Brazil vs. Honduras: 6 Things We Learned
Brazil defeated Honduras 5-0 in Miami to continue their strong sequence of friendly results in the lead up to the 2014 World Cup.
Honduras showed signs of resistance in the first half, but the Selecao soon clicked into gear, with Bernard, Dante, Maicon, Willian and Hulk finding the back of the net as the Honduran defense fell apart.
Here are half a dozen things we learned from the game.
The Selecao Are the Form Team in World Football Right Now
In terms of international football, Brazil are showing the most daunting form right now.
Since a 1-0 loss to Switzerland in August, the Selecao have won five straight games, a run which included several outstanding performances, including a 6-0 win over Australia, a 3-1 defeat of Portugal and this latest 5-0 hammering of Honduras.
With Germany drawing against Italy, Spain struggling to beat Equatorial Guinea and Argentina failing to impress in a 0-0 draw with Ecuador, Scolari's men remain the hottest team in world football right now.
Violence Isn't the Answer
Honduras tried to unsettle their illustrious opponents with roughhouse tactics throughout the match. Neymar in particular was frequently victimized.
The Brazilian No. 10 copped the brunt of the Hondurans' attention, but aside from his usual demonstrative reactions to fouls, his game did not seem to be affected.
In the end, three Honduras players picked up yellow cards for fouls on Neymar, and Brazil still won at a canter.
Bernard Is Close to Locking Down a Starting Spot for Brazil
The preferred formation of Luiz Felipe Scolari is slowly taking shape, and tiny wide forward Bernard is firming as favorite to occupy one of the starting spots at the World Cup next year.
Even though Jo, in the central attacking role, offered little in the way of a goal threat, the movement of Neymar and Bernard caused plenty of headaches for Honduras in the first half.
The Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker complements the Barcelona starlet well due to his energetic movement around the pitch and one-touch passing ability.
His early goal was just reward for a dynamic performance. The fact he was substituted at half-time seemed to indicate that his coach had seen enough, in a good way.
Dante Didn't Do His Chances Any Harm Either
Powerful Bayern Munich defender Dante is another Brazilian hoping to convince Felipao of his worth as the World Cup fast approaches, and he also boosted his claims with a solid display on Saturday night.
Aside from his goal, Dante was flawless at the back throughout the match. His physical presence is useful too, especially against teams that attempt to intimidate Brazil as Honduras did for much of the game.
Honduras Have the Makings of a Decent Team
When Honduras concentrated on playing football in the first half, they were able to compete relatively well with Brazil.
Their insistence on fouling their opponents and some poor decision-making in their own box handed Brazil all the momentum they needed to turn the match into a procession.
The scoreline might have been slightly embarrassing, but Honduras showed glimpses of what they are capable of.
Americans Really Like Football
An impressive crowd of 71,124 in Miami was the highest turnout for a Brazil game anywhere in the world this year aside from games at the Maracana.
Though these numbers were obviously due in no small part to Florida's large Latino community, Americans have shown in recent years they are prepared to turn out in numbers for any high-profile international game, even if it doesn't involve the U.S. team.