Brazil put in a dominant performance on Sunday as they secured a 2-0 win over Panama in their pre-Copa America Centenario warm-up game.
Jonas, called up as an injury replacement for Ricardo Oliveira, gave Brazil the lead inside two minutes at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver.
It was the Benfica striker’s first international goal since November 2011, when he scored a double in Brazil’s 2-0 friendly win over Egypt.
Debutant Gabriel doubled Brazil’s lead in the second half to round out the win in their final friendly before facing Ecuador in their first Copa America group-stage match.
Brazil also face Haiti and Peru in Group B, while Panama must tackle Argentina, Chile and Bolivia in Group D of the special-edition tournament held in the United States.
Brazil got off to a flying start and took the lead just under 120 seconds into the contest, after Jonas finished off a great passing move from the South American side.
Panama managed to calm themselves down after the early goal and it was not until the 21st minute when Brazil had their next shot.
Dani Alves had a long-range free-kick saved by Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, before Willian had a shot from inside the area blocked by Felipe Baloy.
Renato Augusto should have put Brazil 2-0 up in the 32nd minute but his header from an Alves cross was directed just wide.
Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho had two chances in the space of a few minutes but hit both strikes wide as Brazil went into the half-time break with just a one-goal advantage.
Coutinho turned provider in the second half for the recently introduced Hulk, but his close-range header was spectacularly kept out by the in-form Penedo.
Brazil eventually doubled their advantage in the 73rd minute when Gabriel scored on his international debut, the Santos winger slotting the ball into the right-hand corner of the goal.
Dunga also handed a Brazil debut to Rodrigo Caio with 10 minutes remaining as they ran out the closing stages of the game, while another debutant – Douglas Santos – played the 90 minutes.
Second-half substitute Kaka, who was called up as an injury replacement for Douglas Costa, was denied by Penedo in the 84th minute with a brilliant diving save.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!