Brazil beats arch-rival Argentina 2-0
Updated: 2011-09-30 08:32
Brazil's Ronaldinho (L) tries to evade Argentina's Augusto Fernandez (8) during their international friendly soccer match in Belem, Sept 28, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
BELEM, Brazil - Two second-half goals by teenage forwards Lucas and Neymar inspired Brazil to a 2-0 victory over arch-rival Argentina in a friendly played only with home-based players in Belem on Wednesday.
The 19-year-old Sao Paulo forward Lucas, one of the leading lights in the South American Under-20 title winning team earlier this year, capped off an exhilarating run from Brazil's own half with a well-placed shot nine minutes after the break.
Neymar added the second for the host in the 76th minute from close range after a low cross from the left from substitute Diego Souza to thrill the home fans.
While Argentina had virtually no senior players on the field, Brazil was boosted by former FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho and 19-year-old Neymar, who has become a first-choice player on the national team despite his youth.
Brazil missed out on an early goal when Neymar just failed to connect with a cross in front of the goal line. Captain Ronaldinho also had a chance go begging from a free kick that sailed just over the bar.
Brazil's captain Ronaldinho (3rd L) holds with teammates Neymar (2nd R), Diego Souza (C), Lucas (2nd L), and others, the trophy they won for beating Argentina in the second of two international friendly soccer matches, titled the "Super Classic of the Americas", in Belem, Sept 28, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
Ronaldinho, who has been in fine form for Brazilian championship contender Flamengo, was recalled to the national side earlier this month for a 1-0 friendly win over Ghana in London, his first start in nearly a year.
The former Barcelona forward, a World Cup winner in 2002, is now seen by Brazil coach Mano Menezes as a mentor for the new generation of players being groomed in the leadup to the 2014 World Cup on home soil.
"It's wonderful to play with Neymar and Lucas, the young talents ... I was called here for that, to give support to these young people," Ronaldinho said, adding he was targeting a spot on the team for the London Olympics next year as one of the three permitted over-23 players.
"I go step by step, my dream now is to win the Olympic gold that is missing in my career, and then get really well in the 2014 World Cup," he said.
Brazil's World Cup rush fuels spending blowout 2011-09-28 10:55
'Biggest' amateur soccer games kicks off in Brazil 2011-09-26 14:35
Brazil reports all construction for W Cup on track 2011-09-15 16:56
Brazil lifts U20 World Cup title 2011-08-21 15:23
- Nations are exploiting power of 'weiplomacy'
- Firms in power industry restructuring
- Investors create new hot spots
- China's booming sporting chances
- Sun Yat-sen-led revolution commemorated
- Govt steps up push for subsidized residences
- Green campaign saves 150m tons of coal
- 31 mistakenly killed in air strikes in S Yemen