Ronaldinho of Brazil looks on during the International friendly match between Brazil and Ghana. Ronaldinho scored his team's first goal against Mexico in an international friendly on Tuesday, October 11, 2011.

Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: 10-Man Brazil Defeat Mexico 2-1

Brazil trailed Mexico with ten men at halftime, but Ronaldinho and Marcelo guided their team to a stunning win with two goals in quick succession.

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Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Fantastic Match Ends 2-1 To Brazil

Told you that was going to be a good game. Mexico and Brazil played an enthralling friendly in Torreon, with the hosts going up early thanks to David Luiz scoring an own goal after failing to deal with a low cross driven in by Pablo Barrera. El Tri then looked like they were going to go further ahead after Dani Alves conceded a penalty by knocking Chicharito over in the area, getting himself sent off in the process, but Andres Guardado couldn't beat Jefferson and it stayed 1-0 at halftime.

Brazil were then forced to endure several waves of Mexican attacks, finding themselves fouled whenever they tried to get forward, and it seemed like only a matter of time before the hosts doubled their lead. Instead, one of those fouls finally cost them, with the excellent Ronaldinho stepping up to smack the set piece into Oswaldo Sanchez's top corner, the veteran goalkeeper standing no chance.

Marcelo then completed Brazil's turnaround by dashing into the box, playing a quick one-two and then slamming the ball past Sanchez at his near post to make it 2-1 Brazil in the 83rd minute. Five minutes prior, and it had been Mexico who had the lead, but suddenly the hosts had to chase the game. There was still time for a touching moment, however - Sanchez was substituted to a standing ovation in the last minute, the crowds celebrating the goalkeeper's 100th and final appearance for his country.

There was time for action as well, with the game coming full circle for David Luiz to bail out his team when a dangerous-looking cross came fizzing in from the right. Brazil cleared the resulting corner, the whistle blew, and the game was over. 2-1 to Brazil, and I think both teams can probably be proud of the way they played. What a fun match of football that was.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Marcelo Goal Turns Game On Head

Whoa. It's like Brazil just remembered that they were Brazil. Within the span of two minutes, ten yellow shirts have scored twice to turn this game on its head. This time it doesn't take a Ronaldinho set piece to find the back of Oswaldo Sanchez's net - it's all Marcelo, with the (rather angry) left back pushing through Mexico's defence and blistering a shot past Sanchez at his near post. It's probably a good thing that the goalkeeper didn't get in the way of that one, because it left scorchmarks in the net. Wow.

Anyway, that's 2-1 Brazil and this could be a major turning point in the fortunes of this young team. They've been suffering all match and have suddenly turned on the class everyone knew they had - it's a real pleasure to see good play rather than whining. Anyway, Mexico might be behind but they still have the numerical advantage and would quite like to get something from this match, so the last few minutes of this one are going to be pretty interesting.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Ronaldinho Screamer Makes It 1-1

Ok, so earlier in this match I compared Chicharito to Darren Bent. I thought I might have been being unfair. Turns out that I was, although apparently it was towards Darren Bent, because Chicharito has just wasted an absolutely glorious chance to put Mexico 2-0 up over Brazil and wrap this thing up. However, he completely fails to get anything on his header and the ball goes straight to Jefferson, whose saved is praised as brilliant despite him doing pretty much nothing there except existing.

A few minutes later, Neymar's leg is once again caught at full speed. Once again he's accused of diving by an announcer whom I would happily skin and turn into a book. And, finally, Ronaldinho makes Mexico pay, scorching the resultant free kick over the wall past an unsighted Oswaldo Sanchez and into the top corner. That's an absolutely brilliant goal - it's a pleasure to still have the old chipmunk around. So we're back to level pegging at 1-1, although El Tri will fancy their chances to get a goal in the final ten minutes, what with the man advantage and all.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendlies: Brazil Get Less Friendly With Downright Unneighborly Antics Towards Ref

So much for this being a friendly, eh? Marcelo is possibly fouled near the edge of the penalty area, but it's not given and Brazil are absolutely furious at the referee, surrounding him and generally making themselves look like complete turds. This game doesn't matter, boys. Chill the flip out. Astonishingly, nobody gets a yellow card - Marcelo, Neymar and Hulk probably all deserved a booking for that little display of bad manners.

