Brazil underlined their position as favourites for Olympic gold when they gave a masterful performance to complete a 2-0 win over hosts Britain, who fielded a united team for the first time in 41 years.
Brazil won the friendly with a header from Sandro and a penalty from Neymar just five days before the London Games soccer competition, which features an under-23 line-up with three over-aged players, kicks off.
Brazil, seeking to win the Olympic title for the first time, sent a powerful message of intent to the other 15 teams in the competition with a silky display in their final warm-up before the Games.
I am not worried about sending a message to the other teams. My main concern tonight was to get my European-based players, returning from holiday, back in the rhythm of the team, Brazil coach Mano Menezes told reporters.
That took maybe 20 minutes at the start, but then we played very well for the rest of the half and the match.
On an unusually sunny summer’s evening at the Riverside, there was excitement that the Olympics was drawing closer with the theme from Chariots of Fire reverberating around stadium before kickoff and the uncommon site of the Union Jack fluttering in the breeze.
Britain struck gold in three out of four Games from 1900 but in recent years, fielding a Team GB has been blocked by the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland football associations amid fears that they might lose their independent status within FIFA.
Tags: Mano Menezes, London Olympics, sports news
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