For the first time in ten games, Brazil head coach Tite did not pick Willian in his starting lineup. The Chelsea winger had started all five of their games at the World Cup (despite failing to make it past half-time in two of them) and had started four other friendlies in a row before then.
In fact, since the end of the 2014 World Cup (you know, the one with the 7-1 semifinal defeat), Willian had failed to feature in just 2 of 52 games for the Selecão, starting 41 of them. But he did not start in last night’s friendly against the USA at Metlife Stadium in New Jersey. Brazil still won of course, handily beating the Pulisic-less Americans who are in a rebuilding phase after missing out on the World Cup, 2-0.
First-half goals from
Willian’s replacement, Douglas Costa Roberto Firmino and a penalty kick from Neymar were more than enough for the Brazilians against a side who offered very little going forward but were surprisingly solid at the back.
Chelsea loanee Matt Miazga did start for the hosts and put in a solid shift, highlighted by a sweet goal-line clearance.