That rather puts a sour note into the game which had actually just gotten pretty interesting, with Ronaldinho (depressingly, he's probably been Brazil's best attacking player despite being four hundred years old) forcing Oswaldo Sanchez into a flying save from a quickly taken free kick and the visitors generally being far more adventuresome. However, Mexico are sending in fouls left and right to break up attacks, which is probably why Brazil are so frustrated when they aren't called. Not that that excuses their rather deplorable behaviour, however. Perhaps they should focus on not shooting straight at Sanchez when they do have the ball? Still 1-0 Mexico, and that lead is still well deserved.

Latest from announcer: "Everyone loves Chicharito." This statement was incredibly enlightening, explaining as it did why the Manchester United striker had just wandered offside. I find myself hoping for some sort of flash-deafness.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Carlos Salcido Nearly Doubles El Tri Lead

So Neymar's still getting fouled, and even Chicharito is getting in on the action, cutting the teenager's legs out from under him and receiving a yellow card for his troubles. It's a minor miracle that the announcers haven't accused him of diving again - perhaps they've been warned that one more incident of blatant stupidity and/or bias will get them fired? Sadly not, because they're still talking.

Anyway, Chicharito takes a shot from range a little while later, which misses by a wide margin, but that's just the appetiser to Carlos Salcido's delicious man course, which misses by either one or two plank lengths (my eyes aren't that good), flashing just past Jefferson's left hand post with the keeper well beaten. Brazil, not surprisingly, are struggling with ten men, and with Lucas Moura off and Adriano on they don't look like they have much in the way of a cutting edge. Still 1-0 to the hosts in Torreon.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Neymar Fouled Then Mocked By Announcers

The second half is underway between Mexico and Brazil, and the visitors are immediately on the attack, with Neymar trying to burst down the left touchline. He's tripped and goes to ground on account of being tripped while running at full speed. 'Again he goes to ground?' the announcer exclaims in exasperation.

Listen. I get it. I get that Neymar dives and has stupid hair and is generally less than likeable. But can we quit getting on people for diving/being annoying etc when they've done nothing wrong? If I was running at full speed and someone kicked my legs out from under me I'd fall down too*. Because it was a foul.

*And so would you! Kinematics!

Anyway, Ronaldinho takes the free kick, which Oswaldo Sanchez saves well under immense pressure from yellow shirts. It's still 1-0 to Mexico in Torreon, and with Brazil down to ten men it looks as though El Tri should be able to hold on for a morale-boosting win.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Chicharito Earns Penalty, Dani Alves Sent Off, Andres Guardado Misses

Well that's put a bit of a damper on the fun festival of attacking football we'd been enjoying to this point. Brazil go on the attack, again. Mexico defend well, again. The play is forced wide, where Dani Alves lurks. The Barcelona right back tries to trick his way to the byline, but instead runs flat into Mexico left back Jose Torres Nilo, with the two going down in a painful heap. A few minutes of treatment follow, with neither one particularly happy, but eventually we can get back to the the football. Both are fine. Hurray.

Neymar is starting to make himself a presence in the game - he tricks his way through several players to force Oswaldo Sanchez into a save before trying to get Rafael Marquez booked with an amusing little dive that the referee isn't buying at all. Cute, Neymar, but you're not a very good actor. Wait, hold on - penalty to Mexico.

