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International Friendly
  • Philippe Coutinho (28')
  • Diego Tardelli (37')

Coutinho and Tardelli on target as Brazil beat Mexico in friendly

SAO PAULO (AP) - Philippe Coutinho and Diego Tardelli scored in the first half to give Brazil a 2-0 win over Mexico in a warmup for the Copa America on Sunday.

It was Brazil's first match at home since their disappointing World Cup last year, and the second-to-last before they travel to Chile for the tournament. Dunga's team will play at home again on Wednesday against Honduras in the final warmup.

Brazil were without Neymar, who on Saturday helped Barcelona win the Champions League. He is expected to report to the national team in the next few days. Coach Dunga also couldn't count on veteran striker Robinho, who is nursing a knee injury.

It was a lacklustre match at the Allianz Parque in Sao Paulo, with the teams creating few scoring opportunities throughout the game.

Coutinho put Brazil ahead with a beautiful angled shot from inside the area in the 28th minute. He got past defender Hugo Ayala and sent a right-footed shot in between the post and goalkeeper Jesus Corona, who appeared to be expecting a cross. It was Coutinho's first goal with Brazil's national team.

Tardelli added to the lead in the 37th minute with an easy goal from close range after receiving a perfect pass from midfielder Elias inside the area.

The Copa America will be Brazil's first official competition since the World Cup, giving the five-time world champions their first chance at redemption after the 7-1 semifinal loss to Germany.

"Football gives you opportunities like these," Brazil defender David Luiz said. "It's good to be playing at home again, to be winning again in front of our fans."

The team received a warm welcome from the nearly 35,000 fans at Palmeiras' Allianz Parque and players were applauded after the final whistle.

Dunga is keeping six players from the World Cup squad that was led by Luiz Felipe Scolari. He has won all nine matches since taking over national team after the World Cup.

It still hasn't been decided if Neymar will play against Honduras at the Beira-Rio Stadium in Porto Alegre.

"He's a great player. Everybody knows that he makes a difference," Coutinho said. "We have to learn to play without him, but we know that when he arrives we will gain a lot of quality. We will become a stronger team."

Dunga has already lost several players because of injuries ahead of the tournament in Chile, including playmaker Oscar, left-back Marcelo and defensive midfielder Luiz Gustavo.

Brazil have won four of the last six Copa Americas, including two of the last three. After playing Peru, they will face Colombia and Venezuela in Group C.

Mexico, coming off a 1-1 draw in a warmup against Peru, are in Group A along with hosts Chile, plus Ecuador and Bolivia.