There are a few games that make the international break a little less unbearable, and that was the case with Friday’s match between Brazil and Uruguay at the Emirates Stadium. Barcelona stars Luis Suárez and Arthur started and played 90 minutes in this one, and a very competitive friendly between two rival nations ended with a 1-0 Brazil victory thanks to a Neymar penalty.
The first half went exactly as expected. By nature, Brazil like to keep the ball while Uruguay defend and try to use their superstar forwards on the counter, but only the Seleção managed to execute their plan well for most of the half. Neymar and Arthur were very active in possession, and the two were always involved in Brazil’s best plays. Neymar had a goal correctly disallowed in the first half for offside, but he was the best player on the pitch in the first 45 minutes.
As we got closer to halftime, however, Uruguay managed to get a hold of the game and had a couple of very dangerous chances, including one where Luis Suárez made a ridiculous first time cross to Edinson Cavani who made a beautiful play himself with a great volley, but Brazil keeper Alisson pulled off a fantastic save and sent the ball out for a corner.
At halftime, Brazil were better but Uruguay showed good signs in the final minutes, and we seemed poised for a fun second half.
The second half was a lot more equal, although both teams struggled to create real chances. Brazil had more trouble keeping possession, and Uruguay had more counter attacking opportunities once they started to press harder in midfield and get the ball back.
As we reached the final 15 minutes, it seemed like a competitive draw was inevitable, but Brazil won a controversial penalty when Diego Laxalt brought down Danilo in the box. Despite the appeals from the Uruguay players, the call was confirmed and Neymar scored the spot kick with ease to give his team the lead.
The rivalry between these two teams came to life in the final minutes as Uruguay chased an equalizer and Brazil tried to kill the game on the counter, and the physicality went up a few notches with hard fouls, yellow cards, Luis Suárez running into a painful Walace shoulder, and more hard fouls and yellow cards.
We had a lot of action in the dying seconds, but no team managed to create a real scoring chance and the final whistle came to give Brazil the victory. This really was an awesome game, Suárez and Arthur played well and didn’t get injured, and this was a good way to spend two hours on a Friday.
Brazil: Alisson; Danilo, Marquinhos, Miranda, Filipe Luis; Arthur, Walace, Augusto (Allan); Costa (Richarlison), Firmino, Neymar
Goal: Neymar (76’)
Uruguay: Campaña; Suárez (Lemos), Méndez, Cáceres, Laxalt; Bentancur, Torreira, Vecino; Pereiro (Rodríguez), Suárez, Cavani