- Brazil 1-0 Uruguay
This was meant to be the glamour tie of Brazil’s latest English double-header of their global tour. Friday night spent in the capital playing fellow South Americans Uruguay before decamping to the less glamorous surroundings of Milton Keynes for Tuesday’s game against Cameroon.
The characters were all largely there: Brazil captain Neymar the undoubted main attraction while Uruguay, despite injuries, could boast a strong line-up, including Luis Suárez and Edinson Cavani.
And there was no shortage of commitment under the gloomy London sky – eight yellow cards dished out for crunching tackles proof of that.
But in the end it was a controversial 76th-minute Neymar penalty, awarded after Diego Laxalt was adjudged to have fouled Manchester City’s Danilo, which settled this tight encounter.
“It was a South American derby and we’ve got respect for Uruguay. Regardless of it being a friendly, they have got a high level,” said Brazil manager Tite.
“They’ve got those dangerous players up front. If you think of all the things they did in that match, we still managed to control them and it’s difficult to control Uruguay.”
Brazil started like a train and had Neymar not strayed offside when flicking in Filipe Luis’s cross from the left, you would imagine the goals may have flowed. But Uruguay grew into the game, Cavani drawing a superb far post save from Liverpool’s Alisson Becker before Neymar delivered the win with his 60th goal for Brazil.
“I would have preferred a different result so that the effort the players put in was rewarded, especially the young ones,” said Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez.
“I think Brazil had more experience than us and that’s a big thing. It’s a shame that it comes down to a bit of a controversial situation.”
Brazil (4-3-3) Alisson (Liverpool); Danilo (Manchester City), Marquinhos (Paris St-Germain), Miranda (Inter Milan), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid); Arthur (Barcelona), Walace (Hannover 96) Augusto (Beijing Guoan); Costa (Juventus), Firmino (Liverpool), Neymar (Paris St-Germain).
Subs Allan (Napoli) for Augusto 59; Richarlison (Everton) for Costa 67.
Booked Costa, Walace.
Uruguay (4-3-1-2) Campana (Independiente); M Suarez (Belgrano), Mendez (Montevideo Wanderers), Caceres (Lazio) Laxalt (Milan); Bentancur (Juventus), Torreira (Arsenal), Vecino (Inter Milan); Pereiro (PSV Eindhoven); Cavani (Paris St-Germain), L Suarez (Barcelona).
Subs Rodriguez (Santos) for Pereiro 77; Lemos (Sassuolo) for M Suarez 81; Valverde (Real Madrid) for Vecino 85.
Booked M Suarez, Vecino, Torreira, L Suarez, Caceres, Cavani.
Referee Craig Pawson (Scotland).