Je­sus nets as Brazil beat Saudi Ara­bia in friendly

Bangkok Post - - FOOTBALL -

>> RIYADH: Gabriel Je­sus and Alex San­dro scored a goal each as Brazil de­feated Saudi Ara­bia 2-0 in a friendly on Fri­day.

Je­sus opened the scor­ing af­ter a pass by Ney­mar in the 43rd minute and Alex San­dro sealed the vic­tory with a header near the end of the match at King Saud Univer­sity Sta­dium.

Dutch ref­eree Danny Makke­lie sent off Saudi goal­keeper Mo­hammed AlOwais in the 84th af­ter a video re­view showed he touched the ball with his hand out of his box.

Brazil, pre­par­ing for next year’s Copa Amer­ica at home, will play Ar­gentina in an­other friendly in Saudi Ara­bia on Tues­day.

Liver­pool striker Roberto Firmino is ex­pected to re­place Je­sus in that match.

The Manch­ester City striker was un­der crit­i­cism at home for not scor­ing in the World Cup. The last time he found the net was in the friendly against Aus­tria be­fore the tour­na­ment in Rus­sia, a 3-0 win by Brazil.

“Ev­ery­one trusted me, coach Tite trusted me. What’s in the past will stay in the past,” Je­sus said.

“Of course I was up­set [af­ter the World Cup]. I stayed at my mom’s to re­cover. It was not the World Cup of my dreams. I hope things im­prove from now on.”

Brazil played the en­tire match in slow mo­tion, as if al­ready look­ing for­ward to the South Amer­i­can derby next week.

“We were not con­vinc­ing,” Tite said. “We won be­cause he had cre­ativ­ity up front and that was it. Brazil ver­sus Ar­gentina is never a friendly. We hope to be bet­ter for that.”

Tite ex­per­i­mented against Saudi Ara­bia, with Alex San­dro re­plac­ing Marcelo and Bordeaux de­fender Pablo sub­sti­tut­ing Thi­ago Silva.

Brazil’s Gabriel Je­sus scores past Saudi Ara­bia keeper Mo­hammed Al-Owais.

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