A disappointing Brazil beat
South Africa 1-0 in a friendly on Friday but the lacklustre
performance cast further doubts on Mano Menezes's long-term
prospects as Brazil coach.
Menezes sent out an attacking team but they struggled to
break down the dogged South Africans and the match was only
decided in the 74th minute with a goal from second-half
The striker signed by Zenit St Petersburg last week for 55
million euros had been on the pitch for less
than 10 minutes when he pounced on a rebound to turn and smash
the ball home from 12 yards.
Menezes acknowledged the team did not gel but said fans'
boos that began in the middle of the first half were not
"[The boos] are uncomfortable," he told reporters. "The
younger a team is the more it feels the lack of support."
Menezes took over in July 2010 and dispensed with the old
guard in favor of youngsters like Neymar, Lucas, Thiago Silva
Although his team have won 22 of their 33 matches, they have
failed to overcome top-class sides like Germany, Argentina and
The former Corinthians coach is under pressure to produce an
exciting and winning side ahead of the 2013 Confederations Cup
and 2014 World Cup, both of which will be held in Brazil.
His players struggled to impose itself against a team 62
places below then in the world rankings and it was not until he
introduced Hulk and several others that Brazil began to create
"We lost a little bit of control of the game for 15 minutes
in the second half, but with the substitutions we took control
again and that was enough to give us a result," Menezes said.
"I don't think we played really badly. Maybe we didn't play
well but we weren't really bad."
Brazil's next match is against China in Recife on Monday.
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