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Neymar the difference for lacklustre Brazil

Pin Neymar scored the penalty to give Brazil the win. LucasFigueiredo/CBF
Neymar scored the penalty to give Brazil the win. LucasFigueiredo/CBF

Neymar the difference for lacklustre Brazil

Simon Green by Simon Green @besoccer_com - 0 2,121

Neymar scored the winning-penalty against Uruguay, in a match where the 'Celeste' will feel they deserved at least a point.

While this was a friendly fixture, the fierce rivalry between these two nations meant that it was always going to have more of a fighting edge than the term 'friendly' would suggest.

Proceedings started at a high intensity, with both sides looking to take the game to their opponents and not let them settle in possession.

With just 11 minutes on the clock, it seemed as though Brazil were ahead when Neymar managed to get his knee to a whipped cross from Filipe Luis, however it was correctly ruled out for offside.

The rest of the first period saw a battle in the middle of the park take hold, with Uruguay's Lucas Torreria and Rodrigo Bentancur doing well to nullify the creative players that Brazil's midfield boasts.

Uruguay's aggression resulted in them being given four yellow cards in the first period, while Brazil and Neymar in particular had to result to speculative efforts from outside the box.

The 'Celeste' had their best chance to get ahead just before the break, but Edinson Cavani did not get a good enough connection on his half-volley to sufficiently trouble Alisson.

The second half did not bring much of a better performance from the Brazilians, as they continued to enjoy the majority of the ball but created few good chances with all their possession.

Uruguay were not much better in an attacking sense, with their best chance coming through a Luis Suarez free-kick that made sure Alisson was on his toes. However, the work of Torreira and Diego Laxalt in particular gave Uruguay a really solid defensive base, one that deserved to keep a clean sheet.

That was not to be the case, as Laxalt was judged to have hacked down Richarlison in the box when he tried to clear the ball on 74 minutes. Despite heated protests from the Uruguayan players, Neymar calmly slotted his side in to the lead.

Brazil did look more of a threat when Richarlison was introduced, and he should have made it 2-0, but instead shot wide after an excellent cross from Neymar.

Despite all of Uruguay's fight, they ended the match second best and will feel justice was not served as a result.

Not too much should be read in to Brazil's attacking impotence, with this being a friendly, but they certainly missed the dynamic attacking threat that either Richarlison or Gabriel Jesus would have provided had they started.

Simon Green

Simon Green

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