Sao Paulo, June 8 (IANS) Philippe Coutinho and Diego Tardelli scored first-half goals as Brazil defeated Mexico 2-0 in their Copa America warm-up friendly match.
Liverpool midfielder Coutinho opened the scoring by running onto Filipe Luis’s pass, then rounding Hugo Ayala and beating goalkeeper Jose Corona at the near post from an acute angle on Sunday, reports Xinhua.
Tardelli then doubled the hosts’ lead after some slick build-up play. Filipe Luis combined with his Chelsea teammate Willian, who needed just one touch to send Elias free in the box.
The Corinthians midfielder’s unselfish slide rule pass to Tardelli was inch-perfect and the Shandong Luneng striker’s first-time effort left Corona with no chance.
Mexico had looked the better side early. Eduardo Herrera and Raul Jimenez tested Jefferson’s goal with fizzing long-range shots.
But Tardelli’s goal took the urgency out of Mexico’s play and Brazil looked to be in cruise control mode as they dominated possession for most of the second half.
Both teams were missing key names for the match. Brazil were without Neymar, who was given time to celebrate Spanish side FC Barcelona’s Champions League final victory over Juventus on Saturday.
Mexico, meanwhile, were without Javier Hernandez, Carlos Vela and Andres Guardado, who were all rested saved by coach Miguel Herrera.
“It was a great feeling to score and more importantly I was happy to help the team,” Coutinho said after the match.
“We showed we can play without Neymar but there’s not doubting how much he means to the team. When he comes back he’s going to lift our quality even more.”
Brazil will play their final Copa America warmup match against Honduras in Porto Alegre on Wednesday.
They will then fly to Chile, where they will play their first match of the continental tournament against Peru in Temuco on June 14.