Brazil samba Down Under

MELBOURNE • Buoyed by a Diego Souza goal after just 12 seconds, Brazil demolished Australia 4-0 in a friendly match in Melbourne yesterday.

The Socceroos held the five-time World Cup champions to 1-0 at half-time, but the dazzling Brazilians ripped apart the home defence with three second-half goals.

Souza, who replaced injured striker Gabriel Jesus, scored twice with other goals from defender Thiago Silva and substitute Taison with his first international goal.

Australia were humbled 6-0 away by Brazil when the teams last met in 2013, which was a prelude to former coach Holger Osieck's dismissal and replacement by Ange Postecoglou.

Postecoglou will wake up to some stinging headlines, but he was philosophical in defeat, and said responsibility for the second-half blowout lay with him after he made a raft of changes.

"You never like getting defeated and you don't like a heavy defeat particularly at home," he told reporters.

The Brazilians, who lost to South American arch-rivals Argentina 1-0 in a friendly that was also held in Melbourne last week - coach Tite's first defeat after nine wins in charge - were without Neymar and a host of other top players.

But they were in a determined mood against the Australians.

"We kept a good defence. I was happy because the players were supporting each other," Tite said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 14, 2017, with the headline 'Brazil samba Down Under'. Print Edition | Subscribe