Tite wants bet­ter af­ter lethar­gic Brazil beat Saudi Ara­bia

The National - News - - SPORT FOOTBALL - JOHN McAULEY

Brazil man­ager Tite has called on his team to pro­vide a much-im­proved per­for­mance in front of Ar­gentina next week af­ter they strug­gled to a 2-0 vic­tory in their friendly against Saudi Ara­bia on Fri­day.

The five-time world cham­pi­ons failed to re­ally shine at Riyadh’s King Saud Univer­sity Sta­dium, and had to rely on goals from Gabriel Je­sus and Alex San­dro to seal the win. Both, as­sisted by Ney­mar, came at the end of each half.

The Saudis were re­duced to 10 men with six min­utes re­main­ing, when goal­keeper Mo­hammed Al Owais was sent off fol­low­ing a video re­view for han­dling out­side his area.

San­dro then dou­bled his side’s ad­van­tage deep into in­jury time. Brazil, pre­par­ing for next year’s Copa Amer­ica on home soil, next face South Amer­ica ri­vals Ar­gentina in Jed­dah on Tues­day. “We were not con­vinc­ing,” Tite said. “We won be­cause he had cre­ativ­ity up front. Brazil ver­sus Ar­gentina is never a friendly. We hope to be bet­ter for that.”

Tite ex­per­i­mented some­what against Saudi Ara­bia, with San­dro com­ing in for Marcelo and Bordeaux’s Pablo re­plac­ing Thi­ago Silva. Lu­cas Moura, the re­called Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur winger, and Ever­ton’s Richarli­son were given sec­ond-half runouts.

There are ex­pected to be more changes for the Ar­gentina clash, with Liver­pool’s Roberto Firmino start­ing up front in­stead of Gabriel Je­sus.

The Manch­ester City striker will be re­lieved to have notched the opener on Fri­day night hav­ing been heav­ily crit­i­cised for a poor show­ing at this sum­mer’s World Cup. Je­sus did not score in Rus­sia, as Brazil crashed out of the tour­na­ment at the quar­ter-fi­nal stage.

“Every­one trusted me, coach Tite trusted me,” Je­sus said. “What’s in the past will stay in the past. Of course I was up­set [af­ter the World Cup]. It was not the World Cup of my dreams. I hope things im­prove from now on.”

De­spite the loss, Saudi Ara­bia man­ager Juan An­to­nio Pizzi praised the com­mit­ment of his play­ers against su­pe­rior op­po­nents. The Saudis are us­ing the four-team friendly tour­na­ment – they play Iraq in Riyadh on Mon­day – to in­crease their prepa­ra­tions ahead of Jan­uary’s Asian Cup in the UAE.

“The re­sult is not sat­is­fac­tory, but over­all I want to em­pha­sise the play­ers’ com­mit­ment to the tac­ti­cal as­pect of the game,” Pizzi said.

“We showed a strong per­son­al­ity in front of a strong side in Brazil. Do not for­get that we were play­ing against a team with great tech­ni­cal po­ten­tial that far out­weighs us.

“We played against a big team and this has in­creased the con­fi­dence of the play­ers and my role as a coach to en­hance con­fi­dence in them, es­pe­cially in light of the great com­mit­ment I felt they gave dur­ing the game.”

Tite, who coached pre­vi­ously in the UAE with Al Ain and Al Wahda, added: “I know the Saudi team. I fol­lowed them at the World Cup and also in the friendly matches they played be­fore the World Cup, like the match with Italy.

“The Saudi team, the mid­field­ers, and es­pe­cially Salem Al Dawsari, played a good game. The team showed great con­fi­dence and their play­ers did not fear fac­ing us.”

Brazil coach Tite

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.