Scotland were missing their established strikers, and went down 2-0 to a scratch though impressive Brazil team in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium on Thursday (23 June).
Scotland were missing their established strikers, and went down 2-0 to a scratch though impressive Brazil team in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium on Thursday (23 June). Scotland were strangely flat and tentative. But Brazil showed they were climbing back into the top level of world football. Zico and Cerezo scored their goals in the second half.
SYNOPSIS: Brazil, in yellow jerseys and kicking right to left, were slow to settle down. Respectful of Scottish talents, they were prepared at first to see what the visitors had to offer.
Early in the match the Brazilians were repeating the mistakes they had shown recently against England: their forwards were not making space to finish the strong work from their midfield players.
Reinaldo, wearing the No. 9 shirt for Brazil, was a constant threat, full of vitality and prepared to make fast and direct challenges to the Scottish defenders. But the Scots had placed two sets of four defenders in his path.
On the patch of turf they know best of all, the Brazilians kept pouring forward, Rivelino(No. 10) and Paulo Cesar fully testing goalkeeper Rough's nerve and reflexes. Scottish manager MacLeod had obviously chosen a defensive strategy to contain Brazil's forwards who are welding themselves into a slick and imaginative force. Luckily this apparent own-goal by a Scottish defender was disallowed. Whenever Scotland did press forward they sorely missed the heading talents of their injured regular strikers, Jordan and Andy Gray.
In the 70th minute, Scotland were handed the consistent Brazilian lesson of engineering a free kick near the penalty area and making it pay. Substitute Zico curled in the first goal. While the Scots looked an inferior team here their supporters are confident that, at full strength, they should reach the World Cup finals next year. Brazil are even more confident - Cerezo's goal was evidence to back that strong feeling.