Austria 1-2 Brazil
18 November 2014
Ernst-Happel Stadium, Vienna
Scorers: Dragovic (Austria), David Luiz, Firmino (Brazil)
Brazil secured their sixth straight post-World Cup victory, and their fourth straight UFWC title match win, to remain Unofficial Football World Champions. But this wasn’t as easy as previous wins, and challengers Austria did score a goal – the first Brazil have conceded since the World Cup. The result means Brazil will end 2014 as UFWC champions, an achievement that seemed highly unlikely following a wretched campaign as World Cup hosts. The turnaround achieved by Dunga and his players is remarkable, and they thoroughly deserve to end the year as Unofficial Football World Champions.
After a goalless first half, Brazil opened the scoring in the 65th minute through David Luiz, who leapt highest to head home an Oscar corner. Ten minutes later, though, Austria were level. Oscar conceded a penalty, and Dynamo Kyiv defender Aleksander Dragovic successfully converted his kick.
The winner came in the 83rd minute. Filipe Luis laid the ball off to Roberto Firmino on the edge of the Austrian box, and Firmino struck a great shot into the top right hand corner of the net. It was the 1899 Hoffenheim midfielder’s first goal for his country, in only his second international appearance.
Brazil captain Neymar had a relatively quiet game, but received an ovation that recent performances have deserved when he was substituted in injury time. As he left the pitch, Neymar attempted to sign a pitch invader’s Barcelona shirt, before the invader was dragged away. But for Neymar and his team it was another good night’s work, and another step towards redemption after the World Cup debacle.
This was Brazil’s 33rd UFWC title match victory, and they end 2014 in 4th place in the all-time UFWC rankings. Brazil’s next fixture has not yet been announced. They will take part in the Copa America tournament in Chile next June, with the draw to be made next Monday 24 November, but their next UFWC title match is likely to be during the FIFA international week in early March. Watch this space for announcements.
With Christmas approaching, why not treat someone you know – or yourself – to the official UFWC book, Unofficial Football World Champions, which contains a complete history of the unofficial competition from the first ever international match in 1872 right up to 2014. It’s available in paperback and as an eBook, and is out now.