World Cup analysts cite more goals from crosses, penalties as factor for Brazil World Cup 2018, men’s team
(Reuters) – Two-goal hauls from crosses, penalty goals and a man-of-the-match performance from Neymar have fueled Brazil ahead of their opening World Cup clash against Germany on Wednesday.
The country’s World Cup last-16 showdown with arch-rivals Argentina will be decided by a first-ever penalty shootout when the two sides collide in Sion at 12:30 p.m. local time (0930 GMT).
While the scoreline on Sunday between two sides that are in the same group will provide a barometer for how the competition plays out, the players themselves can only judge the game by its outcome.
The fact that both teams played so well in South Africa suggests that Brazilian flair and finesse have been an important part of their preparations for the World Cup.
That trend was evident on the pitch on Sunday, when Brazil and Germany drew 0-0 in the final round of qualifiers, where they finished as runners-up to England.
“Germany are defending very well and playing with determination and they defend in numbers,” Marcelo Gallardo, Brazil coach, told broadcaster TV Globo.
“They play with a physical presence and the whole squad is ready to attack.”
The World Cup’s most famous goals came from a penalty. Jorginho’s strike for Germany in the semi-finals in 2014, the first and last penalty in World Cup history, will be his 13th of the competition.
After a goalless first half in which neither side scored, a long pass sent through the middle found Neymar, who netted on the penalty spot on the break.
Brazil are also likely to dominate the discussion on who will win the World Cup’s opening game, but will have at least one player from another team in mind at the Sion Stadium.
“Germany have the quality of scoring goals in open play and their team have improved a lot,” Brazil captain Thiago Silva told Globo.