After being denied Olympic gold, the Brazilians quickly rebounded in a 3-0 win over Sweden in a friendly match at Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm on Wednesday.
It was a match that didn’t feature a ton of energy from both sides.
A chunk of the Brazilian team is still reeling after their shocking loss to Mexico in the Olympic gold-medal match last week, but they simply had too much talent for their opponent today.
Leandro Damiao registered a beautiful header in the 32nd minute to give Brazil a lead they would never relinquish. Two late goals by Alexandre Pato put the match out of reach for a Swedish team who couldn’t handle the loaded Brazilian squad's attack.
The Swedish team looked slightly different than the one that fielded during Euro 2012 back in June. Fulham’s Alexander Kacaniklic made an appearance with roughly 25 minutes remaining in the match, and that might have been the most noteworthy piece of news for them on this day.
It was an odd time for a friendly that provided a predictable result, but it was important for Brazil to shake off the bad vibes of the Olympics as quickly as possible.
There were plenty of people who believed scheduling a friendly so soon after the Olympics was a rather foolish decision. But that doesn’t mean soccer fans still did’t enjoy it:
This FIFA date is absolute nonsense. That said I'm secretly looking forward to Sweden-Brazil and France-Uruguay.— Jerrad Peters (@peterssoccer) August 15, 2012
Pato was all over the place once he came off the bench, and certainly earned the final goal of the match:
Pato won the penalty and converted it himself. 3-0 Brazil over Sweden.— Keino (@KeinoH) August 15, 2012
After the heart-breaking loss last week, one fan reminds Brazil to not get too excited about today’s friendly win:
He had the only assist of the match, and it was a beauty.
He beat his man down the left flank and was able to loft a picture-perfect cross to the far post which set up Damiao for the rather easy goal.
Neymar ended up being the man of the match.
Alexandre Pato: A
He scored two goals in less than two minutes to bury Sweden once and for all.
His ability to grab the loose ball and accurately boot in the first goal was impressive, and his penalty kick was a brilliant strike as well.
Pato was the closer of this match.
Leandro Damiao: B
It was a rather easy header to convert thanks to Neymar’s pass, but he gets plenty of credit for ensuring the ball ended up in the back of the net. Although aside from that, he didn’t have a standout performance.
Christian Wilhelmsson: B
The veteran got the start for Sweden and showed off some aggressiveness, but ultimately didn’t make a huge impact on the match.
Then again, you could say that about pretty much the entire Swedish team.
The incredibly long summer has come to an end for Brazil, and now their players will be going to their respective club teams.
The Swedish players will be doing the same.