Miranda, Coutinho and Paulinho on song as Neymar-less Brazil breeze past Russia

By Daily Sports on March 24, 2018

Views: 837

Brazil’s World Cup preparations gathered pace after they cruised past Russia 3-0 in Moscow.

Miranda, Philippe Coutinho and Paulinho netted during a 13-minute second-half goal rush at the Luzhniki Stadium on Friday.

It was the ideal warm-up for the five-time World Cup winners against this summer’s tournament hosts.

Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus also continued his recovery from a knee injury as he played 65 minutes before being replaced by Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.

Russia open the World Cup against Saudi Arabia on June 14 and will need better finishing than their first-half efforts here.

Roman Zobnin volleyed woefully wide when well-placed and Aleksey Miranchuk then arguably blew a better chance nine minutes before the break when he skied over from six yards.

And Russia were made to pay for their profligacy in the second half as Brazil upped the tempo.

Paulinho was the first to fire a warning when he was denied by Igor Akinfeev after Willian’s pass three minutes after the break.

Akinfeev then produced a superb save when Willian’s effort deflected off Aleksandr Samedov and the goalkeeper turned the ball over with his head.

Yet his resistance was broken when he parried Thiago Silva’s header from the resulting short corner to Miranda who converted from close range.

Paulinho should have made it 2-0 when he missed his kick in front of goal after good work from Coutinho to allow Akinfeev to save.

But Coutinho did double Brazil’s lead after 65 minutes when he scored from the spot after his Barcelona team-mate Paulinho had been brought down by Aleksandr Golovkin.

Paulinho then made it 3-0 three minutes later, heading in Willian’s hanging cross.

Miranchuk almost grabbed a consolation after Dani Alves cleared the ball off the line late on but failed to finish. (ESPN)

•Photo shows Brazil international Philippe Coutinho

Source Daily Sports

Posted March 24, 2018

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