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September 7, 2012
• Estádio Cícero Pompeu de Toledo (Morumbi), São Paulo, São Paulo
• Attendance: 51500
That's all folks from the Morumbi stadium, Menezes survives... for now. I've been Daniel Edwards and it's been a pleasure to join you for a tense match on Brazil's Independence Day.
Full time here, Pittana blows his whistle to conclude Brazil's 1-0 friendly victory over South Africa. Hulk's goal was the difference, but the game will do little to dispel the doubts that continue to hover over both the Selecao and Mano Menezes.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Hulk
90' + 3'
Good news as the full-back reappeared to take his place on the pitch.
90' + 2'
Yellow Card Kagisho Dikgacoi
90' + 2'
Dani Alves is limping to the edge of the pitch after a tough challenge, worries here for Brazil and Barcelona fans.
90' + 1'
Now into injury time in Sao Paulo, four minutes to go.
Outstanding play by Hulk there to beat his marker, and Oscar is unlucky to see his shot hit a team-mate after being teed up by the striker.
South Africa, meanwhile, will next host Mozambique on the same date.
While we wait for another sub, let's look at these teams and their next matches. Brazil are back in action on Tuesday, when they face China.
Neymar!!! The forward has space on the left and he ghosts past Gaxa cutting inside, but his shot goes the wrong side of the post.
Tshabalala is not giving up, and continues to get into good positions down the left. He was unlucky to see his cross rebound off a team-mate and out of play.
Paulinho fires inches past the post, to miss out on the chance to end the game as a contest.
A decisive intervention from Diego Alves, who gets down low to smother a cross with attackers waiting. For me, Brazil's man of the match.
That goal hit the Bafana hard, but they are still looking to play football and get men up the field in search of the tie.
One can only imagine the sigh of relief released by Mano there as his sub fired Brazil into the lead. A big, big goal for the coach.
Yellow Card Siboniso Pa Gaxa
Yellow Card Itumeleng Isaac Khune
The striker had started the move with a short corner, and after Luiz's shot rebounded out it was the Zenit player who powered home through a crowd of bodies and give Brazil the advantage.
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL DO BRASIL!!!!!! Hulk opens the scoring with just over 15 minutes left!!!!!
Letsholonyane's effort is deflected on its way to Alves, who has no problem in claiming the ball.
Brazil turn to Valencia's Jonas to turn the game round now, as he enters for Lucas Moura.
The shot-stopper has been flawless today, saving everything he had to as well as commanding his area with authority.
Magic stuff from Khane! Neymar's free kick look destined for the net, but the keeper was acrobatic enough to tip over.
Ha what did I just say?? Gaxa smashes Hulk to the floor on the edge of his own box, this is a chance...
And considering how well the entire Bafana backline has been playing as a unit today, pressuring without committing silly, dangerous fouls, that also looks pretty unlikely.
Anyone who was hoping for an instant Brazilian response at the interval will be disappointed. The Selecao are retreating into their shell, only really trying to hit on the break. Hard to see where, apart from defensive inattention, a first goal could come from.
Hulk also enters for Damiao, should the more physical new Zenit signing have been on the pitch from the beginning?
A Brazil change, Romulo withdrawn for Corinthians star Paulinho.
Real shambolic stuff from the hosts, Diego Alves is given a hospital backpass and has to rush his clearance into the stands. South Africa's high tempo is just too much for the listless Selecao.
The Bafana are shooting from everywhere! Tshabalala tries his luck from 25 yards, but it's too high.
Parker is proving a real handful here, and his left-foot effort grazes the bar in another warning.
Grande Garoto!!! Neymar carves open the South Africa defence with a brilliant run, before his effort from deep is gathered by Khune.
DAMIAO!! The Inter striker feeds off excellent play from Oscar, and left-footed crashes the ball into the side-netting.
Diego doesn't need to worry though, the effort went harmlessly wide and high from Dikgacoi.
More danger, as a Dani Alves handball sets up a good free kick chance.
Brazil have got to watch out here, the visitors are looking ever more confident. Corner South Africa.
Ooh Dede had to get that right! Parker left Marcelo for dead and whipped a low ball in, and the Vasco man misses his own goal by inches to clear over.
And a good chance for Chabangu too, who cuts in and hits a vicious shot just over Alves' crossbar.
Brilliant jinking run from Lucas down the right, but he can't find anyone with a low cross.
No changes for either team at the break, although McCarthy was taken off late in the first half due to injury.
Are we watching here the final 45 minutes of Mano's Brazil tenure? The coach needs some goals as we kick off again in the Morumbi.
We're almost ready to start the second half here, referee Pittana - who was nutmegged expertly by Marcelo in the opening period - is already back on the pitch.
#ForaMano (Mano out) and #Dunga both trending at the moment in Brazilian twitter.
Let's not take anything away from the Bafana. Igesund will be delighted with how his men played off the ball, suffocating Brazil's approach play across the field. Few would have bet on parity at half time, but it is without a doubt the fair result so far.
"Adeus Mano", Goodbye Mano was the chant that circulated the Morumbi in the final minutes of the half, and you can't blame the fans after the much-hyped Selecao gave little cheer. If the coach doesn't win this one, the pressure is going to be immense.
45' + 2'
Half time, and a chorus of boos greets the Brazil team as they leave after an extremely lacklustre period.
A couple of scares at the end, but South Africa will be delighted with their first 45 minutes. Their physicality has really made life hard for the five-time World Cup winners, and they more than deserve to go into the break level.
Wonderful play from Oscar, who beats his man before sending forward a raking through-ball. Khune is alert though, and scampers out to clear from Damiao's toes.
