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Team GB slump to Brazilian defeat at the Riverside
GREAT Britain's Olympic warm up did not go to plan as Stuart Pearce's Team GB side suffered a comprehensive 2-0 defeat to Brazil.
First-half goals from Sandro and Neymar earned the South Americans a deserved success at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium and suggested that Pearce still has a considerable amount of work to do ahead of his side's first Olympic fixture against Senegal on Thursday.
Only one member of Brazil's 18-strong squad is not a senior international, and the quality at the disposal of head coach Mano Menezes was apparent from the outset.
Brazil should have claimed the lead as early as the sixth minute, but while Santos striker Neymar outpaced James Tomkins to reach Leandro Damiao's flick on, he blazed a wild shot over the crossbar.
The visitors did not have to wait long to claim the lead though. Six minutes later, Neymar floated over a free-kick from the edge of the penalty area and Tottenham midfielder Sandro peeled off at the back post to head home from an acute angle.
Micah Richards saw a 15th-minute header cleared off the goalline by Thiago Silva, but that was to prove a rare positive moment for Team GB amid a barrage of Brazilian attacking.
Leandro Damiao headed Rafael Da Silva's right-wing cross over the crossbar shortly before the half-hour mark, but the visitors deservedly doubled their lead shortly before the break.
Richards fouled Hulk as he twisted beyond the British back four, and Neymar calmly drilled a powerful penalty beyond Steele's right hand.
Steele was replaced by Jack Butland at the interval, and the Birmingham goalkeeper produced smart saves to deny both Oscar and Leandro Damiao in the opening ten minutes of the second half.
Bellamy drew an excellent point-blank save from Brazil goalkeeper Rafael Barbosa, although the Liverpool striker had already been flagged offside, and the hosts at least enjoyed a greater share of possession in the latter stages.
But Butland was forced to produce two more excellent saves to prevent Great Britain suffering an even heavier defeat ahead of the start of their Olympic adventure.