BOSTON, June 6 (Reuters) - Unsung Venezuela produced two superb first-half goals to stun Brazil 2-0 in a friendly on Friday, their first win against the five-times world champions.
Giancarlo Maldonado struck in the fifth minute and Ronald Vargas notched the second just before halftime to embarrass Brazil, who had averaged more than four goals a game in winning the previous 17 meetings between the sides.
Brazil, who struggled to beat Canada 3-2 last Saturday, also lost a 15-match unbeaten run stretching back to their 2-0 defeat to Mexico in the Copa America just under a year ago.
Brazil strikers Alexandro Pato, Adriano and Robinho appeared out of sorts against slick-passing opponents, who defended well and looked dangerous going forward.
“We played badly,” Brazil coach Dunga said in a touchline television interview after the worst possible warm-up for the World Cup qualifiers against Paraguay and Argentina later this month.
“We conceded two goals in the first half. In the second half, we improved, we created more chances but we couldn’t score.”
Substitute Diego said: “It was a friendly, a game we could afford to lose.”
Although not a competitive match, the win will still go down as a landmark for Venezuela — the only South American team never to have played at the World Cup — and 35-year-old coach Cesar Farias, who has only been in charge for six months.
Venezuela’s recent form and their past record against Brazil made the game look a formality.
Farias’s side have lost at home to Bolivia, been held by Haiti and trounced 5-2 by Colombia in recent games and their last outing produced a 1-1 draw with Honduras.
Their 17 straight defeats against Brazil have included one by 7-0, four by 6-0 and three by 5-0 with the goal tally 78-4 in Brazil’s favour.
However, the outlook changed in the fifth minute when Vargas slipped his marker and sent a long ball forward for Maldonado, who beat the offside trap and chipped the ball over the advancing Doni.
Brazil’s first-half efforts were restricted to a long-range shot from Anderson and an Adriano header which went over the bar.
Venezuela should have increased their lead in the 34th minute but Juan Arango failed to connect properly with Maldonado’s cross and sent the ball wide from only six metres from an unmarked position.
But they doubled their lead in the 44th minute when Vargas collected the ball 30 metres from goal, wrong-footed Luisao with some neat footwork and slipped the ball inside the near post.
Brazil enjoyed more possession in the second half and were close to scoring when substitute Diego broke clear, saw his first shot saved by Renny Vega and then hit the post with a bicycle kick from the rebound.
Diego also chipped a free kick over while Adriano backheeled the ball wide from Robinho’s cross.
The mainly Brazilian crowd jeered their team and left in droves as their team ran out of ideas. (Writing by Brian Homewood in Rio de Janeiro; Editing by John O’Brien)