(Reuters) - Two goals in the first half from Roberto Firmino and Neymar gave Brazil an easy 2-0 victory over the United States in a friendly match in New Jersey on Friday.
Firmino put the visitors ahead after 11 minutes when he tapped a volley home from close range after fine work on the right wing from Douglas Costa.
Brazil doubled their lead two minutes before half-time from the penalty spot after Fabinho was adjudged to have been tripped in the box by Wil Trapp.
Although the award looked generous, Neymar made no mistake, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 2-0.
Brazil, playing their first match since Belgium knocked them out of the World Cup quarter-finals, improved their record against the United States to 18 wins in 19 games.
The visitors were on top throughout against a young U.S. team that have been without a full-time coach since Bruce Arena resigned after they missed out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986.
Neymar almost made it 3-0 after 51 minutes but Matt Miazga cleared off the line, and while the United States threatened with cross balls they could not get past Brazil keeper Alisson.
Both teams made several changes in the second half, with Arthur, Lucas Paqueta, Everton and Richarlison all making their debuts for Brazil.
“A friendly is important for us to prepare for the Copa America next year, that is our principal objective,” Alisson said. “Some lads had a chance to make their debut and the win was good for their confidence.
“I think we can get a lot better but we did a nice job today under the conditions. The pitch didn’t help but we managed to pass the ball well against a team that tried to pressure us. It was a good test.”
Brazil’s next game is against El Salvador in Maryland on Sept. 11, while the United States head to Nashville to take on Mexico the same day.
Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Peter Rutherford