Neymar-Less Brazil Cruise Past Russia
International Friendly Report: Russia v Brazil 23 March 2018
Result: Russia 0-3 Brazil
Date: 23 March 2018
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium
Brazil put on a sterling second-half display as they defeated Russia 3-0 in a friendly international in the Russian capital.
The game got off the way many expected as the first chance fell to Brazil ace Gabriel Jesus, who went close with a header in the box.
Barcelona’s Phillipe Coutinho managed to cut in from the left aiming to score from his trademark position, but went straight to Akinfeev, with Willian firing another lame effort at the veteran later on.
The Russians got their first shot on goal two minutes before the half-hour mark, which came from Fyodor Smolov, with Aleksandr Samedov following up with another goal-bound effort which also failed to find the back of the net.
The pressure continued at the other end, though, after Douglas Costa found space on the left but he only hit the side-netting.
It was proving to be end-to-end stuff despite no goals as Roman Zobnin missed inches from goal, while Aleksei Miranchuk missed from inside the box with a wayward shot.
The pressure from the South Americans continued after two back-to-back attempts from Paulinho and Jesus, as they finally went in front through Miranda from a corner on 53 minutes.
They nearly made it two but were denied by the post after good work from Coutinho whose shot ricochet off Paulinho and then the post eight minutes later.
The second finally came albeit from 12-yards after Paulinho was hacked down, allowing his club mate Coutinho to step up and fire past Akinfeev after 61 minutes.
It was becoming smooth sailing for Tite’s men minutes later when they got a third from the head of Paulinho after a cross by Willian.
In the end, the Selecao rounded off a smooth victory to get their World Cup preparations off on a solid footing.