Neymar's Brazil coast past Team GB

Stuart Pearce’s Team GB Olympic football team played their first warm-up, losing 2-0 to Brazil. It was a reasonable result considering Brazil are hot favourites to win Olympic gold.

The Brazilians were comfortably superior in the friendly in Middlesbrough, scoring twice in the first half. Their star Neymar offered sporadic glimpses of the skills that have made him one of the world’s most coveted players.

Brazil’s team is the nucleus of the squad being developed for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, and they were consistently dangerous. Slack defending allowed Tottenham’s Sandro to head the opener. A foul on striker Hulk by Micah Richards gave Neymar the chance to seal the win from the penalty spot.

Britain, captained by Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, mustered little threat, although Pearce admitted that the players were still working on their fitness and team-work ahead of their opening Olympic group match against Senegal. "It was a real learning curve," Pearce said, "but Senegal will be the acid test."

There were encouraging signs for Team GB. Pearce’s defenders worked the ball out of defence tidily, while goalkeeper Jack Butland, who came on in the second half, made a string of excellent saves to keep the score respectable.

Giggs agreed that Brazil was a useful test for the squad. Pearce went further. "Whoever beats this lot will probably have a gold medal," he said. "We endeavoured to play from the back and we passed reasonably up until the final third but the players have to learn from it."

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