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With Neymar taking the role of captain of the ‘canarinha’, France and Brazil met in Saint-Denis in Paris in a reenactment of the 1998 World Cup final in the same stadium. The two captains that day, Didier Deschamps and Dunga, ironically enough, are now in charge of their respective national sides with the latest meeting seeing the South Americans emerge with a 3-1 victory. Goals from Oscar, Neymar and Luiz Gustavo turned the game around after Rafael Varane had given the home side the lead.
The two sides were evenly matched early in the game with clear goalscoring opportunities hard to come by. Brazil had the first chance to take the lead but Neymar was denied by a good save from French keeper Mandada. Not long after, Varane gave Deschamps’ team the lead, finishing smartly from a corner to make it 1-0. France grew in confidence as the half progressed but the visitors equalised before half time thanks to a strike from Chelsea midfielder Oscar.
Neymar wins but Bravo loses
Neymar had a quiet first half but he burst into life after ten minutes of the second. The Barça striker picked up a ball in space and then beat Mandada with an excellent left-footed effort. A quarter of an hour later Luiz Gustavo sealed the win for Brazil with a third that put an end to French hopes of repeating the outcome of the 1998 World Cup final.
Elsewhere, Claudio Bravo started between the posts for the Chilean national side in their 2-0 defeat against Iran in a friendly that was played in Austria. The South Americans had the better of the game but goals in either half from Nekounam and Amiri gave the Asian side a memorable victory.
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