By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Brazil narrowly beat Argentina 2-1 last night in the first leg of the Superclassico das Americas in Goiânia. The two-legged tournament, which was inaugurated last year, sees the two great rivals challenge each other only using players plying their trade in the Brazilian and Argentine leagues (not playing abroad).
In a scrappy affair, it took a late Neymar penalty to give Brazil victory on a night which didn’t please the fans. The match was held at the Serra Dourada Stadium in Goiânia, the capital city in the central state of Goiás.
For the majority of the game, the Seleção coach Mano Menezes was booed and ridiculed by the 37,000 strong crowd, while several cries were made for the return of Luis Felipe Scolari, who won the 2002 World Cup with the national side.
The crowds’ wishes may gain weight with the CBF after yet another poor performance. With the exception of Corinthians midfielder Paulinho, who equalized after Brazil had fallen behind, the side looked nervous and lacked the courage to attack at will.
Lucas and Neymar did their best to press the Argentine defense but without the aid of a willing midfield their efforts were futile. Neymar’s penalty, three minutes into injury-time, spared Mano’s blushes but it was a tough night for all involved with the Seleção.
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