Miranda claims last gasp win for Brazil

Brazil secured a last-gasp victory over South American rivals Argentina when Miranda headed an injury-time goal to win the Super Clasico friendly tournament in Saudi Arabia.

An otherwise unremarkable contest, in which Argentina were without Lionel Messi, and Neymar and Philippe Coutinho were among those to disappoint for Brazil, was finally settled when the central defender was left unmarked to head in from a corner.

Argentina, under caretaker manager Lionel Scaloni, were again also without Sergio Aguero, Angel di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain, but had come into Tuesday’s fixture off the back of an encouraging 4-0 defeat of Iraq.

Brazil had won 2-0 against Saudi Arabia, but in contrast to their rivals were at near-full-strength, yet struggled to produce the fluidity and creativity that has long been expected of them.

They were also perhaps fortunate not to concede a first-half penalty, when Casemiro brought down Angel Correa in the area.

Shortly after that Miranda went close to giving them the lead, when he controlled after a fine pass from Casemiro following Neymar’s free-kick being cleared, and struck beyond Sergio Romero before watching Nicolas Otamendi brilliantly head off the goal-line.

Argentina’s most consistent threat came from Paulo Dybala, who went closest on the half-hour mark when curling a free-kick from the right narrowly wide.

Richarlison replaced the struggling Gabriel Jesus midway through the second half, but if he provided greater energy he was also wasteful in front of goal when he struck wide of the target as Brazil finally gathered a sense of momentum.

Romero was forced to save again, this time on the volley from Arthur, Neymar missed from another free-kick, and he then fed Richarlison, who was tackled when he had the chance to shoot from a dangerous position.

Richarlison had won one corner, which came to little, when another attack led by Neymar won Brazil another in stoppage time. Neymar sent a powerful cross towards the near post, and Miranda beat team-mate Marquinhos to the ball to head beyond Romero and into the back of the net to secure victory and therefore the lightly-regarded Super Clasico trophy.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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