Neymar scored the first goal and set up the second as host Brazil beat Mexico 2-0 at soccer’s Confederations Cup, a warm-up tournament for the World Cup.
Neymar scored with a left-footed volley after nine minutes and dribbled past two defenders before crossing the ball for Jo to add another goal in added time at the end of the game at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza.
The 21-year-old Neymar, who this month completed a 57 million-euro ($76 million) move to Spanish champion Barcelona, also scored in a 3-0 win over Japan in the host nation’s first game of the tournament. He’s the star player in a Brazil team that will chase a record-extending sixth World Cup title on home soil in 2014.
Also today in Group A, Italy takes on Japan in Recife. In the second round of games in Group B tomorrow, world and European champion Spain plays tournament newcomer Tahiti in Rio de Janeiro and Nigeria takes on Uruguay in Salvador.
As police used tear gas to disperse a crowd of about 25,000 protestors outside the stadium in Fortaleza in northeast Brazil today, Sepp Blatter, the president of tournament organizer FIFA, left the country to attend the opening of the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey.
Demonstrators angry at the 30 billion reais ($13.6 billion) being spent on projects linked to next year’s World Cup also protested ahead of Brazil’s opening game in the tournament.
The World Cup is scheduled from June 12 to July 13, 2014.
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