Football

'All positive' for Dunga

Dunga is certainly enjoying his second stint as Brazil coach, at least for now.

His side beat Ecuador 1-0 in an international friendly in New Jersey (yesterday morning, Singapore time), with a first-half goal from Willian enough to give the former midfielder his second successive victory.

The win came four days after Brazil beat Colombia and the result over a sprightly Ecuador side delighted the new manager.

"There weren't any negative points," he said, after the game. "You have to take positives from the negatives. You learn, you evolve. So for me it was all positive."

Brazil's winner came on the half-hour from a well-rehearsed free-kick. Oscar hit a short pass to star man Neymar, who lifted a curled pass over the defence to Willian, who slipped it into the net with the outside of his right foot.

Ecuador almost equalised six minutes later, but Enner Valencia's shot hit the base of the post after beating goalkeeper Jefferson.

The West Ham United striker also had a looping header cleared off the line by Filipe Luis 16 minutes into the second half, as Ecuador enjoyed their best spell of the game.

BEST CHANCE

Brazil's best chance of the second half fell to Neymar in the 47th minute, but the Barcelona striker somehow missed an open goal from four metres out with the goalkeeper on the ground.

Although Brazil were not at their best, the two wins buoyed those players trying to impress the new coach, as the five-time world champions continued the mission to rebuild after the harrowing semi-final loss to eventual champions Germany at the World Cup at home in July.

"I feel like I did everything I had to do," centre-back Marquinhos, who made his first international start, said.

"It is always good to win. We have to get into our heads that are no easy games, there are no friendlies, they're all battles. These are games that we need to prepare for our objective and that is our mentality as we go forward."

Ecuador fielded a young team, but they were quick and fearless and frequently stretched a Brazilian back four that had never played together at international level.

The quartet of Danilo, Marquinhos, Miranda and Filipe Luis defended well, however, and a midfield featuring the Chelsea trio of Oscar, Willian and Ramires hassled and harried from the start.

Brazil had the better first half but they made several changes after the break, giving debuts to Cruzeiro striker Ricardo Goulart and Corinthians defender Gil and allowing Ecuador to get back into the game.

Brazil's next match will be against Argentina in Beijing on Oct 11, before a clash against Japan in Singapore on Oct 14.

Dunga's first competitive fixtures will come in next year's Copa America in Chile. - Reuters.