China suffers heavy defeat to Brazil

China suffers heavy defeat to Brazil

By Tiago Bontempo (follow him on twitter @GunnerTNB)

Recent results attained by the Chinese Nation Team may have indicated that José Antonio Camacho could be leading them the right way, but a crushing 8-0 defeat by the hands of a still incomplete Brazilian side in Recife hit as a big blow even though the Chinese could not field their best eleven.

China were no match for Brazil

Goals by Ramires, Neymar (x3), Lucas Moura, Hulk, Oscar and an own goal by Liu Jianye sealed China’s worst defeat in history.

Although not fighting for a place in the 2014 World Cup anymore, Camacho’s side came from a not so bad 1-0 defeat against Sweden, having previously drawn 0-0 with Ghana and losing to world champions Spain by only 1-0. Even with the absence of many important players such as Guangzhou Evergrande’s Zheng Zhi, Sun Xiang, Zhang Linpeng and Qin Sheng, they were hoping to make things difficult for a team that was trying to convince their own supporters of their value.

Brazil came from an uninspiring 1-0 win over South Africa in São Paulo, where both the team and manager Mano Menezes were heavily booed and put under intense pressure to perform. Menezes told the press his team is 70% complete for the World Cup, but many in his home country feel the squad is much farther away from the ideal.

For this friendly, there was only one major absence as captain Thiago Silva is out injured. In the front line, Hulk won back a starting spot after his match-winning performance against South Africa and Neymar was fielded in an unusual centre forward role.

Being of a similar level to the South Africans, it was expected that China could at least put up a good fight, but it never eventuated. Brazil were far from brilliant in the opening minutes, but even then they dominated possession against a Chinese team that sat deep in their own half but could neither defend nor connect passes for an eventual counter-attack.

In fact, marking was so poor that the home side had all the space they could want to create chances. It was just a matter of time until a goal would come. And it came twice in the first 45 minutes, while China had not even one attempt at Diego Alves’ goal. The Valecia goalkeeper’s first and only save in the whole match happened at the 69th minute, and it was a brilliant one after a header from substitute Zhang Yuan. The Guangzhou R&F player, by the way, was the only threat for the Brazilians as he almost scored in the 89th minute on a shot that went inches away the left post.

If the public of 29,658 at the Arruda Stadium did not see a great match in the first half, they could not ask for more in the second. After only eight minutes Brazil had scored three more and the game was already decided. Camacho, who was desperately shouting at his team before, quietly sat on thre bench, probably just praying for the beating to end.

It can be said that China could not use their best players, but nevertheless this huge defeat won’t be forgotten so soon and it can’t be helped that Camacho will be pressured to show improvements ahead of the Chinese preparation for the 2015 Asian Cup.

For Brazil, the victory came as a much needed confidence-boost, but their exigent supporters won’t get too optimistic since the impression left by the Chinese is that they beat a really poor and amateurish side.

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