Brazil 1-1 Russia: International Friendly, As It Happened
Final Score: 1-1 Fayzulin's opening goal is cancelled out by Fred's late winner as Russia and Brazil play out a pulsating encounter at Stamford Bridge. Both sides had chances to run away with the game early on, but Russian resiliency was often equal to Brazil's occasionally disjointed attack. Both Fabio Capello and Felipe Scolari will take solace and substance from their side's displays, and the pair can look optimistically forward to the World Cup next year.
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FT: An electric final few minutes from Brazil, whose performance has had an extra zip since the introduction of Hulk. Shirokov blazes a late chance over the bar, a Russian winner would be unjust at this late stage.
'89- GOAL, GOAL, GOAL - Brazil get out of jail with a late, late winner. Marcelo is played in and his cross finds Fred who fires in from 5 yards. 4 goals in 4 for the Brazilian frontman.
'87- Eshchenko brings down Hulk just outside the box. The resulting freekick is wasted by Hernanes, who blasts the ball over Gabulov's goal. Opportunities running out here for Brazil.
'85- Zhirkov pulls up, and it looks to be game over for him-a disappointing return to Stamford Bridge, result notwithstanding.
'81- Russia looking solid and steady here as we wade into the last ten minutes. Brazil beginning to resort to the individual guile to forge an opening...it's not working thus far.
Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa enters the fray, replacing Kaka, to win his 12th cap. Could he find the answer to Brazil's uncomfortable plight?
'76- Fernando, clearly with a penchant for the spectacular, tries a belter from close to the half-way line. The trusty Gabulov looks unfazed, and holds strongly.
'72- GOAL! A pulsating goal mouth scramble sees a terrific clutch of last-ditch blocks from Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Marcelo and others, Vayzulin eventually finds the ball at his feet and makes no mistake. Could this be Russia's first ever victory over Brazil?
'69- Neymar counter-intuitively draws the ball away from the Russian box before turning and floating a shot towards goal. Gabulov manages to hold onto it however, suggesting that the Brazilian didn't employ as much venom as he might have done.
'66- Hulk gets his opportunity, replacing Oscar.
'63- Brazilian pressure is fairly confidently dealt with by Russian resiliency. The ball finds its way to Marcelo who fires a right-footed shot into the welcoming arms of Gabulov.
'62- Hernanes picks out Kaka down the left with a pinpoint pass, the Real Madrid wins a corner. He has improved vastly in this second half.
'58- The Russians feel the brunt of his fierce shot...the wall, however, not the goal...
'57- Neymar, keen to make an impression, wins a freekick some 25 yards out after being bundled over...David Luiz steps up...
'55- The Kaka of old enthralls the assembled audience, wiggling and weaving his way through the centre of the park, passing a clutch of Russians, before eventually seeing the ball escape from him. Delicious stuff.
'50- Neymar changes pace and gallops down the right flank, his cross-cum-shot is scrambled but eventually held by Gabulov.
'49- The second half appears to be markedly less methodical than the first. Both sides are playing more directly and shirking the steadier buildup of the opening 45 minutes.
The Chelsea connections just keep on coming, as Yuri Zhirkov enters the fray-one of a number of Russian substitutes.
HALF TIME at Stamford Bridge. Both sides have had their chances in a first half which has flowed in both directions. Brazil's strikers have, at times, lacked the synergy we have come to expect from them, but the Russians have also had their chances and failed to take them.
'43- The first evidence of a chemistry between Fred and Neymar, the latter bursts down the right before playing in the former Lyon-man...his 18-yard backheel attempt is perhaps not the wisest route to goal.
'40- A terrific move from Russia as the tide begins to turn once again here. Kerzhakov and Fayzulin link up delightfully to create some space down the left. The ball is eventually fired into Julio Cesar's side netting, to the keeper's relief.
'38- A neat network of passes from the Russians climaxes with Shirokov almost playing in Bystrov. Marcelo is on hand to hook the ball out of his path.
'36- An improvement from Brazil, as their forward line begin to demonstrate some semblance of understanding. Kaka tries a delightful pass which is promptly cut-out by a stretching defender.
'32- More selfish stuff from Neymar. A driving run from Dani Alves plays him in, but the Santos hero chooses to ignore Kaka in the centre and dances into danger, specifically, three Russian defenders.
'30- Some delightful interchanges, at pace, between Dani Alves and Kaka. Russia, after previously being quite open, appear to have retreated within themselves. Initiative remains with Brazil here, as the first half draws into its closing stages.
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