By Robbie Blakeley, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – the Seleção (Brazilian national team) comprehensively dispatched France 3-0 yesterday afternoon in the perfect preparation for the Confederations Cup in Porto Alegre. It was the Seleção’s first success over an major international rival in over three years, since defeating England 1-0 in Qatar, in November 2009 and Brazil’s first win over France since 1992.
Goals from Oscar, Hernanes and a Lucas penalty sufficed to show Brazil’s superiority yesterday. The result means the side should go into next week’s Confederations Cup opener against Japan brimming with confidence.
The first half was largely even until the Brazilians notched up the tempo a couple of gears after the interval. Prior to the half-time whistle, the hosts had enjoyed the lion’s share of possession without seriously threatening Lloris in the French goal.
Coach Scolari’s preferred attacking trio of Hulk, Neymar and Fred appear to understand each other’s movement well, but taking a greater proportion of chances will have to improve if Brazil are to lift a third successive Confederations Cup crown. Neymar and Fred both missed gilt-edged opportunities in the opening 45 minutes.
Fortunately, Oscar was not so wasteful in front of goal eight minutes into the second half. Luiz Gustavo robbed the ball and fed Fred, who in turn squared for the Chelsea playmaker to open the scoring. Instead of trying to sit on the lead, Scolari upped the ante further.
He was rewarded with a precise curling effort from Hernanes to double the lead. Two minutes into injury times, Lucas calmly tucked away a penalty after Marcelo had been scythed down inside the area.
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