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United States 1-4 Brazil: Neymar nets brace in friendly victory

58The Barcelona forward’s second-half double led the the Selecao to their 10th consecutive victory over the Stars and Stripes.

Neymar’s second-half double led Brazil to a 10th consecutive victory over United States as they stormed to a confident 4-1 triumph in a friendly at the Gillette Stadium.

The Brazil captain started among the substitutes but Hulk rose to the occasion, following up his winner in Saturday’s 1-0 friendly victory over Costa Rica by lashing home inside the opening 10 minutes.

Brazil soon settled into a counter-attacking rhythm, using the pace of Willian and Douglas Costa to stretch United States effectively.

Neymar, who will miss Brazil’s opening two World Cup 2018 qualifiers through suspension, only entered the fray for the second half but had an immediate impact, winning a penalty that he converted within six minutes of the restart.

Shortly after the hour-mark, Rafinha netted his first international goal and Neymar quickly followed up with his second to take his Brazil tally to 46, before Danny Williams scored a consolation for USA.

It only took nine minutes for Brazil to break the deadlock and Willian played a key role, surging to the byline before floating in a cross that came back off the upright.

The rebound fell kindly for Hulk and the striker rifled a powerful drive beyond Brad Guzan.

Four minutes later Jozy Altidore looked to restore parity with a near-post run to attack DeAndre Yedlin’s cutback, but Miranda did enough to block the effort and Marcelo Grohe collected the loose ball.

Injury saw Miranda replaced by Marquinhos midway through the half but USA continued to find it difficult to open up a resilient Brazil defence.

When an opening was eventually forged ahead of the half-hour mark, Michael Bradley produced a tame effort that failed to worry the goalkeeper.

Dunga’s side still threatened on the break and Marcelo could have added to Brazil’s tally on the brink of half-time, his venomous strike from the left stinging Guzan’s palms.

It did not take much longer for the second goal to come, though, and it was the introduction of Neymar that proved the catalyst.

Geoff Cameron felled the Brazil captain inside the box and he got the better of Guzan from the spot with 51 minutes played.

Rafinha then grabbed the third 13 minutes later, showing great composure to roll the ball into the back of the net after some brilliant work in the build-up from Lucas Moura.

The Paris Saint-Germain man laid on another assist three minutes later, picking out Neymar who squeezed the ball inside the near post after cutting in from the left.

Rafinha came close to increasing Brazil’s advantage but he fired wide of the upright from Fabinho’s cutback.

Neymar almost rounded off a deadly display with a third goal, but he could only find the side netting with a free-kick from the top of the box.

Williams grabbed a late consolation for USA, producing a sublime strike from 30 yards that Grohe could not stop.