Brazil vs. Chile: 6 Things We Learned

Dan Colasimone@@ArgentinaFWContributor INovember 20, 2013

Brazil vs. Chile: 6 Things We Learned

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    This clash of two of international football's form sides at the Rogers Centre in Toronto produced a 2-1 victory for Brazil over Chile.

    Hulk and substitute Robinho got the goals for Brazil, while Eduardo Vargas scored for the Chileans in what was an entertaining and open affair.

    Here are six things we learned from this intriguing encounter.

Brazil Will Punish Any Mistakes with Extreme Prejudice

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    Chile looked calm and composed for the first 13 minutes, perhaps even edging proceedings in the opening stages as they warmed up their slick passing game.

    One stray pass from Marcos Gonzalez, however, was pounced on by Oscar, who raised his head and played in a sublime assist for Hulk.

    The burly forward smashed the ball past Claudio Bravo, and all of Chile's solid early work was for naught. 

    You don't just need to be good against this Brazil side, you need to be nearly perfect.

Valdivia Is Important for Chile

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    The midfielder was brought on to replace an ineffective Jose Fuenzalida after just 22 minutes, and the tactical shuffle paid dividends for coach Jose Sampaoli.

    Chile immediately looked more fluid with the talented Valdivia pulling the strings.

    The Palmeiras player brought some forward thrust and his wide passing range into the mix, giving the Brazilian midfield much more to think about. 

    He is still far from full fitness, and his influence began to wane until he was substituted in the second half, but his class is obvious.

Scolari Continues to Take These Friendlies Very Seriously

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    With no competitive fixtures between the Confederations Cup and the World Cup, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari has little choice but to treat every friendly match as an important learning experience.

    Once again, he made only a few minor adjustments to the starting side that defeated Honduras 5-0 on Saturday night, thus ensuring the team enjoys a sense of continuity.

    In the Gene Hackman lookalike's preferred 4-3-3 formation, Hulk replaced Bernard in one of the wide forward positions, the midfield remained the same, Thiago Silva came in for Dante in the defensive line, and Julio Cesar took over the goalkeeping role from Victor.

    Just three changes, then, until the usual second-half substitution fest robbed the game of much of its fluidity.

Medel Is One of the Best Defenders in the World at Present

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    There are few sterner tests of a player's defensive capabilities than taking on Neymar and company.

    Whether he is appearing as a midfielder, fullback or centre-back, Gary Medel is a ferocious and highly effective practitioner of the defensive arts, something he proved once again against Brazil.

    Despite picking up an early yellow card, the Cardiff City warrior was his usual persistent, tough-tackling self and performed as well as any defender has against the Selecao in recent times.

Neymar and Alexis Can't Do It Every Time

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    The respective talismanic strikers of Brazil and Chile, Neymar and Alexis Sanchez were by no means poor in this match, but they did not dazzle in the way they often can.

    Alexis especially was quite subdued, which is perhaps understandable following his stunning brace against England in his previous match.

    Neymar, on balance, was lively and threatening, but surprisingly was unable to find the net despite his best efforts, though he did play a large part in Brazil's second goal.

    The two South American sides know their star men will not always be able to provide the goals, meaning others will have to step up to take responsibility.

Chile Can Take Heart Despite This Loss

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    This result may have brought a 10-match unbeaten run to an end for Sampaoli's side, but they can be pleased with their overall showing against the World Cup favorites.

    The fact they were playing with what was virtually a second-string midfield makes their performance all the more impressive.

    Few sides have taken the game to Brazil as effectively as Chile in recent times, and this match, coupled with the win over England, will further enhance their reputation as one of the teams to watch next year.