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USA 0 – 2 Brazil: Young Samba stars shine in New Jersey

August 11th, 2010

Neymar, Alexandre Pato, Paulo Henrique Ganso, Brazil (Getty Images)

Bright future ahead for Menezes’ men…

Mano Menezes named an inexperienced, experimental lineup in his first match as Brazil coach, but his Selecao looked like a team that had been playing together for years.

The classic samba beat returned tonight as an inspired Brazil earned a 2-0 victory over the United States. In his international debut, Neymar headed in the opener, and Alexandre Pato added a second before half-time.

In addition to Neymar, playmaker Ganso and goalkeeper Victor earned their first caps for Brazil. For the United States, Omar Gonzalez wore his country’s shirt for the first time.

The United States looked the better team during the opening exchanges, and Landon Donovan had a penalty claim denied before Brazil found their rhythm. And find it they did. From the fifth minute onward, Brazil completely dominated the game.

Pato missed a gilt-edged chance and Andre Santos was denied by a fine save from Tim Howard before Neymar headed in Santos’ 29th minute cross. Three minutes later, Pato had put the ball into the net, but the goal was disallowed for a foul the Milan forward committed on Howard.

Brazil continued to dominate the game, using superior skill, as well as a numerical (3-2) advantage in central midfield to maintain possession and force the Americans to stay on their heels.

Repeatedly, the visitors would win the ball in midfield, burst forward, and have favorable numbers on the break. (more…)

Brazilians look at future prospects in US friendly

August 10th, 2010

Brazil coach Mano Menzes

New Brazil coach Mano brings back only four World Cup players for a Tuesday friendly against the United States, his debut in the job after taking over from Dunga.

Santos striker Robinho, AC Milan defender Thiago Silva, Barcelona defender Daniel Alves and Benfica midfielder Ramires will be joined by 10 new players as the South Americans look to the 2012 London Olympics and 2014 World Cup.

AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato, Santos playmaker Neymar, Liverpool midfielder Lucas and defenders Rafael da Silva of Manchester United and Marcelo of Real Madrid are among the newcomers being touted as the top of the next generation of superstar talent for the five-time World Cup champions.

The Netherlands ousted Brazil in last month’s World Cup quarter-finals, sparking Dunga’s exit and a call for more flair from the Brazilians. (more…)

Brazil planning sober samba party with alcohol set to be banned for 2014 World Cup

August 8th, 2010

Sobering thoughts: There will be a party in Brazil - but will it may be a dry one

Brazil 2014 is set to be the first alcohol-free World Cup after organisers confirmed sales will be banned at games under anti-hooligan laws.

None of the 12 stadia which will host matches will be allowed to sell drinks because of violence which cost 42 lives in 10 years to 2008.

The ban was imposed in April 2008 by the Public Ministry, which represents Brazil’s magistrates.

World Cup organising committee director Rodrigo Paiva said a law change, which magistrates have pledged to fight, would be needed if stadia asked to sell alcohol.

State governments in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Pernambuco, where games will be played, also have local rules stopping sales, and minimum jail terms for offences were added last week.

Budweiser has paid £32million to be an event partner, though their beer will still be advertised at stadia and sold at fan zones.

Despite the ban, trouble still occurs, and a fan died in February as 14 were shot when Sao Paulo and Palmeiras fans clashed.

A fan was reported to have had his hand blown off as he tried to detonate a home-made bomb at the game.

By Alistair Grant

Brazilian Goalie Is Charged in Ex-Lover’s Killing

July 31st, 2010

Flamengo Goalkeeper Bruno Souza

The police said Friday that they had charged the goalie of Brazil‘s most popular soccer club, Flamengo, with murder in the disappearance of a former lover who claimed to have had his child.

In a case that has dominated news coverage for weeks in this soccer-obsessed nation, the police said they had concluded their investigation and were charging the goalie, Bruno Fernandes das Dores de Souza, 25, and eight friends and family members in the killing of Eliza Samudio, 25, who disappeared in early June.

Since the police first said they had discovered the blood of Ms. Samudio in Mr. Souza’s car in early June, Brazilians have been exposed to a barrage of soap opera-like revelations and gruesome details. The investigation intensified during the last few days of the World Cup, when the police took Mr. Souza into custody, where he has remained since.

The relationship began last year when the soccer player, who was not on the Brazilian World Cup team, and Ms. Samudio met at a party in Rio de Janeiro. Soon after, the police said, she discovered she was pregnant and told him he was the father. Mr. Souza, who is married, apparently did not take the news well. Last October, she filed a complaint with the police in Rio saying he had kidnapped her and tried to threaten her into having an abortion. (more…)

Silva: FIFA will be ‘surprised’ with preparations

July 28th, 2010

Brazil's Sports Minister Orlando Silva

Brazil’s sports minister defended the preparations for the 2014 World Cup on Wednesday, saying those criticizing them are underestimating their current state and that some of the delays were due to FIFA being slow in approving plans.

Orlando Silva conceded during a conference call that there are no plans yet to build the Sao Paulo stadium scheduled to stage the opening ceremony, but said he has been reassured by local officials that a proposal is due within days.

FIFA has previously criticized Brazil’s readiness, saying the country is behind schedule in several areas, including stadium renovation and infrastructure.

“These are the opinions of those who ignore the reality of the country,” Silva said, adding that FIFA will soon “see the reality close up. They will be surprised with the preparations for the World Cup. (more…)

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