Brazil stroll to victory over Panama but Scolari remains unconvinced

Brazil stroll to victory over Panama but Scolari remains unconvinced

World Cup hosts Brazil strolled to a 4-0 win over Panama in their penultimate warm-up, with goals from Neymar, Daniel Alves, Hulk and Willian securing the win which barely satisfied their coach.

After a tentative opening, the Selecao easily saw off limited opponents as Neymar, with his 31st international goal, set the ball rolling, rifling in a free-kick for the opener on the half hour.

Alves drove in the second five minutes before the interval and a cheeky Neymar backheel was enough to pave the way for Hulk to dispatch the third early in the second period before Willian put the icing on the cake 17 minutes from time.

With only Friday’s friendly against Serbia to come before the Brazilians meet Croatia in their June 12 World Cup opener in Sao Paulo, 2002 title-winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari seized the chance to use several second string players.

Afterwards, he indicated he saw room for further improvement. “I am still concerned. We are getting better – but we know we have a fair way to go,” indicated the man who lifted Brazil’s fifth Cup in Japan 12 years ago and who now wants to deliver first success on home soil.

“The run out was worthwhile but we must up our rhythm and be a lot better for the Croatia game,” prior to further group games against Mexico and Cameroon.
Scolari explained the opening minutes of Tuesday’s game had concerned him.

“We were a bit off beam in the opening minutes and it could have been different had we been playing a superior opponent. Afterwards, we improved.” Scolari had called on his side to pull their socks up after a slovenly training session on Sunday and they responded after a quiet opening quarter of an hour.

Deserved win

Izet Hajrovic's first half goal gave Bosnia and Herzegovina a deserved 1-0 win over Mexico in an international friendly between two World Cup-bound sides at Soldier Field in Chicago on Tuesday, ending 'El Tri's' eight-game unbeaten run.

Bosnia dominated the first half and could easily have gone to the break with a bigger advantage but, in the end, had goalkeeper Asmir Begovic to thank for two great saves to deny Mexico an equaliser.

Mexico coach Miguel Herrera experimented with his line-up but the performance of his team will have disappointed an overwhelmingly Mexican capacity crowd of 60,707.
Meanwhile, Switzerland left it late as they struggled to a 2-0 win over a defensive, experimental Peru.