By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The Brazilian and Colombian national football (soccer) teams played last night, Wednesday, January 25th, in Rio’s Nilton Santos Stadium, better known as Engenhão. Brazil’s Seleção beat Colombia 1-0, but the match was more focused on memorializing the tragedy of the Chapecoense football team plane crash.
Neither team had their full squad on the pitch but it was still a competition. The first half of the match had three clear shots at goals, two from Brazil and one from Colombia, but nothing went through.
In the second half, Brazil needed only one minute to find the back of the net. Rodriguinho served Fagner on the right, the side reached well on the bottom line and made a low cross for Diego Souza. González came out and managed to defend, but Dudu took the rebound and, with a header, scored for the Seleção.
The Engenhão stadium was less attended than hoped, with the main screen announcing only 18,695 people present for the friendly support of Santa Catarina club Chapecoense. The stadium had 40,000 seats for sale. The reported income of R$1,219,675 will be donated to the families of the victims of the plane crash last November 29th.
Brazil will return to the field on March 23rd and 28th, against Uruguay (Montevideo) and Paraguay (São Paulo), respectively, for the qualifiers of the 2018 World Cup. Coach Tite will announce the 23 players in early March, this time with athletes that play for international clubs.
Tite has kept the hundred percent record for the Seleção: seven games, seven victories, eighteen goals scored, one goal conceded (marked against defender Marquinhos). After the victory last night, Brazil assumed the leadership of the FIFA ranking, which had not happened since May 2010.