Chicharito hasn't been involved in the game at all, but he chased a long ball into the area (which he wasn't going to get to) and Dani Alves body checked him out of the way for no discernable reason - a stupid challenge and a nailed on penalty. It was yellow card worthy too, and that's apparently the Barcelona man's second booking, so he's off. Andres Guardado's penalty is very well saved by Jefferson, so it's still 1-0 as we get to the verge of halftime. Wow.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Home Pressure Drops Off As Brazil Come Into Game

So that period of Mexico dominance now looks pretty well over, with Brazil really asserting themselves now. The pressure from the hosts has dropped off by about four notches - probably because El Tri's midfielders were buzzing around like a horde of angry hornets on speed for twenty minutes - and the visitors are making the most of it.  That said, they haven't scored, and Mexico have, and I'd suspect that the home side will take that with thirty minutes gone.

Lucas Moura and Hulk are trying to change that, though, with the youngster charging through the heart of Mexico's defence to set up Hulk for a shot that the striker ballooned over. Hulk has actually taken three shots from decent positions in as many minutes, but only one has tested Oswaldo Sanchez. It's still 1-0 Mexico at the Estadio Corona.

Also, an observation: Chicharito is Darren Bent with a turbo button. That's not being pejorative. I'm just sayin'.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Neymar Wastes Great Chance To Put Visitors Level

How Brazil aren't level I'm not sure. The visitors, going down early thanks to a silly own goal conceded by David Luiz, should have pegged one back instantly after excellent work by Hulk in the centre of Oswaldo Sanchez's penalty area - the Porto dangerman laid in a neat backheel to release Neymar for a shot ten yards from goal. Somehow, the Santos prodigy missed, sending a drive fizzing over the crossbar with the goal at his mercy. He was under some pressure at the time, but goodness me he really ought to have scored.

Brazil are having a good spell, though - a Ronaldinho free kick from a very tight angle drew a decent save from Sanchez with David Luiz lurking at the far post, hoping to atone for his mistake, and seconds later Carlos Salcido (who, strangely, is playing as a defensive midfielder) earned a yellow card from a crunching tackle on Neymar, who went flying into midair and needed to be given chest palpitations in order to recover. Not really, that was a terribly executed joke about diving. Oh well.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: David Luiz Own Goal Gives El Tri 1-0 Lead

This game has started brilliantly for Mexico with El Tri constantly on the attack and they've made an early breakthrough thanks to a David Luiz own goal, the Chelsea centre half finding himself out of position and unable to do more with a Pablo Barrera low cross than slash it into his own net with Jefferson wrongfooted. It wasn't a great piece of defending, but Brazil aren't really doing a very good job keeping the ball and Mexico's attack is good enough to cause problems in possession.

So, it's 1-0 to the hosts and Brazil are still under heavy pressure. For Mexico, the best form of defence is attack - the likes of Neymar and Hulk aren't going to hurt you much if the ball is in the Brazilian half. If that's the game plan, it's a good one, and it's working absolutely perfectly so far. Brazil are going to need to slow things down and consolidate play, or they're going to suffer all match.


Mexico Vs. Brazil, 2011 International Friendly: Lineups

If this Mexico-Brazil game isn't fun, you are all entitled to a year's free subscription of SB Nation Soccer. Seriously, how can a team with a front four of Ronaldinho, Neymar, Hulk and Lucas not be entertaining? And it's not like Mexico aren't good fun on their own, either, and since this is a friendly nobody's going to be retreating into a shell and holding out for a draw. This game's clearly going to be aces.

Both teams, for what it's worth, are using a double pivot, but while Mexico's wide men are clearly midfielders with Manchester United's Chicharito leading the attack Brazil feature two and a half true forwards - Neymar and Hulk in particular are going to be problematic for the home defence, while young Lucas Moura, 19, will be looking to show off just why he's regarded as such a hot prospect.

Mexico (4-2-3-1): Oswaldo Sanchez; Carlos Salcido, Rafael Marquez, Francisco Javier Rodriguez, Efrain Juarez; Jorge Torres, Israel Castro; Pablo Barrera, Andres Guardado, Giovani dos Santos; Javier Hernandez.

Brazil (4-2-1-3): Jefferson, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz, Marcelo; Lucas Leiva, Fernandinho; Ronaldinho; Lucas Moura, Hulk, Neymar.

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