Soccer

Brazil draws Chile before Confed Cup announcement

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BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (AP)

Brazil struggled to a 2-2 draw in a friendly against Chile on Wednesday, being jeered by fans in the team's final match before the Confederations Cup squad is announced.

Chile opened the scoring with a header by defender Marcos Gonzalez in the seventh minute before Brazil defender Rever equalized with another header off a corner in the 25th.

Neymar put Brazil ahead after a pass from substitute Alexandre Pato in the 54th but Eduardo Vargas equalized for the visitors with a long-range shot in the 65th.

''It wasn't what we expected,'' Pato said. ''We have to keep working.''

Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari used only Brazil-based players, and the team was led by Ronaldinho, Neymar and Alexandre Pato.

''We tried to do our best, we know we have an important tournament ahead, but we all knew that it was going to be difficult,'' Ronaldinho said.

As Brazil failed to create significant scoring chances and struggled with passing mistakes throughout the match, fans showed their discontent and constantly booed and jeered the team near the end.

The match served as a test event at the new Mineirao, one of the six stadiums for the World Cup warm-up tournament in June, and fans loudly complained of difficulties accessing the venue. There were huge traffic jams and long lines outside the stadium for the more than 50,000 fans who attended the match.

It was Brazil's first match in one of the stadiums which will be used in the Confederations Cup and next year's World Cup.

The Confederations Cup squad will be announced on May 14, before Brazil faces England at the renovated Maracana on June 2 and France at the Arena Gremio on June 9.

Brazil has won only one match since Scolari returned to the national team. It beat Bolivia earlier this month, but drew Italy and Russia and lost to England.

Chile surprised early on Wednesday, getting on the board after Brazilian defenders failed to clear a cross into the area. Brazil goalkeeper Diego Cavalieri made the initial save but the ball ricocheted across the area to Gonzalez, and the Flamengo defender easily found the net from close range.

Neymar took the corner that led to the equalizer by Rever, who beat two defenders to head the ball into the lower left corner. Then the striker easily scored the go-ahead goal after Pato entered the area free from markers and fed him the ball in front of the open net.

Vargas, who plays in Brazil with Gremio, equalized the match again with a well-placed right-footed shot that found the far corner as Cavalieri dived to his left.

Neymar left the field after the final whistle with an apparent left leg muscle injury. Considered the future of Brazilian football, the forward didn't play well and was jeered by fans at times, including after he missed a clear chance from close range in the 35th, sending a shot way over the crossbar with only the goalkeeper to beat.

''One day you are jeered, the other you are applauded,'' Neymar said. ''That's how it goes in football, I'm already used to it.''

Chile's Braulio Leal was red carded in stoppage time for a hard foul.

Chile is coming off a 2-0 win over Uruguay in the South American World Cup qualifiers, a result that left the team fourth in the nine-team group. As World Cup host, Brazil doesn't have to play in the qualifying tournament.

The Confederations Cup is played among continental champions plus the World Cup winner and the host nation. Eight teams qualified: Brazil, Spain, Italy, Uruguay, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria and Tahiti. The tournament begins with Brazil facing Japan in Brasilia, the nation's capital.

Belo Horizonte will host three Confederations Cup matches, including one of the semifinals.



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