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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Brazil swept aside Austria 3-0 in their final World Cup warm-up

Gabriel Jesus, Neymar and Philippe Coutinho scored as Brazil swept aside Austria 3-0 in their final World Cup warm-up game in Vienna.
Manchester City striker Jesus calmly curled past Heinz Lindner to open the scoring on 35 minutes.
Neymar, making his first start since February, doubled the lead midway through the second half, slotting in after a nice piece of skill.
Barcelona midfielder Coutinho added the third goal shortly afterwards.
He latched onto a through ball from former Liverpool team-mate Roberto Firmino before sliding home.
It could have been worse for Austria, Coutinho rattling the bar with a delicate effort after 76 minutes, and Firmino denied by a fine save in the closing moments.
Austria, who failed to qualify for Russia and have not competed at a World Cup since 1998, failed to pose much of a threat, though West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic did go close in the first half.
Brazil have not lost since June 2017, a run of 10 games, and have kept 16 clean sheets in 21 games since Tite took over in June 2016.
The five-time world champions, drawn in Group E, begin their World Cup campaign against Switzerland on Sunday, 17 June before facing Costa Rica and Serbia.
Tite wanted to test his team against opposition that would close down spaces, in order to mimic the test posed by defence-minded Switzerland in their World Cup opener in Rostov-on-Don.
And he will have been pleased to see the Selecao do well against a spirited Austrian side that arrived for this friendly on the back of a 2-1 victory over Germany, and a seven-game unbeaten run.
Tite opted for a 'lighter but quicker' midfield, with Coutinho alongside Casemiro and Paulinho (at the expense of Manchester City's Fernandinho) and his selection gave Brazil more fluidity, which enabled them to find gaps in Austria's five-man defensive line at will.
Neymar stole the limelight by scoring his 55th international goal and becoming Brazil's joint-third all-time leading scorer, but Coutinho and Willian also impressed.
Overall, it was an almost faultless team performance that will give fans in Brazil some confidence as the Selecao chase of a record sixth World Cup in Russia.