Brazil and Chile went head to head in a highly anticipated World Cup warm up match on neutral ground in Toronto.
Both sides have been in relatively good form recently and of course both looking for momentum going into the World Cup finals. The samba stars have been ‘wowing’ fans from all round the world with their recent performances and are the favourite to actually win the World Cup in the summer.
Chile are also trying to mastermind their own success story, and after comfortably beating England last week, they can certainly be classed as under-dogs at the very least.
Alexis Sanchez has been in fantastic form for both Barcelona and Chile, and the brace against England just emphasised that fact. The Chilean is in good company with the likes of Vargas, as they continue to prove they’re not just there to make the numbers up when the tournament starts.
Brazil buoyed by their 5-0 win over Honduras was in a sharp and explosive mood, and their early periods of dominance showed just that.
It only took 13 minutes for the first goal to come as a mistake from the Chile defence allowed Chelsea midfielder Oscar to provide an exquisite match-winning pass to Hulk, as he left Nottingham Forest full-back Gonzalo Jara in no-man’s land and slotted the ball past the keeper sublimely.
The goal didn’t dent Brazil’s mood and moments later Neymar was plated up a chance by goal-scorer Hulk but failed to make contact with the ball from 6 yards out.
As the first half got towards the latter stages the referee’s constant stop and start approach to the game hindered the flow of the match and both sides found it difficult to build momentum in attack as the first half ended 1-0 to Brazil.
Chile started the second half particularly strong with a clever piece of interplay that saw Vargas go close to equalising for the South American outfit. Brazil came back into the game with a few good chances, this time with Oscar and Neymar pulling the strings. Unfortunately, the strikers came unstuck infront of goal and couldn’t make early chances count.
Mid-way through the second half Brazil swapped their two brightest players for the two Chelsea men Ramires and Willian, as they looked to breathe a breath of fresh air into the side.
Vargas made Brazil pay for their lack of clinical finishing and scored an absolute blinder from 25-yards-out. David Luiz’s lacklustre defending will have left the Brazil manager fuming as he just failed to deal with the danger and watched as the Chilean potted the ball in the bottom corner.
Brazil attacked vigorously after the goal and thought they had put themselves back in front but Neymar was flagged offside to allow the Chile players to breathe a sigh of relief. The Brazil pressure eventually told as Robinho popped up with a terrific header from a world class cross from Maicon making it to 2-1 to Brazil.
Brazil saw the game out with wave after wave of attack but couldn’t add to their 2-1 result and eventually with Robinho showing an air of class to go close with the last kick of the game, it was just not going to happen.
A well-deserved victory for a Brazil side that look like they will certainly be challengers in the World Cup finals, if not champions.
image: © simonw92