By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
BASEL, SWITZERLAND – Brazil lost 1-0 to Switzerland yesterday at St. Jakob’s Park in Basel. It was the Seleção’s (Brazilian national team) first outing since their successful Confederations Cup campaign in June. Dani Alves’ own goal in the second half was enough to separate the sides on a disappointing day for Brazil.
The Seleção tasted defeat for the second time under coach Luiz Felipe Scolari and the result brought the players back down to earth after the euphoria of the last couple of months.
Felipão made two changes to his Confederations Cup XI. Jefferson replaced Júlio César in goal and Dante partnered Thiago Silva in defense. The Botafogo goalkeeper put in a good performance, making two excellent stops in the first half.
There were no changes to the attack, which wasted opportunities to open the scoring during the first half. Hulk was especially guilty, missing three chances in the opening half-hour.
Fred linked well with Neymar but the Barcelona striker was also wasteful in front of goal. Brazil’s best chance came on 38 minutes when Paulinho met Neymar’s cross with a thundering header but his effort struck the crossbar.
The sides went in goalless at half-time and two minutes after the interval came the game’s defining moment. Seferovic sent over a deep cross from the right and Dani Alves headed past a helpless Jefferson into his own net.
The mishap seemed to destabilize the Seleção. The side lacked the cohesion of the first half and Jefferson was forced to prevent a second Swiss goal on more than one occasion. Scolari took off Fred, Marcelo and Luiz Gustavo and sent on Jô, Maxwell and Fernando. Soon afterwards, Hernanes entered for the ineffective Oscar and Lucas for Hulk.
In spite of the changes, the game’s panorama did not alter. Brazil failed to control the midfield and Scolari, in a final throw of the dice, brought on Jean for Dani Alves. Still nothing went right for the Brazilians and the final whistle came down on a sobering defeat.
They next take to the field on September 7th, against Australia, at the Estádio Mané Garrincha in Brasília.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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