World

Pato shines in Brazil win over Sweden

Brazil's Neymar (pictured) and Pato helped Brazil cruise to an easy victory.
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STOCKHOLM (AP)

FRIENDLY FIRE

The biggest names in soccer were in action in the latest slate of international friendlies.

Alexandre Pato scored twice in the second half to help give Olympic silver medalist Brazil a comfortable 3-0 win over Sweden on Wednesday in a friendly rematch of the 1958 World Cup final.

Leandro Damiao had given Brazil the lead when he headed in a cross from Neymar to beat Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson in the first half.

Coming on as a substitute in the second half, Pato headed in 2-0 in the 85th minute before converting a penalty two minutes later after being fouled inside the box by Pontus Wernbloom.

''We wanted to leave a strong impression and I think the national team played a good game where we created many chances and we scored three goals,'' Brazil coach Mano Menezes said. ''Now we have to continue to improve our game.''

The match was the last to be played at Stockholm's soon-to-be demolished Rasunda stadium, which hosted the 1958 final beween Brazil and Sweden. Several players from that match, including Pele, were guests of honor at Rasunda on Wednesday. As a 17-year-old, Pele scored two goals in the final to help Brazil win 5-2 for the first of his three World Cup titles.

Looking to leave Europe with a win following its 2-1 loss to Mexico in the Olympic final in London, Brazil controlled the first half with Neymar creating trouble for a Swedish team struggling to impose itself without star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Brazil forward was denied a goal when he was flagged offside in the 19th minute. Just after the half-hour mark he cut in from the left flank and curled a right-footed cross that found Damiao as he broke away from the Swedish defense.

Sweden seemed to wake up after the goal and created a string of chances before the break, including a touch-and-go between Ola Toivonen and Marcus Berg that nearly provided an equalizer.

The pace dipped in the second half, with neither team creating clear chances until Pato picked up a pass inside the box and headed in Brazil's second goal. The Swedes protested, claiming that Pato was offside when he received the ball.

Pato made it 3-0 from the penalty spot, waiting out Isaksson before slotting the ball high in the middle of the goal.

Samuel Holmen could have pulled one back for the Swedes in the final minute but his shot was blocked to a corner kick.

Sweden coach Erik Hamren criticized the refereeing after the match.

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''Brazil's win is well deserved, but it's too bad it happened in this way,'' he said.

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Lineups:

Sweden: Anders Isaksson, Sebastian Larsson, Andreas Granqvist, Jonas Olsson, Behrang Safari, Pontus Wernbloom, Samuel Holmen, Rasmus Elm (Anders Svensson, 64), Ola Toivonen, Christian Wilhemsson (Alexander Kacaniklic, 64), Marcus Berg (Tobias Hysen, 72).

Brazil: Gabriel, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva, David Luiz (Dede, 75), Alex Sandro, Ramires, Paulinho (Sandro, 89), Romulo, Oscar (Hulk, 75), Leandro Damiao (Alexandre Pato, 75), Neymar (Lucas, 83).

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