Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Brazil blank US 2-0 in friendly

Published:Sunday | September 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM
American midfielder Julian Green (right) controls the ball as Brazil's Douglas Acosta defends during the first half of an international friendly match on Friday night in New Jersey.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (AP):

Neymar and Brazilian teammates showed young American players how large a gap they must overcome.

Roberto Firmino scored in the 11th minute off a cross from Douglas Costa, who burst down a flank past 21-year-old left back Antonee Robinson. Neymar added a penalty kick in the 44th minute after a debatable foul call, and Brazil overwhelmed the rebuilding US 2-0 in an exhibition Friday night.

"I don't think we were afraid. I think just maybe a little nervous here and there," interim US coach Dave Sarachan said. "There could have been a situation where maybe the shoulder slump, the confidence, was blown."

The US have two wins, two losses and three ties under Sarachan, who took over last October after the Americans failed to qualify for the World Cup. New general manager Earnie Stewart said this week a permanent coach will be announced later this year.

Just 32,469 attended the match at MetLife Stadium, a possible site of the 2026 World Cup final, and Brazilian supporters outnumbered Americans by about a 10-1 margin. When Brazil beat the US 2-0 in August 2010 shortly after the venue opened, the game drew 77,223.

In their first match since a quarter-final loss to Belgium at the World Cup, Brazil improved to 18-1 against the US - with 11 straight wins since a 1-0 defeat in the 1998 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Selecao has outscored the Americans 41-12, including 17-2 since the US took a two-goal lead in the 2009 Confederations Cup final a game Brazil won 3-2.

"In the first half, we didn't defend, press as a team," centre back John Brooks said. "It was like one at a time. And when you press a team one at a time like Brazil, they play easily out of the back."

Playing in New Jersey for the first time since losing to Costa Rica in a World Cup qualifier at Red Bull Arena last September, the US did not force a save from goalkeeper Alisson until the 71st minute. All US starters were 25 and under and the average of 23 years 117 days was under 24 for the fifth straight match.