Bernard Melvin Parker
NEYMAR!!! The kid is put through with a beautiful through ball by Dani Alves, but his half-volley is well stopped by Khune
Let's see what they can do here, Marcelo wins a free kick from Gaxa's heavy tackle.
Let's scratch our heads, has there been even one opportunity for the home team this half that could be called a decent chance? Apart from Romulo's long-ranger it's been very slim pickings for the Canarinha.
Yellow Card Marcelo
A great spell of possession for South Africa, albeit one which ended with Lucas peeling away on the counter. The midfielder wanted a foul on the edge of the area, but Pittana was having none of it.
Really disappointing stuff so far from Brazil, who are nowhere near their best. With the notable exception of Romulo, too many players out there - Damiao, Neymar, Luiz, Lucas the guiltiest - are failing to play as a unit.
Decent long-range effort from Romulo, palmed to safety by the South Africa Number 1.
And in comes Benni McCarthy, surprisingly left on the bench but with proven international quality.
Sadly that's the last we'll see of Ndlovu. The Maccabi Haifa youngster hasn't recovered from that fall and will be substituted just over 30 minutes into his debut. A real shame.
The Luiz-Ndlovu battle continues to be a fascinating one. The 22-year-old debutant is giving his rival a torrid time with his running, and Luiz cuts him down with a nasty challenge that left Ndlovu in some discomfort.
The ball breaks to Neymar after a corner and a quick burst of speed leaves his marker standing on the right. His cross looks dangerous, but Damiao cannot reach and South Africa breathe again.
OOOH NEYMAR!! The youngster looks to ghost in at the far post and open the scoring, but his shot is well wide.
Diego!! Safe hands from the Valencia man there, as he claims well Chabangu's looping free-kick.
Brazil have shaded this so far in terms of possession, but have shown little to no threat in front of goal. The one clear-cut chance has fallen the way of Gordon Igesund's charges.
An ambitious hoof upfield from Luiz fails to find Neymar. Coach Menezes does not look pleased.
Another dangerous position lost by a Damiao flick. The striker is trying to be too cute at the moment.
Oscar then shows his value in defence, shepherding Ndlovu off the pitch after the South Africa midfield had threatened to open up their hosts.
Oscar and Neymar try a training-ground move from a corner, but the Chelsea youngster's shot goes harmlessly over.
That chance came from a Neymar free kick, after Lucas Moura was chopped down in full flight earning Chabango a booking.
Yellow Card L. Chabangu
DEDE! Towering header from the centre-back, parried over by Khune.
Wonderful skill down in the corner by Damiao, there was a hint of a penalty from Masenamela's bodycheck but a corner rightly signalled by Pittana.
Lovely combination there between Ndlovu and Gaxa, who was bearing down on the goal. Great save from Alves to deny a shock opener.
Yellow Card Dedé
The Chelsea defender is being given a hard time by Ndlovu so far, and was chased off the pitch to concede a throw.
So far a little disjointed from the Selecao. Luiz narrowly avoided getting caught in possession, before Marcelo launched an uncharacteristically sloppy ball to the opposition.
Possession breaks for Tshabalala who puts a deep cross in, but it is aimless and goes out for a throw.
Ambitious stuff there from Damiao, who tries to find Neymar with a backheel but with no luck.
Just seconds later the 20-year-old takes a big hit from Gaxa, and gingerly gets back to his feet.
The crowd shrieks into life with Neymar's first touch, but the Santos star gives away a free kick down by the left corner flag.
Dede cleans up at the back after some sloppy home passing, and wins a free kick from Ndlovu.
Marcelo makes an early surge after patient Brazil build up, but his pass is taken by South Africa keeper Khune.
Better late than never! We are finally underway in the Morumbi as Brazil get us going.
Lucas Moura is deep in prayer as we wait for kick off, a massive chance for the new PSG signing to impress today.
And today's referee, Argentina's Nestor Pittana.
Chelsea's David Luiz will be the Selecao captain today, will he make a claim for a regular place alongside the absent Thiago Silva after missing out on the Olympic Games?
A rapturous reception for the Brazil national anthem, and cries of 'BRASIL, BRASIL' ring out for the terraces. We're almost ready ladies and gentlemen.
No-one here is in much of a rush, almost 10 minutes past the scheduled start and we are strolling towards the national anthems!
A beautiful winter's afternoon here in Sao Paulo, the sun's out and short sleeves are out in force too in a packed Morumbi.
As the teams come out onto the pitch, a quick word for Gordon Igesund who takes control of his first Bafana game since coming in as coach. Talk about a baptism of fire!
Any predictions or thoughts on the upcoming 90 minutes? Let us know on twitter at @Goal_Intl and we may even put a few up right here.
And for a Benni McCarthyless South Africa we have: Khune; Gaxa, Khumalo, Sangweni, Masenamela; Furman, Dikagcoi, Tshabalala; Serero, Chabangu, Ndlovu.
Anyway back to 2012, and we have confirmed lineups for both sides. Brazil: Diego Alves; Dani Alves, Dede, David Luiz, Marcelo; Romulo, Ramires; Lucas, Oscar, Neymar and Leandro Damiao.
It was of course on the banks of the Riacho do Ipiranga where Dom Pedro declared 'Independence or Death', a brook now part of the giant Sao Paulo metropolis. So a more fitting venue to celebrate 190 years of freedom is impossible to find.
Neymar and co. play today on Brazil's independence day, when the nation commemorates the start of the fight against imperial Portugal and the founding of the Brazilian Empire in 1822
Hello and welcome to Sao Paulo's sumptuous Estadio Morumbi for today's friendly between Brazil and South Africa. My name is Danie Edwards, and I shall be with you until the very end for this interesting test involving the last and next World Cup hosts.
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