Brazil’s manager Tite said that his team’s “mentality” can make the difference at the World Cup after they broke down a stubborn Japan in a 1-0 friendly win in Tokyo on Monday.
Neymar broke the deadlock from the penalty spot in the 77th minute, but only after Japan had frustrated Brazil with a dogged defensive effort.
The Brazilian manager expects to face a similar defense at Qatar and he took heart from the way his team continued to plug away against Japan.
“It was a very high-level game, both teams showed their quality and it was very competitive,” he said.
“I said yesterday that this would be a game played at the same level as the World Cup, especially when it comes to mentality. We were determined to score and we kept looking for a goal, and that’s what got us the win.”
Rift At Brazil Camp Was Fake News
Tite shot down suggestions of a rift in the Selecao camp, branding reports that forwards Richarlison and Vinicius Junior had clashed in training on Saturday as “fake news”.
The pair were filmed being separated by team-mates — a clip that Richarlison later posted on his Instagram page — but it was not clear whether the incident was serious or a joke.
“There is a lot of fake news in the world, and people reporting that the players were fighting are telling lies,” Tite said.
Richarlison came off the bench to win Brazil’s penalty when Japan midfielder Wataru Endo clattered into him from behind.
Brazil looked like they were going to be in for an easier night when Lucas Paqueta hit the post in the second minute, following a cheeky back-heel flick from Neymar.
Instead, the home side steadied the ship and began to create chances of their own, with platinum blond winger Junya Ito causing problems down Brazil’s left flank.