Ronaldinho, Brazil rally to beat Márquez, Mexico 2-1
A spectacular Ronaldinho goal and a golazo from left back Marcelo capped a late furious rally a 10-man Brazil to steal a 2-1 win against Mexico on Tuesday night at the Estadio TSM Corona in Torreón, Mexico.
Ronaldinho curled his attempt between Mexican ‘keeper Oswaldo Sánchez and the far post in the 80th minute. And just three minutes later, Marcelo slalomed by three defenders to power the winner.
Mexico had gone ahead via an own goal in the 10th minute, when a cross from right winger Pablo Barrera was deflected into Brazil’s net by center back David Luiz.
Andrés Guardado had a chance to possibly increase El Tri’s lead at the stroke of halftime, but his penalty kick attempt was saved by Brazil ‘keeper Jefferson.
The loss put an abrupt end to Mexico’s undefeated streak under the José “Chepo” de la Torre era at 14 matches.
New York Red Bulls defender/midfielder Rafa Márquez started and went 90 minutes for El Tri while wearing his familiar captain's armband.
The match got off to a frenetic pace – and continued so until the end. With both sides struggling to find an edge in control, it was Mexico who struck first. Guardado sailed a service across the box that was collected by Barrera. The Real Zaragoza man then sent crossed the ball back in, but David Luiz got enough of his foot on the ball to put it in his own net.
Brazil went on the offensive in search of the equalizer, and young starlet Neymar missed the Verdeamarela’s best chance of the half in the 17th minute. After a nice interchange with fellow forward Hulk, Neymar found himself with the ball eight yards from goal but powered his shot high of Sánchez’s target.
The clash against Brazil was Sánchez farewell match with the Mexican national team.
Brazil continued to threaten, but it was El Tri who got the next best chance of the match when Javier “Chicharito” Hernández was brought down in the box by Dani Alves just before halftime. Guardado lined up the penalty kick, but Jefferson guessed the right way and denied the attempt.
Dani Alves was shown his second yellow of the match on the play and left Brazil to fend with 10 men.
Mexico used their one-man advantage to threaten Brazil early in the second half, and it was left back-turned-holding midfielder Carlos Salcido who powered a right-footed shot just inches wide.
Ronaldinho tried to counter for Brazil, who began playing with just two defenders in the back, by way of a free kick, trying to catch Sánchez off guard by taking it early. But Sánchez was paying attention and dove to his left to maintain the lead.
With teams trading chances, it was Chicharito’s turn in the 75th minute. The Manchester United striker rose between the two Brazilian center backs and hammered a header towards goal, but Jefferson again came through with another big save.
Brazil finally got their equalizer – and more – when the clock signaled the final 10 minutes of play. A childish foul from Sergio Pérez on Neymar 20 yards from the goal set up Ronaldinho’s attempt, who showed a sublime touch by curling his shot around Sánchez and inside the far post.
Just three minutes later, Marcelo took matters into his own hands, breaking through Mexico’s defense and blasting his shot from close range into the net to turn around the score line.
BRA -- David Luiz (OG), 10'
BRA -- Ronaldinho, 80'
BRA -- Marcelo, 83'
BRA -- Dani Alves, 8'
MEX -- Jorge Torres, 17'
MEX -- Carlos Salcido, 20'
MEX -- Efraín Juárez, 36'
BRA -- Dani Alves, 44'
MEX -- Javier Hernández, 50'
BRA -- Lucas Leiva, 65'
Brazil – Jefferson, Dani Alves, Thiago da Silva, Marcelo, David Luz, Givanildo (Jonas, 81’), Lucas Leiva, Fernandinho, Lucas Moura (Adriano, 46’), Ronaldinho, Neymar (Elias, 88’)
Mexico – Oswaldo Sánchez (Alfredo Talavera, 88’), Carlos Salcido, Rafa Márquez, Francisco Rodríguez, Jorge Torres (Héctor Moreno, 68’), Andrés Guardado, Pablo Barrera (Edgar Andrade, 80’), Israel Castro, Efraín Juárez (Sergio Pérez, 52’), Giovani dos Santos (Oribe Peralta, 80’), Javier Hernández