FOOTBALL: U.S. falls to Brazil, 2-0, in friendly

It was just a friendly match, played before 32,489 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but Brazil brought 13 members of its 2018 World Cup quarterfinalist team to face a young American squad.

The result was a completely expected, 2-0 win for the visitors that extended Brazil’s lead in the all-time series to 18-1-0.

But the game was hardly the lopsided beating that some expected, especially with the U.S. fielding a team that averaged just 23 years old.

Nevertheless, both goals came in the first half, with Roberto Firmino scoring in the 11th minute off a cross by Douglas Costa to the back post that Firmino touched in for a 1-0 lead. Neymar scored on a penalty kick in the 43rd minute after Fabinho went down between two U.S. defenders in the box.

Brazil had 12 shots in the game and four on goal; the U.S. had 11 and two and nearly scored in the 72nd minute on a Wil Trapp shot that was touched aside by Brazilian keeper Alisson.

A learning experience, as interim coach Dave Sarachan continued with players who can help the U.S. move toward the 2022 World Cup and beyond.

The classes continue for the U.S. men’s team against Mexico on Tuesday (11th) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee (8:30 p.m. Eastern time on ESPN and Univision).