GOIANIA - Brazil, hosts of the
next World Cup, were held to a 0-0 draw by the Netherlands in a
rare home friendly on Saturday, with both goalkeepers
responsible for the deadlock.
The teams' first clash since the Dutch beat Brazil 2-1 in
last year's World Cup quarter-finals became bad-tempered towards
the end and Brazil's Ramires was sent off in the 79th minute for
a second booking after a foul on Arjen Robben.
Playing with a three-pronged attack of Neymar and Robinho
either side of centre-forward Fred, Brazil had a strong second
half but could not get past inspired, debutant Dutch goalkeeper
Tim Krul despite creating a number of good chances.
Fred, who squandered most of them including the finish to a
good move orchestrated by Neymar on the left in the 57th, left
the field to boos from the fans at the Serra Dourada stadium
when he was replaced by the 21-year-old Leandro Damiao.
The Dutch, without injured Inter Milan playmaker Wesley
Sneijder, who scored both their goals in the 2010 meeting, had
two good chances in the first half with striker Ibrahim Affelay
forcing two good saves from Brazilian keeper Julio Cesar.
"We had some normal difficulties in the first half, didn't
manage to mark Affelay well and gave away good chances to
Holland that obliged Julio to make two excellent saves," Brazil
coach Mano Menezes told reporters.
The crowd booed when the teams came off at half-time but two
good Neymar moves in less than five minutes after the break were
enough to win back their support, though there were jeers again
at the end.
"We improved a lot in the second half, were sharper with our
marking... we created a high volume of play, very clear chances,
the ball ran along the goal-line but didn't go in because
football's like that," Menezes added.
"Our players were very tired and we couldn't play as well as
in the first half. Brazil got stronger and stronger, and
sometimes you have to play in defence," Netherlands coach Bert
van Marwijk said.
"I think we were lucky and also had a great performance from
our keeper, who was making his debut. In the end, a draw here
against Brazil, for a small country like Holland, is not a bad
Since Menezes replaced Dunga as Brazil coach after the World
Cup, Brazil had beaten the United States, Iran, Ukraine and
Scotland but lost to major opponents Argentina and France.
Saturday's match was Menezes' home debut.
Brazil are warming up for the Copa America in Argentina in
July. They will host Romania on Tuesday in Sao Paulo in a match
that also will be the official farewell game for former World
Player of the Year Ronaldo.
Bayern fans snap up 45,000 tickets to watch Champions League final live at Allianz Arena
When Sir Alex wakes up on Monday morning without team to manage, he will not be putting his feet up
Paris Saint-Germain midfielder announces he will be retiring at the end of the current season
Record goal-scorer signs a one-year contract extension with Europa League winners Chelsea
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010