Brazil were coming off a disappointing 0-1 loss to Argentina last week, but they bounced back quickly. La Selecao was simply too much for Australia, and they cruised their way to an easy 4-0 victory in Melbourne.
An early first-half goal from Diego Souza put La Canarinha in front, and they never looked back. At times they looked a bit complacent, but they upped the tempo in the second 45 minutes and added three more goals. Thiago Silva, Taison – who came off the bench to strike a wonderful goal – and a second goal from Diego Souza propelled Brazil to a huge win.
Here are four things we learned about the game:
Brazil’s Firepower Is Unmatched At The Moment
Brazil only needed 11 seconds to get on top in this game. Australia kicked off the match, but they lost possession rather quickly and La Selecao would take advantage of that immediately. Giuliano sliced a through ball into the box, and Diego Souza placed the ball past the goalkeeper to put the South American side on top.
That first sequence was the perfect example to define how the game happened, although we need to take a deeper look to analyse just how good Brazil was. They used an alternative squad once again, but it did not look that way once the ball started rolling. La Selecao had a clear edge in terms of possession, and usually generated the best chances to score. They could have added a few more goals during the first half, but the lack of accuracy in the final third conspired against them.
In the end, Brazil ended winning 4-0 with relative ease. They are clearly on the right track despite their loss against Argentina, and all signs indicate they should be considered serious title contenders for the 2018 World Cup next year.
Brazil’s Squad Is Incredibly Deep
Leaving aside Germany and perhaps France, Brazil must be one of the deepest teams in the world. If we analyse the side that started this game against the Socceroos, we could see names such as Thiago Silva, Douglas Costa, Alex Sandro, Rafinha, and David Luiz. Well, it turns out neither is considered a starter in this squad. In fact, Douglas Costa is only the fifth-option available to play as a winger. Alex Sandro is third in the left-back depth chart behind Marcelo and Filipe Luis. Thiago Silva might be a star in PSG, but he sits behind Gil and Miranda in the centre-back pecking order.
We have not even discussed names such as Giuliano, Diego Souza, and Fagner, all of them who feature in smaller sides. Tite changed the mindset of Brazilian players, and after a brief period of mediocrity under the tutelage of Dunga, La Selecao have returned to the top of the CONMEBOL region. They already secured a berth in the 2018 World Cup, and what they achieved in this friendly against Australia deserves praise. They basically defeated the top team in the Asian region while featuring their B side and some third-choice players.
Australia Will Struggle In The Confederations Cup
Australia made the right decision when they asked FIFA to play in the Asian Qualifiers instead of Oceania ones. There is no question their football has grown a lot over the past 15 years, and now they feature players in some of the most important leagues in Europe. But we can’t mix apples with oranges here. They might be a local powerhouse, but they are going to struggle in the Confederations Cup in the coming weeks.
There are two main reasons that back up this statement. First of all, there is a clear lack of experience on the squad. Aside from Matthew Leckie, Tim Cahill, and Matt Ryan, the majority of their players have not been able to stand out at the top European level. And the absences of Ben Smith and Mile Jedinak due to injury will hurt the side more than expected. They also suffer from a lack of ideas and creativity on the attacking third. They might be an organised team, but that is not going to be enough against tougher teams such as Germany, Chile, and Cameroon.
The Socceroos Need To Revamp Their Tactical System
Seriously – what was Australia doing with that 3-2-4-1 tactical system? We don’t know how they will lineup in their debut against Germany next Monday, but one thing is certain. The manager needs to stop playing with a three-man defensive line when playing against tougher sides. Especially if we consider the team will miss two of their best players – Smith and Jedinak – due to injury. A more defensive approach would suit them better, even though today’s match marked Australia’s first defeat when using this tactic.
Based on what we saw against Brazil, Australia distributed five players to defend as their primary role, and five to play on a more attacking stance. But how will they cope against Germany and Chile – arguably two of the top teams in the world at the moment – knowing both sides play with a clear 4-3-3 system? One does not have to be a genius to realise Australia would struggle massively defending on a man-to-man scenario against those sides. Ergo, the coaching staff needs to act quickly. Either they change the system quickly, or they will struggle badly in the Confederations Cup.
Australia: Langerak; Degenek, Sainsbury (Irvine 57′), Wright (D. McGowan 78′); Luongo (Mooy 78′), Milligan; Leckie (Hrustic 57′), Kruse, Troisi (Rogic 79′), Behich; Cahill (McLaren 57′)
Brazil: Diego Alves; Rafinha, Thiago Silva (Jemerson 78′), Rodrigo Caio, Alex Sandro; David Luiz (Fernandinho 73′); Coutinho (Willian 71′), Paulinho (Renato Augusto 83′), Giuliano (Rodriguinho 78′), Douglas Costa (Taison 58′); Diego Souza
Goals: Diego Souza (1′, 93′), Thiago Silva (62′), Taison (75′)
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