Brazil vs. France: Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction
In a battle of two of the more talented teams in the world, Brazil was able to earn a 3-0 victory over France.
This highly anticipated battle between two historic world powers has lost some of its luster due to recent struggles on the pitch. Heading into the match, neither squad was ranked in the top 15 in FIFA's world rankings.
Still, the teams were looking to gain some momentum with the match while preparing for various international competitions.
Unfortunately, the first half featured plenty of struggles from both sides. France struggled to gain possession for any duration, while Brazil could not get things done in the final third despite having opportunities.
The intermission came without either side scoring a goal.
Robin Bairner of Goal.com provided his analysis of the first half in this tweet:
In the second half, Brazil appeared much stronger with its opportunities near the net. The hosts finally got on the scoreboard in the 54th minute thanks to some strong play in front of the goal.
Will Brazil win the Confederations Cup?
Fred got the ball with room to run on the left side and made an excellent pass on the ground to Oscar in front of the net. After a short touch, he finished with a goal past the French keeper to put Brazil up 1-0.
Meanwhile, France struggled to get anything going offensively in the second half. One of the best opportunities early on was a near own goal by David Luiz, which was saved by Julio Cesar.
Brazil was then able to put the match away with a second goal in the 85th minute. The squad came on strong on a counter-attack, and Hernanes found an opening just off the inside post and into the goal. Neymar earned the assist to put his squad up 2-0.
Goal.com India did not hold back in the assessment from France's perspective:
The squad added to the lead in the 90th minute when Marcelo drew a foul in the penalty box. Lucas Moura took the shot and made it 3-0 in favor of the home squad. The match ended shortly after.
France did not have any qualifying matches this month, but the team was coming off a disappointing loss to Uruguay in a friendly on Wednesday. It needed to have a strong performance in this match to provide confidence heading into the next set of games.
This match did little to help in that area.
It was also an important match for Brazil, who was using this match as a final tuneup before the Confederations Cup begins. Although this match was far from perfect, there is plenty of reason to be optimistic for the young squad.
Still, both sides will have plenty to work on before being considered a top contender for the 2014 World Cup.
Fred, Brazil: A-
Through the international season, Fred has been the player that Brazil looks to when it needs a goal. In this match, however, he showcased his passing ability instead.
The forward had an assist in the second half, but also made strong crosses throughout the match to help his side.
Oscar, Brazil: A+
Who was the Man of the Match?
The most impressive attribute for Oscar in this match was his composure. The 21-year-old star had a few mistakes early on, but he remained calm when he got the ball in front of the net and finished with a spectacular goal to put his team up.
Besides the score, he made solid runs and was usually in control, which is a good sign for the future of this squad.
Huge Lloris, France: A-
As one of the best goalkeepers in the world, France rarely has to worry about Huge Lloris. Despite giving up the three goals, this is still the case, as he almost single-handedly kept the match close.
None of the scores can be blamed on Lloris, and he should be just fine going forward.
Karim Benzema, France: C-
With Franck Ribery not on the roster and Olivier Giroud not in the starting lineup, this match was an opportunity for Karim Benzema to showcase his offensive ability. Unfortunately, he was unable to do that, as he did little on that end of the field.
It is clear that the depth is not where France wants it to be at this stage.
|M||Oscar (Off 65')||A+|
|M||Luis Gustavo Dias (Off 81')||B-|
|M||Hulk (Off 69')||C+|
|F||Fred (Off 71')||A-|
|M||Fernando (On 69') ||B|
|M||Lucas Moura (On 65')||B+|
|F||Jô (On 71') ||B-|
|M||Hernanes (On 81')||A|
|M||Yohan Cabaye (Off 82')||B|
|M||Mathieu Valbuena (Off 70')||C+|
|M||Blaise Matuidi (Off 70')||B|
|F||Karim Benzema (Off 71')||C-|
|M||Clément Grenier (On 70') ||C+|
|F||Alexandre Lacazette (On 70') ||B-|
|F||Olivier Giroud (On 71') ||B|
|F||Bafetimbi Gomis (On 82')||B|
France does not have another qualifying match until September, although the squad is certain to set up a few more friendlies before that time.
Brazil does not have to take part in any World Cup qualifying as the host country, but the team will take part in the upcoming Confederations Cup. On Saturday, the squad starts things off with a battle against Japan.
Rob Goldberg is a member of Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates.
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