Friday 03 June 2016

Wake up call for TeamGB

Marcelo on the attack for Brazil

Marcelo takes on the TeamGB defence.

Team GB 0 Brazil 2

Roy Hay

The British Olympic football team, the so-called Team GB, got a wake-up call from a very talented Brazil team at the Riverside Stadium in Middlesbrough tonight when the Selecao won by two goals to nil.

It is always questionable how much you can derive from friendly matches prior to a major tournament, but the evidence of this one seemed clear enough.

The Brazilian squad is the probably the nucleus of the team which will try to win the World Cup on home turf in 2014.

After only 14 minutes, superstar Neymar chipped a free kick over the GB defensive wall which was allowed to bounce on the edge of the goal area and Spurs defender Sandro nipped in to head over keeper Steele.

Twenty minutes later Micah Richards brought down Hulk who had accelerated away from him.

Neymar put the penalty kick into the bottom corner.

Team GB full back Danny Rose showed some speed and skill to overlap down the right side in the first half, and repeated the feat twice in the second half.

On the first occasion Craig Bellamy was offside as he tried to force the ball over the line, while the second cross just cleared the head of skipper Ryan Giggs as he jumped.

At half time Jack Butland replaced Steele in goal and made a series of excellent saves to keep the margin to two goals.

The gulf in class and fitness between the teams was quite evident, though several of the English players showed some good touches.

Tom Cleverley and Joe Allan looked sharp and confident in midfield, and when they closed down Oscar in the second half it cut one of the main supply lines to the Brazilian front runners.

There was little support for Daniel Sturridge in attack in the first half and some of the defending was woeful with Richards and Tomkins, the centre halves, being caught square several times.

Team coach Stuart Pearce and skipper Ryan Giggs both wanted to accentuate the positives after the game saying that players were comfortable on the ball and got better in the second half.

But the reality is that this team will have its hands full trying to qualify from a group which includes Senegal, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay.

It is hard to see how the players at Pearce’s disposal can live with Brazil, Spain and Mexico whom they might face in the knock-out stages.


Team GB: Steele, Bertrand, Richards, Tomkins, Taylor, Cleverley, Allen, Giggs, Rose, Bellamy, Sturridge. Subs: Butland, Caulker, Dawson, Cork, Ramsey, Sinclair, Sordell.

Brazil: Rafael, Da Silva, Thiago Silva, Juan, Marcelo, Sandro, Romulo, Oscar, Hulk, Neymar, Leandro Damiao. Subs: Neto, Lucas, Bruno Uvini, Danilo, Alex Sandro, Ganso, Alexandre Pato.

Referee: Clement Turpin (France)

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