Friday, 20 July 2012

Team GB 0-2 Brazil: Sandro & Neymar on target as Pearce's men outclassed ahead of Olympics

Team GB were given a footballing lesson by Brazil in their Olympic Games warm-up match at the Riverside Stadium as they were comfortably beaten 2-0.

 A first half header from Tottenham’s Sandro gave Brazil the lead, and with ten minutes of the half remaining Neymar added a second from the penalty spot after Micah Richards had brought down Hulk.

 The South Americans were unable to extend their lead in a much more even second half, but they continued to dominate possession and control the game through the impressive Oscar and Romulo.

 Team GB boss Stuart Pearce was able to name Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge in the starting line-up after the striker recovered from a bout of viral menigitis, there were concerns that the youngster would not recover in time for the Olympics but his inclusion in this warm-up game proved he will lead the line for Team GB.

 All of the squad’s over age players started with Micah Richards given a centre back role alongside James Tomkins as opposed to his normal right back position.

 Brazil named a strong starting line-up with Santos’ Neymar upfront and the much talked about Oscar of Internacional lining up in midfield.

 There were also places for Porto’s Hulk, Real Madrid’s Marcelo and Manchester United’s Rafael Da Silva.

 The hosts started the game brightly as they tried to restrict the amount of possession their South American opponents had, and they were successful as early breaks from Sturridge and Ryan Bertrand created good openings for Team GB.

 However the first chance of the game came to Brazil in the sixth minute but Neymar was unable to test Luke Steele in the GB goal.

 A long ball from goalkeeper Rafael Cabral was flicked on Leandro Damiao for the Santos striker, he raced away from Tomkins towards goal put skied his effort over the bar.

 The deadlock was broken six minutes later as the visitors were awarded a free kick in a dangerous position 30 yards from goal.

 GB prepared for a Hulk tunderbolt but it was actually Neymar who took the set piece, he flicked a cross into the penalty area and Sandro arrived at the back post to flick a header into the far corner giving Steele no chance.

 Team GB were nearly level moments later with there first real sight of goal, a Ryan Giggs free kick was header across goal by Richards at the back post but there was no team mate able to convert the chance and the Brazil defence were able to clear.

 Just past the half hour mark Brazil doubled their lead through Neymar after a poor challenge from Richards on Hulk inside the area.

 The Porto striker outpaced Richards on the right hand side and used his strength to stay in front of him and encouraged the Manchester City man to make a challenge.

 That challenge came but it was mistimed and the visitors were awarded a stonewall penalty.

 Neymar, after a quick kiss for the ball, calmly stroked Brazil into a 2-0 lead with an excellent low penalty that was out of Steele’s reach.

 GB made four changes at half time as Pearce looked to get his side back into the game as Jack Butland, Steven Caulker, Scott Sinclair and Jack Cork were all introduced for Luke Steele, James Tomkins, Ryan Bertrand and Daniel Sturridge.

 The changes didn’t have an immediate impact for the home side as Brazil went close to extedning their lead even further through the impressive Oscar.

 Neymar jinked his way past Neil Taylor and pulled a low cross back to Oscar on the edge of the area, he got the ball out of his feet and sent a powerful shot towards goal but Butland was able to easily turn it away.

 Brazil had dominated the game but just before the hour mark GB had their best chance after their best spell of possession.

 Captain Giggs was instrumental in the move as he pulled the stings in the centre of the pitch, he linked well with Tom Cleverley and Cork before the Southampton midfielder rolled the ball into the path of Danny Rose.

 The full back raced past Rafael and delivered a low cross for Bellamy but Rafael Cabral made an excellent save, picking up a knock in the process.

 However had the ball gone into the net it would have been disallowed as Bellamy was in an offside position when Rose fired his cross in.

 Further changes to both sides meant a much more disjointed second half but there were definite improvements from Pearce’s side as they kept possession better and created some better openings in front of goal.

 Brazil introduced Alexandre Pato, Ganso and Lucas Moura with 20 minutes to play and although they slotted in perfectly they were unable to find a third goal for the visitors.

 Neymar had a final sight of goal in the closing minutes but his low effort from the edge of the penalty area was excellently saved from Butland, the Birmingham City keeper diving low to his right to deny the Santos man.


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