New Boys Run Riot In Brazil Victories
A Much-Changed Brazil Team Put Australia & DR Congo To The Sword
Christian Schäfer kept his 100% win record as Brazil manager as he saw his side defeat Australia and DR Congo. Six players made their debuts for Brazil over the course of the two friendlies, and this will give Schäfer much food for thought as he plans his squad for the summer's Copa América.
vs Australia (24/03/2023)
Goalkeeper Zulu, defenders Fernandes and Carlinhos, midfielder Mosca and striker Cebolinha all made their Brazil debuts against Australia in what was certainly an experimental line-up. Marquinhos made his first appearance for Brazil since he broke his leg in last summer's World Cup, while Neymar made his 138th Brazil appearance.
Hulk (Brazil) 7.7
Brazil began the game as the more dangerous of the two sides and it was captain Neymar who nearly opened the scoring, as he showed Massimo Luongo a clean set of heels before firing narrowly over the crossbar.
Debut 'keeper Zulu was called in to action for the first time after seventeen minutes when he was forced in to a low save from Awer Mabil's driven cross, before smothering Mathew Leckie's smart drive.
Cebolinha had his first chance of the game just before the half-hour mark when Neymar picked him out with a no-look through ball, but Mathew Ryan produced a phenomenal save to deny Brazil's striker a debut goal.
Cebolinha did get on the score-sheet, however, as it took just one minute of the second half for Brazil to break the deadlock. Coutinho turned provider after cushioning a Neymar pass in to the path of Cebolinha, who powered home an emphatic finish to give himself a flying start to his Brazil career.
Cebolinha almost added a second just ten minutes later. Hulk found himself with plenty of space on the right wing, and curled a cross in to the box which was met by Cebolinha's head, only to be parried on to the post by Mathew Ryan.
Substitute striker Wesley Santos killed the game when he added to Cebolinha's opener, heading past Mathew Ryan from a Fabinho cross to continue his impressive start to life as a Brazil player.
Australia had no reply to Brazil's goals and the game eventually ground out to a comfortable 2-0 victory for the visitors.
- Zulu made his debut for Brazil, keeping a cleansheet in the process.
- Fernandes made his debut for Brazil, playing the full 90 minutes.
- Carlinhos made his debut for Brazil, playing 65 minutes.
- Mosca made his debut for Brazil, playing 75 minutes before coming off with a hamstring injury.
- Cebolinha made his debut for Brazil, scoring a goal in a 65 minute appearance.
- Marquinhos earned his 70th cap for Brazil, following a 9 month absence due to injury.
vs DR Congo (28/03/2023)
Goalkeeper Cajú made his Brazil debut against DR Congo, as Brazil looked to make it two wins out of two in this international window.
Bruno Paulista (Brazil) 8.9
Brazil made a flying start to the game as wing-back Hulk tore in to the opposition area, firing a fierce shot in to the side netting, setting the tone for the rest of the game.
The first real opportunity of the game was presented to Cebolinha, who made his second appearance for Brazil. Coutinho spun away from two defenders on the right-hand side before firing in a low cross towards Cebolinha, but his shot was blocked brilliantly by David Kinsombi.
Brazil broke the deadlock after twenty-four minutes, and Cebolinha was at the heart of it. The striker held off a number of defenders before playing Hulk in to free space on the right wing. The wing-back's cross was headed away by Kinsombi, but fell to Bruno Paulista who was on hand to drill a half-volley in to the bottom corner.
It should have been two-nil eight minutes later, if not for Loic Badiashile's brilliant intervention. Coutinho, who was at the heart of every Brazil move, crossed for Cebolinha in the box. The ball fell for fellow attacker Oscar but his volley from eight yards out was tipped over the bar by DR Congo goalkeeper Badiashile.
Brazil added a second goal to the game, and it was the scorer of the first goal, Bruno Paulista, who engineered it. The midfielder picked out Cebolinha in the box, who's shot rocketed in to the top corner to give him two goals in as many games for Brazil.
DR Congo got a goal back in stoppage time of the first half through some sloppy Brazilian defending. Marquinhos failed to clear the ball properly, and Gianelli Imbula was on hand to prod home past the helpless Cajú.
Cebolinha restored Brazil's two-goal cushion after the break when he headed Neymar's free-kick in off the crossbar after being left completely unmarked in the area, and nearly completed his hat-trick when his swerving cross had to be headed off the goal line by David Kinsombi.
- Goalkeeper Cajú made his debut for Brazil, conceding once as he played the full 90 minutes.
Next International Break
The next international break will bring us the Copa América itself. Friendlies against Cameroon and USA will give Brazil a good warm-up, before facing Peru in their first game of the competition on 18th June. Can Brazil bring back the trophy? Can Der Professor write his name in South American football folklore?
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