France 1-3 Brazil
26 March 2015
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Scorers: Varane (France); Oscar, Neymar, Gustavo (Brazil)
Oscar, Luiz Gustavo and of course Neymar were all on target as Brazil won the first UFWC title match of 2015 to remain Unofficial Football World Champions. France scored first, and provided a dangerous challenge on their home turf, but few followers of the UFWC will have been surprised by this result, as Brazil’s free-scoring post-World Cup resurrection continued under the management of Dunga.
France created the first good chance of the match, and served notice that Brazil might struggle to defend set-pieces, when Karim Benzema saw a close-range header palmed away following a corner.
But Brazil stabilised themselves, and enjoyed good possession, culminating in Neymar sidefooting a shot that was pushed away by Steve Mandanda in the French goal.
France responded immediately, breaking upfield and winning another corner. This time Real Madrid’s Raphaël Varane rose highest, and he powered a header past Jefferson, giving the Brazil keeper no chance. 21 minutes gone and France had the lead.
The home crowd waved flags and performed Mexican waves, as France enjoyed a period of pressure. But Brazil were patient, and they scored a fine equaliser five minutes before half-time.
Oscar combined with Roberto Firmino in a clever one-two that ended with the Chelsea midfielder toe-poking the ball through Mandanda’s legs to score.
Brazil’s second goal was another eye-catcher, scored after 56 minutes, when Willian surged through midfield and played the ball through to Neymar, who drove a left-footed shot across the keeper and into the roof of the net.
France pushed forward for an equaliser, and played some good football, but Brazil threatened on the counter-attack. With 20 minutes left to play, an Oscar shot was pushed around the post. From the resulting corner Luiz Gustavo scored a rare goal with his head, making the final score 3-1 to Brazil.
This was Brazil’s 34th UFWC title match victory, and their 5th consecutive win of this reign. They’re still unbeaten since the disappointment of the World Cup last summer.
Brazil’s next defence of their UFWC title comes this Sunday, 29 March, with an interesting friendly match against Chile at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London. Kick off is 3pm, and the match will be shown live in the UK on ITV.
You can read more about the UFWC in the official book, Unofficial Football World Champions, which contains a complete history of the unofficial competition from the first ever international match in 1872. It’s available in paperback and as an eBook, and is out now.