Sports

Neymar & Philippe Coutinho egged in Brazil's World Cup preparations

Neymar & Philippe Coutinho egged in Brazil's World Cup preparations

Brazil arrived in Russian Federation on Monday hungry to make amends for their World Cup humiliation in 2014 with Neymar apparently fighting fit, as Lionel Messi cast doubt over his worldwide future.

England meets Germany in the quarters, where Germany wins.

Brazil also face Costa Rica and Serbia in Group E in Russian Federation as they look to hit back from their shock 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany on home soil four years ago.

Those teams had one thing in common: they used repetitive fouling in midfield to break up the opposition's attacks, believing it to be a legitimate tactical ploy rather than a violation of the rules.

Apart from holding five championship titles, Brazil is also the world's only national squad to reach the final phase of every FIFA World Cup.

In fact, failing to commit enough fouls has been a frequent Scolari complaint about his teams over the course of his career.

The celebrations descended into a free-for-all when Thiago Silva turned on Neymar and hurled an egg at him, certainly the sort of relaxed atmosphere Tite hoped to create ahead of the biggest tournament in football. In particular, the defensive midfield role performed by Real Madrid's Casemiro is essential, providing a link between defence and midfield and a shield to the back four.

Coutinho nearly got his second and Brazil's fourth in the 73rd minute but his curling strike from distance rattled the upright with Linder well beaten.

They will head to Russian Federation in confident mood, having lost only one out of 21 games - a friendly against Argentina - in Tite's two years in charge.

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In the other side of the draw, Mourinho has named a mouthwatering semi-final clash between reigning champions the Germans and Lionel Messi's Argentina - a repeat of the final in Brazil four years ago.

Gabriel Jesus gave Brazil the lead after 36 minutes with a slick finish from a tight angle.

The foursome, starting together for the first time, worked superbly in hard conditions on Sunday to break down an Austria side which had beaten Germany only one week earlier.

"You have to trust, you dream", Neymar told reporters. The PSG talisman was at his brilliant best as he toyed around with defenders before scoring the second goal for Brazil after Gabriel Jesus scored the opener.

Back in February, the Neymar lay crumpled in a heap on the floor during a game against Marseille after he sustained a fractured metatarsal.

He also seemed to revel in no longer having to carry the team on his shoulders. Not even Neymar hit the net that often under Tite. "His technical and creative capacity is impressive".

The first scare came in the third minute following a late tackle from behind by midfielder Alessandro Schoepf.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.


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