Brazil’s forwards fire again in Sweden win
Two goals from substitute Alexandre Pato helped Brazil to a 3-0 win over Sweden in the final international game at Stockholm’s Rasunda stadium on Wednesday.
After losing the Olympic final to Mexico last Saturday, Brazil returned to the stadium where a 17-year-old Pele had inspired them to their first World Cup in 1958 and were dominant against the Swedes.
“We needed to give a strong answer and I think we did that,” Brazil coach Mano Menezes told a news conference. “We created a lot of chances and scored three goals. It was a fair result.”
Pele, watching from the stands, was welcomed back to Stockholm with open arms but Santos forward Neymar was given a harder time of it as the Swedes sought to get to grips with his incisive dribbling and passing.
The 20-year-old had already had a goal disallowed for offside by the time he drifted in and launched a deft cross for fellow forward Leandro Damiao to head home to open the scoring.
He continued to torment the Swedish defenders until he was substituted late in the second half but there was to be no respite as Pato netted two goals in three minutes.
Pato doubled the lead in the 85th minute when he headed home from close range after good work by Dani Alves.
The AC Milan striker then converted a penalty two minutes later after being brought down in the area.
Without injured captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sweden gave away possession too easily and wasted the few chances they did manage to create.
Sweden coach Erik Hamren was left to rue his side’s rush to clear their lines, saying “it (the ball) was a little hot out there today.”