Neymar converts one penalty, misses another as Brazil beat Japan 3-1

first_imgBrazil forward Neymar converted one penalty and missed another five minutes later in a comfortable 3-1 friendly win over Japan on Friday.Brazil’s 13th victory in 16 games since Tite took charge as coach in June, 2016 also featured a thundering effort by Marcelo and close-range goal by Gabriel Jesus at Lille’s Stade Pierre-Mauroy.It was the first time Brazil had been involved in a match featuring experimental video replay technology (VAR) and the five-time world champions were quickly on the right end of a decision.Brazil midfielder Fernandinho was held back by Maya Yoshida and, although play continued, the referee called for the video replay as soon as the ball went out of play and pointed to the spot after a short wait.Neymar strode up, paused and waited for goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima to dive to his right before nonchalantly stroking his shot into the opposite corner.Four minutes later, Brazil were awarded another penalty for a foul on Gabriel Jesus, without the VAR, but this time Neymar chose the other corner and his shot was saved by Kawashima whose decision to go the same way as before paid off.Japan’s relief was short-lived, however, as a poor clearance fell invitingly into the path of Marcelo who met it with a rasping drive into the corner in the 17th minute. Yoshida thumped a free kick against the crossbar for Japan but Brazil looked dangerous with every attack and went further ahead in the 35th minute.Willian released Danilo on the right and his pinpoint cross was tapped in by Jesus at the far post.advertisementBrazil eased up and Tomoaki Makino headed in from a corner in the 63rd minute to make the score more respectable for Japan. Kenyu Sugimoto had another effort in the net for Japan late in the game but it was offside.last_img read more

Pats Giant Heartbreakers, 27-26

first_imgEAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — At some point this year, the New York Giants may learn how to finish games.It’s been their weakness all season and it got them again on Nov. 15 for the fourth time.Tom Brady drove the New England Patriots 44 yards in 12 plays with no time outs to set up a game-winning 54-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with 1 second remaining for a 27-26 victory over New York.The win kept the Patriots (9-0) perfect and left the Giants (5-5) wondering how they let another one slip away.“This is tough, this is tough,” veteran defensive tackle Cullen Jenkins said. “We had chances there to end it. The game was right there and there were even times you thought it was over. They just made enough plays to get us at the end.”In the last two minutes, the Giants had three chances to put the game away.— Odell Beckham didn’t secure a touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with 2:06 to go which would have given them a 29-23 lead. He allowed Malcolm Butler to knock the ball out of his hands after thinking it was a TD because he had two feet down.“That’s on me,” Beckham said.Josh Brown eventually kicked his franchise-record 27th straight field goal from 29 yards to put New York up 26-24 with 1:47 to play.It was more than enough time for Brady and the Patriots, but the last drive should have ended on the first play.Brady was hit throwing the ball and it rainbowed down the middle of the field to a waiting Landon Collins. All he had to do was catch it to end the game. He tried to grab the ball at its high point, seemingly lost his balance and fell to turf, hitting his head and losing the ball.“Play’s there, you have to make the play,” a frustrated coach Tom Coughlin said.Brady eventually converted a fourth-and-10 on the series and Gostkowski, the NFL’s leading scorer the last three seasons, sent his winning kick soaring through the uprights.“We talked about it before the game that we just need to play hard for 60 minutes and it took every second.The Giants came up a second short, just like they did against Dallas, Atlanta and New Orleans earlier in the season.“It’s very frustrating,” cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “There’s plenty of times this season we had the opportunity to win and we just didn’t. It’s very, very frustrating. We had the opportunity to seal the game and didn’t come up with it. We just got to find a way to win.”New York has given the Patriots fits under Coughlin, including two Super Bowl wins, and nearly pulled off another victory.Brown’s go-ahead field goal was set up when Trumaine McBride intercepted Brady at the goal line, setting up an 86-yard, 15-play march to Brown’s field goal.Both Beckham and New England’s Rob Gronkowski had the longest TD catches of their careers: Beckham for 87 yards and Gronkowski for 76.The Patriots marched downfield with the opening kickoff on a 14-play, 80-yard drive. Backup tight end Scott Chandler capped it with a 1-yard reception, giving New England a point in an NFL-record 32 straight quarters.They extended it to 35 with Gostkowski’s second-quarter field goal; LeGarrette Blount’s 1-yard TD run following Amendola’s 82-yard punt runback in the third — the longest of Amendola’s career; and the long pass to Gronkowski on which New York’s Craig Dahl and Brandon Meriweather collided.But they also were plagued by critical pass interference penalties, and lost top receiver Julian Edelman in the first half with a foot injury. Of course, they still had Brady and Gostkowski.The Giants, still in first place in the NFC East, controlled long portions of the game.Just 51 seconds after Chandler’s touchdown, Beckham stunned the Patriots with a spectacular reaching catch-and-run.The Giants had another quick drive in them, ending the first half by covering 74 yards in 54 seconds. The seven-play series included Elli Manning’s 31-yard passes to Rueben Randle and Will Tye, the latter getting to the Patriots 1.Manning, as sharp as ever in the first half, hit Dwayne Harris in the back left corner of the end zone for a 17-10 halftime edge. Manning had a career-best for one half of 251 yards passing. Brady had 127.Manning got plenty of help from New England mistakes to start the second half: 36 yards on a pair of pass interference penalties. Brown made a 38-yard field goal to end that possession. He later hit a 53-yarder for a 23-17 lead.(TOM CANAVAN, AP Sports Writer) TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more