S. American giants stand tall in victory

NEW JERSEY • Having won their previous 10 games against the United States and with a record of 18 victories in 19 games, there was little doubt Brazil's mastery would continue and so it proved on Friday, with goals from Roberto Firmino and Neymar giving the Selecao a 2-0 friendly win on Friday.

Paris Saint-Germain star forward Neymar also moved within five goals of surpassing Ronaldo (62) in second place on Brazil's all-time scoring charts.

Brazil, who were playing their first match since being knocked out of the World Cup quarter-finals, were on top throughout against a young US team that have been without a full-time coach since Bruce Arena resigned after they missed out on Russia.

"A friendly is important for us to prepare for the Copa America next year, that is our principal objective," said Brazil goalkeeper Alisson. "We can get a lot better, but we did a nice job and managed to pass the ball well against a team that tried to pressure us."

South American rivals Uruguay and Argentina also romped to big wins in the US on Friday.

A Luis Suarez brace helped Uruguay cruise to 4-1 win over Mexico, while Argentina rebounded from a poor World Cup to thump Guatemala 3-0.

The Uruguayans took the lead in Houston in the 21st minute thanks to Jose Gimenez before Raul Jimenez equalised with a penalty for Mexico four minutes later.

Suarez, however, stole the headlines with his double in nine first-half minutes before Gaston Pereiro completed the scoring.

In Los Angeles, a new-look Argentina, missing Lionel Messi who is taking a sabbatical from international football, were still too strong for the Guatemalans.

Gonzalo Martinez got Argentina's first with a 27th-minute spot kick, before Giovani Lo Celso doubled their lead eight minutes later with a long-range half-volley.

Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid manager Diego, scored the third on his international debut.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 09, 2018, with the headline 'S. American giants stand tall in victory'. Print Edition | Subscribe