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Brazil downs France 3-1
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 28 - 03 - 2015

PARIS — A fine finish from captain Neymar helped secure a come-from-behind 3-1 win for Brazil over France in a friendly in Paris Thursday as it maintained its perfect record since the return as coach of Dunga.
Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane had headed the host in front on a cold night at a packed Stade de France, only for Oscar to equalize late in the first half.
Barcelona forward Neymar then controlled a Willian pass and lashed the ball high into the roof of the net from the left edge of the six-yard box in the 57th minute to put the visitors in front, and a Luiz Gustavo header secured the victory midway through the second period.
Brazil has now won seven consecutive friendly matches under Dunga following the heavy defeats to Germany and the Netherlands that saw its World Cup campaign on home soil last year end in such catastrophic fashion.
And this latest success against an accomplished France side will have been particularly pleasing to Dunga, back where he captained the Selecao in a painful 3-0 World Cup final defeat to the French in 1998.
In the opposite dugout this time was Didier Deschamps, the current France coach who skippered Les Bleus on that glorious night 17 years ago.
“We were punished for our mistakes,” Deschamps told TF1 television after the game. “Even if the World Cup was a trauma for them, they still have very, very good players and they did reach the semifinals.
“It was good for us tonight to have to face up to a difficult situation. We will learn from this.”
Falcao hits brace
World Cup quarterfinalist Colombia cruised to a 6-0 rout of Bahrain, while Chile lost 2-0 to Iran in contrasting Copa America warm-ups for the two South American teams also Thursday.
Colombia captain Radamel Falcao laid on an opening 14th-minute goal for strike partner Carlos Bacca then scored twice in five minutes, his first a sweet volley, as Colombia hardly broke sweat at Bahrain's National Stadium in Riffa.
Falcao, who is lacking regular first team football at Manchester United, leapt at his chance to lead his country's attack and responded with goals in the 32nd and 36th minutes to take his tally to 23 in 55 internationals.
Adrian Ramos and debutants Johan Mojica and Andres Renteria added further goals in the final half hour for the visitors.
Iran ran up a two-goal lead over a second string Chile side after 50 minutes through midfielders Javad Nekounam and Vahid Amiri in the Austrian town of Sankt Poelten.
Algeria lost its first game since its disappointing Africa Cup of Nations campaign, going down tamely 1-0 to Qatar in a friendly in Doha.
A superb 32nd minute goal from Ali Assadalla proved the difference between the two sides. The result proved another disappointment for French coach Christian Gourcuff's stuttering side which was dumped out of the Africa Cup at the quarterfinal stage. — Agencies


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