LONDON (Reuters) – Neymar scored a contested second-half penalty to give Brazil a 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay on a gloomy Friday at the Emirates Stadium in London.
The Paris St-Germain forward coolly side-footed the home the spot kick in the 76th minute after Diego Laxalt was adjudged to have brought down Danilo.
Until then Brazil had looked the more vulnerable of the two sides with Alisson making three fine saves, including a superb stop from a Luis Suarez free kick early in the second half.
It was the fifth win in a row for Brazil since they were knocked out of this year’s World Cup in the quarter-finals by Belgium.
On a dark and drizzly night at Arsenal’s ground in London, the game matched the weather with few bright moments.
Many of the players know each other well from club football and their familiarity was evident in their hugs and smiles before, during and after the game.
There was no lack of commitment, however, as niggly tackles flew in a game that featured eight yellow cards, including one for Suarez who thought Uruguay should have been given a handball decision before the foul on Danilo in the box.
Although the fans had little to cheer, both managers had reason to celebrate with youngsters Bruno Mendez and Matias Suarez starting in defence for the first time for Uruguay and Napoli midfielder Allan making a second-half debut for Brazil.
The South American powerhouses continue their European dates next Tuesday, when Brazil play Cameroon in Milton Keynes and Uruguay take on world champions France in Paris.
(Writing by Andrew Downie; editing by Ken Ferris)