Brazil played their second friendly against South Africa and came out 6-0 winners. Real Madrid center-back Kathellen Sousa played the entire 90 and scored a goal in the process.
Brazil lined up in a back 3 (despite Google suggesting a 4-4-2), with Kathellen as the central center-back and Rafaelle Souza and Antônia playing as the wide center-backs. Brazil were the dominant side from the get go, having multiple shooting opportunities in the opening minutes. South Africa didn’t help themselves by making multiple mistakes at the back which ultimate led to their demise.
Brazil scored their first goal in the 4th minute straight from a mistake by the goalkeeper, who hit the ball straight at her own player and it fell kindly for Adriana to slot it home. The theme continued in the first half with Banyana Banyana making mistakes at the back and giving up shooting opportunities.
Brazil looked to target South Africa’s left flank with Debina and found a lot of success on that side. South Africa, in a 4-3-3, struggled with their spacing between the defensive and midfield lines as the latter pushed way too high. South Africa started to find some joy on the break near half-time but ended up conceding another before half-time to Debinha, who scored with a delicious chip. It was another mistake by the goalkeeper who completely mistimed and misjudged her run outside.
If things looked dire in the first half, they got even worse in the second for Banyana Banyana. They started the utilize a dangerously high line against Brazil’s pace on the break, which allowed Pia Sundhage’s side to get in behind with one simple ball over the top.
They conceded the 3rd from the spot following yet another mistake at the back with a poor clearance. Brazil doubled their first half lead within the opening 7 minutes of the second half via Duda with a simple ball in behind.
In the 59th minute, Kathellen managed to find herself unmarked at the near post from a set-piece situation and met the ball across to slot home Brazil’s 5th of the game.
Brazil brought on Geyse, Ludmila and Kerolin to add an even greater threat in behind and found a lot of joy exploiting the pace on offer. Kerolin did some excellent work on the left to generate space for her cross and Debinha, completely unmarked inside the 6-yard-box, headed it home to make it six. The amount of times Brazil managed tried to slip in behind and attack the space also saw their pacey players get caught offside quite often, 6 times in the game.
Brazil could have had more and South Africa were the architects of their own downfall by playing a high-risk and naive high line. The mistakes at the back didn’t help their cause. South Africa did have some very promising sequences and showed ambition to try and build attacks but ultimately lacked quality. They conceded space in wide areas and Brazil happily played the diagonals over the top to get in behind.
Kathellen wasn’t challenged much and couldn’t showcase much on the ball playing at the central center-back in that back 3. She circulated possession to the wide center-backs well. There were a couple shaky moments where she turned over possession and gave up space with her spacing but Brazil recovered well from these situations.
This was the last set of friendlies as teams gear up for the upcoming FIFA WWC, with the regular domestic season just around the corner.