Roberto Firmino, Neymar Lead Brazil Past Youthful USMNT, 2-0

Neymar

EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY (September 7, 2018) — DeAndre Yedlin watched the FIFA World Cup this past summer. He knows who Neymar Jr. is and how he acts.

That’s why, when Yedlin was called for a foul on Neymar, the outspoken defender mouthed, “Did you watch the World Cup?” to the referee. However, only minutes after the initial foul call, Neymar Jr. lined up a penalty kick past Zack Steffen.

Roberto Firmino, Neymar Lead Brazil Past Youthful USMNT by a Score of 2-0

That was Brazil’s second goal against Steffen, the illustrious goalkeeper from Columbus Crew SC. The first goal came from Roberto Firmino in the 11th minute.

Brazil couldn’t add a third goal on. However, the World Cup participating team almost found a third when Neymar Jr. slid a ball into the box. Steffen got the smallest of touches on the ball, but it was Matt Miazga who made a goal-saving clearance.

Miazga was joined on the back line at centerback with John Brooks.

Throughout the second half, the United States had plenty of opportunities on the attack. On set pieces, Brooks came close with his headers. Weston McKennie had a strong look in the 65th minute, with Kellyn Acosta sliding a ball into the box.

After the match, USMNT Head Coach Dave Sarachan said that the United States looked “a little nervy.”

“We played one of the best teams in the world,” Sarachan said, on the Fox Sports 1 broadcast. “We probably should have done a little better with the ball and had a little patience. I think the experience of this game will help these younger players.”

Sarachan also said that the United States’ quality needs to “be a little better.”

“Overall, it isn’t an easy night when you play Brazil.”

Three Takeaways

  1. The penalty call was disastrous: When Fabinho was brought down inside the box, it was Wil Trapp that committed the foul. However, the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty kick, which Neymar Jr. would line up. There is no chance, after at least reviewing the play five more times, that the call was correct. Where is V.A.R. when you need it?
  2. Steffen is the face of the future: Only time will tell for who Dave Sarachan will start in goal over Mexico. However, if Sarachan wants to get a head start on naming the goalkeeper of the future for the United States — before the new head coach takes over — he’ll start Steffen. The Columbus Crew man was solid for a showing against a great Brazilian team. Steffen, no matter if Brad Guzan comes back, has to be in net.
  3. Matt Miazga was the best player on the field: Gyasi Zardes had some good looks and DeAndre Yedlin had a few good runs up the flank to get the offense rolling. However, nobody was more solid than Miazga. Forget the goal-saving clearance, Miazga had a nice evening of preventing Coutinho, Fabinho and Thiago Silva from scoring. He also stood up to Neymar Jr., showing his tough side.

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