EAST RUTHERFORD - A youthful Brazil side enjoyed an impressive 2-0 win over the United States in a friendly at the New Meadowlands stadium on Tuesday, handing new coach Mano Menezes a victory in his first game in charge.
Winger Neymar, controversially left out of previous coach Dunga's World Cup squad, produced an excellent debut performance including grabbing the opening goal in what was an upbeat and encouraging display.
The result and the way it was achieved will be of great encouragement to Brazilians, who are looking forward to hosting the 2014 World Cup finals but still hurting at their quarter-final exit to the Netherlands in South Africa.
After troubling the American defence from the outset, Brazil went ahead in the 28th minute when left-back Andre Santos broke down the flank and whipped in a superb cross to the back post, which the 18-year-old Neymar met with a thundering header.
The second goal came in time added on at the end of the first half when a simple passing move from the back, ended with Ramires putting in Alexandre Pato who coolly slotted past Tim Howard.
Brazil had a number of chances in the second half but U.S. substitute keeper Brad Guzan pulled off some fine saves while debutant Paulo Henrique Ganso, who looked confident in the main playmaker's role, struck the post with a 25 metre effort.
Menezes' promise to produce a team with a more appealing approach to the game was instantly evident with Lucas and Ramires playing the holding midfield roles with little trouble while Robinho, Ganso and Neymar interchanged impressively behind the main striker Pato.
Dani Alves, Ramires, Thiago Silva and Robinho were the only members of Menezes' squad who were in South Africa.
"It was not only the result that was important for us with a young team that hadn't had much time to train together," said Menezes, whose players had two days together prior to the game.
"It was the manner in which we built this result, the way we created opportunities against a tough side, mature opponents who have a settled team.
"It was a step forward in terms of the ideas and the vision we have and there will be more."
The U.S, who picked a largely first choice side, struggled to cope with Brazil's slick passing and movement and were unable to create much with their limited possession.
Michael Bradley, son of coach Bob Bradley, had a second half header ruled out for offside but it was a lacklustre display from a U.S team, who reached the second round in the World Cup before going out to Ghana.
While the game marked the start of a new era for Brazil, it could be the end of one for the U.S, with Bradley's contract expiring in December and his future uncertain.
The Americans have friendlies in October against yet to be confirmed opponents but Bradley was unable to say whether he would be in charge.
"My contract is through (to) the end of the year so it's no problem for me," Bradley said.
"I'll be thinking later tonight about those games and like I have said there will be discussions."comments