We’re just a few days away from the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and while some teams may not be going into the tournament with all that much momentum, Brazil are certainly ready for whatever comes their way in Russia. The South Americans are the favourites to win it all next month, and they concluded their preparations in style with a convincing 3-0 victory over a strong Austria side.
The Europeans may not have qualified for the WC, but since bringing in a new coach towards the end of 2017, they’ve been unstoppable – that is, until they came up against Brazil. The five-time world champions are going in search of their sixth title in Russia, as they attempt to erase the painful memory of their 7-1 defeat against Germany four years ago in their own backyard.
In terms of this game, however, it seemed like a pretty routine friendly from start to finish. The Brazilians were obviously hesitant given the threat of more injuries, although their nerves were somewhat calmed when the focus switched to Gabriel Jesus’ lovely effort which gave them the lead 10 minutes before half-time.
Brazil kept possession well heading into the second half, and while they may have ridden their luck at times, they put the result beyond any real doubt when Neymar doubled his side’s advantage in his first start since February. Then, to really rubber-stamp the victory, Coutinho poked in the third after latching onto a nice ball from Roberto Firmino.
Austria will turn their attention back towards UEFA Euro 2020 qualification, whereas Brazil will open up their World Cup campaign against Switzerland this Sunday.
Austria: Lindner (5.5), Dragovic (6), Danso (N/A), Prodl (5), Hinteregger (6), Lainer (5.5), Baumgartlinger (6), Grillitsch (6), Zulj (N/A), Alaba (6.5), Schopf (5.5), Hierlander (6), Schlager (6.5), Burgstaller (6), Arnautovic (5.5)
Brazil: Alisson (6.5), Danilo (6.5), Thiago Silva (7), Marquinhos (6.5), Miranda (7), Marcelo (6.5), Filipe Luis (N/A), Paulinho (6.5), Casemiro (7), Fernandinho (6.5), Coutinho (7.5), Freda (N/A), Willian (7.5), Jesus (7), Firminho (N/A), Neymar (8), Costa (N/A)
Referee: Viktor Kassai
Goals: Jesus, Neymar, Coutinho
Yellow Cards: Prodl, Schopf, Neymar
Red Cards: N/A
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