Roberto Firmino came off the bench to snatch the winner as Brazil edged Chile by a 1-0 scoreline to make it eight straight victories in a disappointing friendly played as part of both teams’ Copa America preparations. The Hoffenheim striker showed great composure to round Claudio Bravo and coolly slot home Danilo’s exquisite through ball to give the Samba Boys a fortunate triumph 18 minutes from time.
A bumper crowd at Arsenal’s Emirates stadium had turned out hoping to see Alexis Sanchez and Neymar sparkle amidst a smorgasbord of South American flair; but what they saw was a contest full of niggle.
Chile’s Gary Medel was the protagonist of a dour first 45 as he got away with leaving a nasty foot on Neymar before escaping again when he appeared to handle the ball twice in his own penalty area.
Barcelona would have looked on with some concern as Brazil’s talisman was on the end of some hard tackling from La Roja as both sides struggled to test either goalkeeper. After the break the industrious Sanchez curved a free kick just over the bar as Chile continued to pose the greater questions, but it was Brazil who snatched the lead when Firmino struck with a moment of rare quality.
Matias Fernandez came close to an equaliser with a late free kick but Jefferson tipped it around the post to help confirm victory for Carlos Dunga and co.