World Football - Neymar double seals Brazil win
Sun, 27 Mar 15:57:00 2011
Neymar scored a goal in each half as Brazil enjoyed a comfortable 2-0 win over Scotland in their friendly match at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium.
The Santos forward showed why he has been linked with a number of Europe's top clubs as he led Craig Levein's Scotland side a merry dance throughout the match.
He converted the opening goal on 42 minutes when he accepted Andre Santos's pass to thump the ball beyond Scotland goalkeeper Allan McGregor from 12 yards out.
Neymar swept the ball low and hard to the right of McGregor as he dived to the left.
It was little more than Brazil deserved after dominating possession against a Scotland side who never lacked heart despite the obvious gulf in quality between the teams.
A crowd of over 53,000 turned up in London to watch the match on a balmy spring afternoon that was perfect for Brazil's passing game.
Scotland had never managed to down Brazil in their previous nine meetings. It became evident early on that they were unlikely to upset the South American side on this occasion.
Kenny Miller captained Scotland in the absence of the ill Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher, but the Bursaspor forward enjoyed a joyless afternoon as the lone striker against the towering Lucio and Thiago Silva.
The Scots were forced to hack the ball clear on 18 minutes when McGregor spilled a shot by Jadson before Leandro clipped the bar with a header from Elano's corner a minute later.
Scotland's best chance of the half arrived on 33 minutes when Adam drilled a delightful free-kick into the area. Steven Whittaker headed wide of the target, but Neymar was not for missing at the other end.
Brazil broke up the park at some pace before Santos picked out his young team-mate in the opposing area. He showed delightful awareness to squeeze the ball past Caldwell as the shot flew into the corner of McGregor's net for a deserved opening goal.
Scotland were fortunate not to fall two goals behind early in the second period as Adam conceded cheap possession in the midfield. Neymar bounded forward to crack a shot off the bar from 20 yards out with McGregor clasping at fresh air.
McGregor was forced to make a fine double stop seconds later after James McArthur was robbed by Ramires on the edge of the Scotland box.
Barcelona wing-back Dani Alves was a constant nuisance to Scotland with his marauding runs down the flank. He picked out Ramires on 52 minutes, but the Chelsea midfielder lifted his shot well over the bar.
Brazil finally put the match to bed 14 minutes from time amid the usual rash of substitutions when Neymar went down from Adam's needless late tackle in the area.
Neymar has now scored three goals in three games for his country.
The former world champions should have added a third in the dying seconds when Lucas slammed a shot over the bar with McGregor beaten, but a 2-0 scoreline was about the right outcome from what was always a lively friendly contest.
Neymar, Lucio happy after win