BELEM - Two second half goals to
teenage forwards Lucas and Neymar inspired Brazil to a 2-0
victory over arch-rivals Argentina in a friendly played only
with home-based players in Belem on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Sao Paulo forward Lucas capped off an exhilarating run from Brazil's own half with a
well-placed shot nine minutes after the break.
Neymar added the second for the hosts in the 76th minute
from close-range after a low cross from the left from substitute
Diego Souza to thrill home fans in the Amazonian city.
While Argentina had virtually no senior players on the
field, Brazil were boosted by former FIFA player of the year
Ronaldinho and 19-year-old Neymar, who has become a first-choice
player in the national team despite his youth.
Brazil missed out on an early goal when Neymar just failed
to connect with a cross in front of the goal-line. Captain
Ronaldinho also had a chance go begging from a free-kick that
sailed just over the bar.
Ronaldinho, who has been in fine form for Brazilian
championship contenders Flamengo, was recalled to the national
side earlier this month for the 1-0 friendly win over Ghana in
London, his first start in nearly a year.
The former Barcelona forward, a World Cup winner in 2002, is
now seen by Brazil coach Mano Menezes as a mentor for the new
generation of players being groomed in the lead-up to the 2014
World Cup on home soil.
"It's wonderful to play with Neymar and Lucas, the young
talents... I was called here for that, to give support to these
young people," Ronaldinho told reporters, adding that he was
targeting a spot on the team for the London Olympics next year
as one of the three permitted over-23 players.
"I go step by step, my dream now is to win the Olympic gold
that is missing in my career, and then get really well in the
2014 World Cup," he added.
The match in Belem was the second leg of a friendly
tournament held annually with only home-based players. The teams
drew 0-0 in the first on September 14 in Cordoba, Argentina.
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