Monday, June 17, 2024

Willian strike gives Brazil win over Ecuador


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UNDATED: Brazil beat Ecuador 1-0 in an international friendly in New Jersey with a first half goal from Willian enough to give coach Dunga his second successive victory.

The win came four days after Brazil beat Colombia and the win over a spritely Ecuador side delighted the new manager.

“There weren’t any negative points,” he told reporters . “You have to take positives from the negatives. You learn, you evolve. So for me it was all positive.”

Brazil’s winner came on the half-hour from a well-rehearsed free kick. Oscar hit a short pass to Neymar who lifted a curled pass over the defence to Willian, who slipped it into the net with the outside of his right foot.

Ecuador almost equalised six minutes later but Enner Valencia’s right foot shot hit the base of the post after beating goalkeeper Jefferson.

The West Ham United striker also had a looping header cleared off the line by Filipe Luis 16 minutes into the second half as Ecuador enjoyed their best spell of the game.

Brazil’s best chance of the second half fell to Neymar in the 47th minute but the Barcelona striker missed an open goal from four yards out with the keeper on the ground.

Although Brazil were not at their best, the two wins buoyed those players trying to impress the new coach.

‘I feel like I did everything I had to do,’ centre back Marquinhos, who made his first international start, told TV Globo after the game.

‘It is always good to win. We have to get into our heads that are no easy games, there are no friendlies, they’re all battles. These are games that we need to prepare for our objective and that is our mentality as we go forward.’

Ecuador fielded a young team but they were quick and fearless and frequently stretched a Brazilian back four that had never played together at international level. (Reuters)


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