NEWS
Thursday August 16 2012
Friendlies: Pato nets Brazil brace

Alexandre Pato scored twice in Brazil’s 3-0 demolition of Sweden, while Holland flopped again and Fabio Capello and Didier Deschamps made their debuts.

The Milan striker won the silver medal with his country at the London 2012 Olympics and was back on the pitch again last night for this prestigious friendly.

The Seleçao were dominant and opened the scoring in the first half with Leandro Damiao nodding in a Neymar assist.

Pato came off the bench to put his mark on the match, netting twice in the space of 120 seconds.

Sweden were without Pato’s former Milan teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic due to injury.

This was a special game in Stockholm, played in the same stadium where 54 years previously Brazil had beaten the Scandinavians 5-2 to lift the 1958 World Cup. Pele was in the stands to commemorate the occasion.

Elsewhere, Capello made his debut as manager of Russia with a 1-1 draw against the Ivory Coast. Don Fabio’s men had taken the lead through Alan Dzagoev, but were pegged back by Max Gradel 12 minutes from time.

Holland also welcomed a new Coach, Louis Van Gaal, but this ended in disappointment with a 4-2 defeat to Belgium.

Fresh from a disastrous first round exit at Euro 2012, the Oranje continued to look shaky even with captain Wesley Sneijder. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar even had the Dutch 2-1 up at one stage, but the Belgians scored three times between the 75th and 80th minute.

Fiorentina’s Stevan Jovetic was on target in Montenegro’s 2-0 victory over Lithuania.

Argentina earned a spectacular 3-1 win in Germany, though goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler was sent off after half an hour. Leo Messi surprisingly missed the resulting penalty, but Sami Khedira’s own goal, a Messi effort and Angel Di Maria’s screamer made the result inevitable. Howedes nodded in his debut goal for Germany in the final minutes.

Ex-Juventus Coach Deschamps made his first appearance on the bench of France, earning a 0-0 draw against Uruguay.

However, there was bad news for Napoli, as Walter Gargano went off with an injury after 64 minutes.

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