Brazil 1-1 Senegal: 5 Talking Points | International friendly
Brazil and Senegal made history as they faced one another for the very first time on Thursday evening in a game that saw the Copa America champions and the Africa Cup of Nations runners-up sharing the spoils at the National Stadium in Singapore.
Both teams headed into the game on the back of losses; while Brazil's 1-0 loss to Peru last month put an end to their 17-game winning streak, Senegal returned for their first senior fixture since their agonizing 1-0 defeat against Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations final back in July.
Brazil took the lead in the ninth minute through Roberto Firmino, whose deft chip found the back of the net. Philippe Coutinho gave the move momentum by spreading the ball out wide to Gabriel Jesus, whose through ball found the Liverpool star.
Senegal were sloppy at possession and struggled to contain the quartet of Coutinho, Neymar, Jesus and Firmino. However, just when it looked as if Brazil would head into the half-time break with a 1-0 lead, Sadio Mane beat Dani Alves with sheer pace before Marquinhos bundled the Liverpool forward inside the box. The referee instantly pointed to the spot and Famara Diedhiou converted the resultant spot-kick to make it 1-1.
The game wasn’t as eventful after the break but both teams did manage to have sniffs at goal. While Senegal hit the post, Neymar came close to scoring from a free-kick. Ultimately, neither team managed to add to their tally as Senegal managed to hold Brazil to a memorable 1-1 draw.
In this article, we attempt to analyse some talking points from the encounter:
#1 Liverpool connection
The game marked the first time that two of Liverpool’s famed front three came face to face on the field and both Firmino and Mane made sure their presence was felt at the National Stadium in Singapore.
Firmino, who has three goals and seven assists to his name for Liverpool this season, broke the deadlock as early as the ninth minute with a neat chip. On the other hand, Mane was directly involved in Senegal’s equaliser when the Brazilian defence found him too hot to handle inside the box. Marquinhos fouled the Liverpool star in the penalty area and the challenge ultimately led to Diedhiou's equaliser from the spot.
Despite being substituted on the hour mark, Firmino made an indelible mark on the game. Besides scoring, his neat interchanges with Jesus, Neymar and Coutinho were an absolute treat to watch.
Mane, on the other hand, played the entirety of the game and was a constant threat to Brazil’s defence, proving once again that his prowess in the final third is not to be questioned.