LONDON (Reuters) - Neymar scored a contested second-half penalty to give Brazil a 1-0 friendly win over Uruguay and bring some joy to their fans on a gloomy Friday at the Emirates Stadium in London.
The forward was again the stand-out Brazil player and he coolly side-footed home his 60th international goal in the 76th minute after Diego Laxalt brought down Danilo, although Uruguay claimed there was a handball in the build-up.
Until then Brazil had looked the more vulnerable of the two sides with Alisson making three fine saves, including a superb stop from a Luis Suarez free kick early in the second half.
It was Brazil’s fifth win in a row since they were knocked out of this year’s World Cup in the quarter-finals by Belgium.
“It was a tough game. Uruguay are always strong and very competitive,” said Brazil midfielder Walace. “We were patient and when the opportunity arose from the penalty spot we deserved the goal.”
On a dark and drizzly night at Arsenal’s ground in London, the game matched the weather with few bright moments.
Many of the players know each other well from club football and their familiarity was evident in their hugs and smiles before, during and after the game.
There was no lack of commitment, however, as niggly tackles flew in a clash that featured eight yellow cards, including one for Luis Suarez who thought Uruguay should have been given a handball against Danilo before he was felled in the box.
Although the fans had little to cheer, both managers had reason to be happy with youngsters Bruno Mendez and Mathias Suarez starting in defence for the first time for Uruguay and Napoli midfielder Allan making a second-half debut for Brazil.
The South American powerhouses continue their European dates next Tuesday, when Brazil play Cameroon in Milton Keynes and Uruguay take on world champions France in Paris.
(This version of the story has been refiled to correct spelling of Mathias Suarez in paragraph nine)
Writing by Andrew Downie; editing by Ken Ferris