Ney­mar, Brazil hit Ja­pan in friendly

PSG star scores penalty and misses an­other as Sele­cao out­class Blue Samu­rai in in­ter­na­tional build up match in France

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - SPORT -

Samba Boys si­lence Asian op­po­nents in friendly to sound loud warn­ing shot to teams ahead of next year’s World Cup

Ney­mar scored a penalty and missed an­other as Brazil sig­nalled their in­tent ahead of next year’s World Cup by out­class­ing Ja­pan 3-1 in Fri­day’s in­ter­na­tional friendly in Lille.

The Paris Saint-ger­main star rolled in a 10th-minute spot­kick fol­low­ing con­sul­ta­tion with the video as­sis­tant ref­eree, al­though Ney­mar saw a sec­ond penalty saved shortly af­ter by Eiji Kawashima.

Marcelo ri­fled in a mag­nif­i­cent sec­ond as Brazil dou­bled their lead on 17 min­utes, with Manch­ester City’s Gabriel Je­sus round­ing off a clin­i­cal coun­ter­at­tack be­fore half-time to make it 3-0.

To­moaki Makino nod­ded in a con­so­la­tion from a cor­ner on 62 min­utes but Ja­pan re­main win­less against Brazil, los­ing for the 10th time in 12 meet­ings.

“I’m re­ally happy with what’s hap­pen­ing with the na­tional team and (coach) Tite, we feel con­fi­dent with him and be­lieve in him,” said Ney­mar.

“We’re re­ally pre­pared for our matches and we think we can be bet­ter and will con­tinue to grow ahead of the World Cup.”

Ja­pan coach Vahid Halil­hodzic was left to rue his team’s dis­as­trous start. “I don’t know what was hap­pen­ing in their heads in the first half,” said Halil­hodzic.

“The penalty was whis­tled be­cause of the video and per­haps that threw the team off.”

He added: “It’s a shame about the first half, the sec­ond half gave me quite a bit of sat­is­fac­tion.

“I see plenty of things we need to im­prove and we’ll draw a lot of things from this match.”

Ney­mar was joined by PSG team-mate Thi­ago Silva in the Brazil line-up as Tite picked a strong side de­spite play­ing in front of a sparsely-filled Stade Pierre-mau­roy in north­ern France.

Halil­hodzic, who served a four-year spell as Lille coach over a decade ago, called up 12 Europe-based play­ers for the dou­ble-header with Brazil and Bel­gium, but ex­pe­ri­enced at­tack­ing trio Shinji Ka­gawa, Shinji Okazaki and Keisuke Honda were all over­looked for se­lec­tion.

Ney­mar con­stant threat

Ja­pan were thrashed 4-0 by a Ney­mar-in­spired Brazil in their last en­counter in 2014 and again quickly found them­selves un­der threat from the world’s most ex­pen­sive player.

He slipped Gi­u­liano through down the right-hand side af­ter carv­ing open space, with cap­tain

Yuto Na­gatomo forced to pro­duce a vi­tal slid­ing block. Brazil were soon in front as ref­eree Benoit

Bastien be­lat­edly awarded a penalty af­ter the video of­fi­cial spot­ted Maya Yoshida tug­ging the jer­sey of Fer­nand­inho at a cor­ner. Ney­mar calmly con­verted for his 53rd in­ter­na­tional goal — eight of which have come against Ja­pan — and the 25-year-old should have added to his tally five min­utes later af­ter Je­sus was barged over by Ho­taru Ya­m­aguchi. (AFP)

I’m re­ally happy with what’s hap­pen­ing with the na­tional team and (coach) Tite, we feel con­fi­dent with him and be­lieve in him. We’re re­ally pre­pared for our matches and we think we can be bet­ter and will con­tinue to grow ahead of the World Cup” Ney­mar Brazil’s for­ward Ney­mar is tack­led by Ja­pan’s de­fender At­suto Uchida dur­ing the friendly foot­ball match yes­ter­day at the Pierre Mau­roy Sta­dium in Vil­leneuve d’ascq, north­ern France.

PHOTO | AFP

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