Brazil edges Bosnia 2-1 in friendly in Switzerland

Brazil needed an own goal in injury time to defeat

Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1 in a friendly in Switzerland on Tuesday.

The late winner came after a cross by FC Porto striker Hulk

deflected off defender Sasa Papac in the first minute of added time

in St. Gallen.

Brazil struggled during most of the match at the AFG Arena,

failing to impose its style and leaving spaces for the Bosnians,

who had good chances to score in the second half.

”It was a tough match, we knew it wasn’t going to be easy,”

Brazil striker Neymar said. ”It was cold and the Bosnian team has

a lot of quality. It was important to get the victory.”

Real Madrid left back Marcelo opened the scoring for Brazil from

inside the area just four minutes into the match, firing a low shot

into the far corner after a well-placed pass by Barcelona right

back Daniel Alves.

Bosnia equalized with a shot from Stuttgart striker Vedad

Ibisevic, who took advantage of a breakaway after Chelsea defender

David Luiz gave the ball away with a bad pass near midfield in the

13th. Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar seemed to have a chance to

stop Ibisevic’s low shot but the ball bounced past him.

Bosnia threatened on counter attacks throughout the second half

but Brazil’s pressure paid off at the end with Hulk’s play from the

left flank.

”I saw a lot of people inside the area so I made the cross to

see what happened,” Hulk said. ”Thankfully it hit someone and

went it. It was important to give us the victory.”

It was Brazil’s first match of the year, and coach Mano Menezes

had all his players available. In the friendlies against Gabon and

Egypt in November, he could not count on players from Brazilian

clubs because the Brazilian league was in its decisive stages.

But his list didn’t include Real Madrid playmaker Kaka or AC

Milan strikers Alexandre Pato and Robinho. Pato was still

recovering from an injury, but Robinho and Kaka could’ve been

summoned if Menezes wanted.

”We are still trying to find our best form,” Neymar said.

Ronaldinho, who remained in the squad despite poor performances

with Flamengo in Brazil, was replaced by Paulo Henrique Ganso in

the 63rd on Tuesday.

Eight of the players called up for the friendly against Bosnia

were young enough to play in the Olympics, the only major football

competition Brazil has never won. Neymar, Ganso, Sandro, Lucas and

Leandro Damiao played against Bosnia.

Brazil will face Denmark in Germany in May, then will tour the

United States to play the hosts on May 30, Mexico on June 3 and

South American rival Argentina on June 9.