings in Brazil win over Chile

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Brazil players celebrate their first goal against Chile in a friendly in Toronto (AFP)

Neymar excelled once again as Brazil beat Chile 2-1 in an entertaining international friendly played at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada.

Hulk opened the scoring for Brazil in the first half only for Eduardo Vargas to pull Chile level with 20 minutes remaining. But the World Cup hosts secured victory when Robinho stooped to head his first international goal for two years and stake a real claim to be included in Luis Felipe Scolari's squad next summer.

A disjointed opening to the game was punctuated by Hulk's goal just before the quarter-hour mark. The Zenit Saint Petersburg striker fired a fierce low drive past Claudio Bravo from Oscar's pass after the Chelsea midfielder had been gifted the ball in what proved to be a costly error by Marcos Gonzalez.

The Chileans responded well to going behind and they could have been level had Cardiff City's Gary Medel not made a hash of things when found in the Brazil box by a clever free-kick. Medel later went into the book for a clumsy challenge on Oscar, who looked every bit a world class player before fading slightly after the break.

Brazil began the second half on top with Neymar central to most of their attacking play and it was from his dangerous cross that Gonzalez went some way to atoning for his earlier error, the Chilean defender somehow diverting the ball up and over his own crossbar.

Robinho, Hulk, Paulinho and Oscar all had decent chances in quick succession to add a second for Brazil, but Chile survived the intensive onslaught and emerged unscathed before going on to level against the run the play.

Vargas, the Gremio striker, appeared to cleverly use David Luiz as a screen to unsight Julio Cesar in the Brazil goal before firing into the bottom corner and drawing Chile back onto level terms.

The goal sparked the match into a furious finale with both sides going for a winner. But it was Brazil who found it, Robinho heading home from close range after wonderful vision from Neymar found Maicon, who crossed for the AC Milan forward.

Neymar should have capped his night with a goal but he fluffed his lines when played in on goal in the dying embers of the game, while Robinho could have added a second to his personal tally with the last kick of the game. As it was, the former Manchester City striker may well have already done enough to earn a place at next summer's tournament.


PRE-MATCH - Brazil named another strong side, with Maicon keeping his place at right-back and Luis Gustavo and Paulinho holding the midfield behind a front four of Oscar, Neymar, Jo and Hulk. Chile promoted Gonzalo Jara – who came off the bench in their victory over England – to the starting XI, while star man Alexis Sanchez started.

14' GOAL - Hulk blasts home after an awful ball out of defence by Marcos Gonzalez goes straight to Oscar. The Chelsea man plays it to Hulk, who makes no mistake with a fierce low drive past keeper Bravo.

20' CHILEAN CHANCE - A clever free-kick fools Brazil and finds Medel around the penalty spot, but the Cardiff man swings his boot at the ball and doesn't really connect.

51'ATONEMENT - Neymar leads the counter but as the ball comes across the face of the Chilean goal, somehow Gonzalez manages to scoop the ball up and over his bar! That goes someway to atoning for his first-half error.

70' GOAL - Vargas levels things up for Chile, against the run of play! It's a superb individual effort, firing past David Luiz from 25 yards and leaving Julio Cesar rooted to the spot!

79' GOAL - Robinho gives Brazil the lead again! The Milan man converts a simple header from close range after Maicon's cross finds him all alone in the middle. Who started the move? Neymar.

83' NEYMAR CHANCE - Neymar should score here as Brazil break quickly but he gets his feet tied up and he can't convert!


Just how good is this Brazilian side? Luis Felipe Scolari's side are sweeping all before them in the build-up to the tournament on their own turf and, with Neymar pulling the string, are already looking ominous.



Neymar (Brazil) - The Barcelona ace pulled the strings for his country once again and with him in their ranks, Brazil cannot be looked on as anything other than favourites for next summer's tournament.


Brazil: Cesar 6, Maxwell 6 ,Maicon 6, Thiago Silva 6, David Luiz 7, Paulinho 7, Luiz Gustavo 6, Oscar 7, Jo 6, Neymar 8, Hulk 7. Subs: Hernanes n/a, Dante 5, Ramires 5, Willian 5, Robinho 7, Lucas n/a.

Chile: Bravo 6, Gonzalez 5, Jara 6, Mena 6, Diaz 6, Medel 6, Carmona 6, Fuenzalida 5, Gutiérrez 6, Sanchez 6, Vargas 7. Subs: Fernandez 6, Beausejour 6, Valdivia 5, Munoz n/a.


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