Football: Neymar shines as Brazil continue resurgence; Falcao nets brace for Colombia

PARIS (AFP) - A fine finish from captain Neymar helped secure a come-from-behind 3-1 win for Brazil over France in a friendly in Paris on Thursday as they maintained their perfect record since the return as coach of Dunga.

Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane had headed the hosts in front on a cold night at a packed Stade de France, only for Oscar to equalise late in the first half.

Barcelona forward Neymar then controlled a Willian pass and lashed the ball high into the roof of the net from the left edge of the six-yard box in the 57th minute to put the visitors in front, and a Luiz Gustavo header secured the victory midway through the second period.

Brazil have now won seven consecutive friendly matches under Dunga following the heavy defeats to Germany and the Netherlands that saw their World Cup campaign on home soil last year end in such catastrophic fashion. And this latest success against an accomplished France side will have been particularly pleasing to Dunga, back where he captained the Selecao in a painful 3-0 World Cup final defeat to the French in 1998.

"In football you win and lose, but it's always good to beat a team as strong as France," he said. "The team played well, but nothing was perfect. We still made mistakes that could have been avoided."

In the opposite dugout this time was Didier Deschamps, the current France coach who skippered Les Bleus on that glorious night 17 years ago.

"We were punished for our mistakes," Deschamps told TF1 television after the game. "Even if the World Cup was a trauma for them, they still have very, very good players and they did reach the semi-finals.

"It was good for us tonight to have to face up to a difficult situation. We will learn from this."

Seeing Deschamps and Dunga lock horns once again added extra intrigue to an occasion which was also notable for the French Football Federation's decision to honour those who have won more than 100 caps for France.

World Cup winners Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira, Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane were all received by President Francois Hollande inside the stadium and then presented to the crowd before the game.

The French, without goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and midfielders Yohan Cabaye and Paul Pogba due to injury, had themselves not been beaten since exiting last year's World Cup in the quarter-finals to Germany and had not lost a friendly since a 0-3 defeat in Brazil in June 2013.

In Bahrain, Colombia captain Radamel Falcao bagged a brace as the World Cup quarter-finalists cruised to a 6-0 rout of the hosts.

Falcao, who has been enduring a difficult spell at English side Manchester United, laid on an opening 14th-minute goal for strike partner Carlos Bacca then scored twice in five minutes, his first a sweet volley, as Colombia hardly broke sweat at Bahrain's National Stadium in Riffa. The goals took his tally to 23 in 55 internationals.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.