Neymar and Brazil Dominate Americans

Neymar scores on USA

After a hard fought 2-1 victory last Friday over Peru, the United States played host to the legendary Brazilian squad Tuesday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. This match served as the Americans’ final tuneup before facing off against Mexico in the CONCACAF Cup in October. The visiting Brazil squad was coming off of two very disappointing finishes in their last two major tournaments after getting knocked out in the quarterfinals in this summer’s Copa América, and losing 7-1 to Germany in the 2014 World Cup semifinals. Even with these two less than stellar tournaments, Brazil is still one of the most entertaining and talented teams in the world and were rightly considered the favorites going into Tuesday night’s fixture.

Despite looking unfazed by their opponents’ star power in the opening minutes of the match, the Americans fell behind on the nine minute mark. Hulk delivered a trademark thunderbolt into the back of the net after collecting a Willian rebound inside the penalty area. The U.S. almost found a swift reply just three minutes later when Jozy Altidore redirected DeAndre Yedlin’s cross only for Mirando to block the effort and neutralize the threat. For the remainder of the first half, the Brazilians dominated possession with expert passing and creativity and the U.S. midfield looked completely outclassed. The midfield performance was bad enough to push Jurgen Klinsmann to sub on Reading’s Danny Williams for Alejandro Bedoya in just the 36th minute in an attempt to break up Brazil’s rhythm.

After struggling to go into the first half just down one goal, the second half started with more Brazilian dominance. Just four minutes into the second half, a beautifully played 60-yard ball from David Luiz found a streaking Neymar on the left wing. The Barcelona star had beaten an out of position Geoff Cameron and the U.S. defender rashly took down the Brazilian star. Neymar stepped up to take the ensuing penalty and just barely snuck the ball past Brad Guzan into the side netting to give the guests a deserved 2-0 lead. The Americans looked completely outclassed by their Brazilian opponents, and the remaining 40+ minutes looked less than promising for the Stars and Stripes.

A string of great Brazilian chances made it a question of when, rather than if, the visitors would score a third goal, and in the 64th minute they found it. Good buildup play found Rafinha one-on-one against Tim Ream just outside the six-yard box, and the Barcelona man made quick work of the American defender before putting the ball past Guzan and into the back of the net. The misery compiler came less than three minutes later as Neymar danced his way past several U.S. defenders before smashing in his second goal of the night to give Brazil a 4-0 lead. Danny Williams salvaged some respect from the match with an amazing strike from 25 yards out to finally put the Americans on the scoreboard.

Williams’ strike was the lone moment of American brilliance in an otherwise disheartening 4-1 loss to the Brazilians. From start to finish, Brazil looked the better of the two sides, and few fans can argue that they deserved anything less than this one-sided victory. For the Americans, this result provides Jurgen Klinsmann with some major selection and tactical problems going into their critical match against Mexico in October. How will the Americans rebound from this humbling defeat?

 

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About the author: Collin Carpio

 

I am currently a senior at the University of Missouri in the Journalism School. I have been an avid follower of Manchester United since 2006 and of course I support the Stars and Stripes. Due to my St. Louis high school allegiances, I am a big supporter of Brad Davis and Sporting KC in MLS.

 

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