Brazil nip Germany 1-0 in friendly between 2 World Cup favourites

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Berlin, March 28 (IANS) A first-half goal by Gabriel Jesus gave Brazil a 1-0 win against Germany here in a football friendly featuring two of the favourites to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup which starts less than three months from now in Russia.

The victory on Tuesday at the Olympic Stadium could be seen as a small portion of revenge for the 7-1 pounding Germany inflicted on Brazil in the semi-finals of the 2014 World Cup, reports Efe.

The loss was Germany’s first in 22 games. The 2014 World Cup winners suffered their first loss since July 2016.

While Brazil coach Tite made only one change to the line-up that defeated Russia last week, replacing winger Douglas Costa with Fernandinho, his German counterpart Joachim Löw rested six of the starters who played in the 1-1 draw with Spain, including goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

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Chances were scarce in the first half. Germany’s best opportunity came in the 16th minute when Ilkay Gündogan sent a good cross from Julian Draxler skyward.

Two minutes after threatening on the counter, Jesus got the eventual game-winner in the 38th minute with an assist from Willian. Gabriel’s header from point-blank range went directly into the body of Kevin Trapp, but the backup keeper failed to control it.

The Brazilians dominated for the first 20 minutes of the second half and generated three solid chances to increase their lead. Trapp turned aside a Paulinho effort in the 54th minute for a corner and shots by Philippe Coutinho and Jesus were deflected away from the goal.

Germany improved as the half wore on, yet Brazil goalkeeper Alisson had little to do until the 90th minute, when he had to swat away a shot by Draxler.

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“It wasn’t our day today. We have made some changes and that was noticeable. We made a lot of mistake and made Brazil strong. Today we have made our experience and we will learn from them,” Loew said.

–IANS

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