AAP Soccer

Brazil subdued in win over Saudi Arabia

By AAP Newswire

Goals near the end of each half from Gabriel Jesus and Alex Sandro have given Brazil a 2-0 win over Saudi Arabia in an unusually subdued performance by the five-time world champions.

Brazil had scored 16 goals in their four previous wins against the Saudis but the home side matched the visitors on Friday, particularly in midfield, for most of the friendly clash.

Brazil had the better of the first half and Jesus finally broke the deadlock just two minutes from halftime when he ran on to an inch-perfect pass from Neymar and slotted the ball home from an angle.

Forward Neymar was again Brazil's best player but his teammates let him down with their finishing as Saudi Arabia came into the match more in the second period.

The hosts couldn't score, however, and it fell to Sandro to give the scoreline a more realistic look when he headed home Neymar's corner in the sixth minute of stoppage-time.

Brazil also had two efforts disallowed for offside and Saudi keeper Mohammed Al-Owais was sent off five minutes from time after VAR confirmed he handled the ball outside the box.

"We're aware we need to get better, that we can do better," Sandro said.

"Obviously the climate was influential, we have new players who need to fit in, but we deserve congratulations."

Brazil's next game is against Argentina in Jeddah on Tuesday.

The Argentines beat Iraq 4-0 on Thursday to extend their unbeaten run since the World Cup to three games.

Japan and South Korea each won home friendly matches on Friday, beating fellow 2018 World Cup sides Panama and Uruguay, respectively.

New Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu continued his winning start with a second 3-0 victory in Niigata after defeating Costa Rica by the same score on his debut in September.

Takumi Minamino broke the deadlock just before the break, Junya Ito doubled the lead and an own goal from Harold Cummings settled matters late on.

South Korea triumphed 2-1 in Seoul with Jung Woo Young netting the winner 11 minutes from time after Matias Vecino equalised Hwang Ui Jo's opener midway from midway through the second period.

In other games, Qatar beat Ecuador 4-3, Mexico downed Costa Rica 3-2, Colombia beat USA 4-2 and Peru defeated Chile 3-0.