Tite insists the changes he made to the Brazil team against Peru were not to protect players for club duty as he instead used the opportunity to assess his squad.

Neymar, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Arthur and all dropped to the bench, having started the 2-2 draw against Colombia, and Brazil saw their 17-match unbeaten run ended in Los Angeles.

Luis Abram scored the only goal with an 85th-minute header for Peru, by which point Neymar had been introduced as a substitute.

Tite defended his team selection, though, insisting it was important to look at some new players following the Copa America, with Vinicius Junior making his debut.

"The most important thing was the team," Tite said. "The opportunities and changes were what I understood to be best in the moment, not to protect the players on the return to their clubs.

"I made the changes thinking about the Selecao.

"After the Copa America, another stage of opportunities began. It is only natural that we would not reach the same level of performance. I like to give opportunities to play - this is fundamental."

Meanwhile, Tite followed Fagner and Marquinhos in criticising the LA Memorial Coliseum pitch, which had been used by Argentina and Chile on Thursday.

"The pitch influences performance, this can't happen," he said. "There are risks of injuries.

"There is no excuse for defeat, I don't want to say that. Do not take only part of what I am saying. The opponent had a strategy and won.

"But this cannot happen in high level football. You can't have the field in this condition."

Casemiro has told Real Madrid team-mate Vinicius Junior to start thinking about the Ballon d'Or and other major prizes after making his Brazil debut.

Vinicius made his first appearance for the Selecao in Tuesday's underwhelming 1-0 defeat to Peru, Brazil's first loss since last year's World Cup.

The 19-year-old has started 10 LaLiga matches across the past two seasons, too, and Casemiro believes he needs to be aiming high.

"Vinicius has a very good head and, in the past year, he has surprised many people with the football he played," the midfielder told reporters.

"It is not normal for a 19-year-old boy to do what he did with the Real Madrid shirt. I told him the other day that this year is a year that he has to start thinking big.

"I repeat: what he did last year was not normal. He surprised everyone and showed that he is ready to be a starter at Real Madrid.

"When you are a starting Real Madrid player, you have to think big. Think of the Ballon d'Or, FIFA's World XI. He is a great player and he has already proven it.

"Of course, he is very young, you cannot put too much pressure and weight on his back. But I think he has to start thinking big.

"It is very important for us that he is here with the national team, but we have to be calm; two years ago he was playing in the Flamengo youth team."

Gregg Berhalter believes the United States were given the sort of physical test they can expect in World Cup qualifying by Uruguay on Tuesday.

USA failed to qualify from the CONCACAF section for Russia 2018 but are rebuilding under Berhalter ahead of the next cycle.

Days on from a humbling 3-0 defeat to rivals Mexico, USA held Uruguay to a 1-1 draw - equalising through Jordan Morris after Brian Rodriguez's opener - and Berhalter was impressed by his team's spirit.

The coach suggested the Uruguay match in St Louis, where the hosts bossed 60 per cent of possession, would ultimately prove more useful than the clash with Mexico.

"We just played two different teams with two very important challenges," Berhalter told a news conference.

"Against CONCACAF teams, we will play teams that are very compact [like Uruguay]. We have to understand how to break those teams down. Mexico were a totally different challenge.

"Mexico are a high-pressing, active team in front of a loud, boisterous crowd. Mexico presented us with good challenges but also good learning opportunities.

"We talked about how this opponent [Uruguay] were going to be compact and be physical. I think the team did a great job on set-pieces.

"More importantly, it was about the tenacity of our guys and the relentlessness of our guys to hang in there and keep battling. We did a good job, particularly in the first half, of keeping our structure."

Tata Martino will not feel too low after his first defeat as Mexico head coach, believing neither the big defeat to Argentina nor their long unbeaten run showed their true state.

Former Barcelona boss Martino was appointed El Tri coach in January and enjoyed a sensational start to his new role, beating Chile in a March friendly and then winning the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

But an 11-match unbeaten run came to an end on Tuesday as Argentina, Martino's former team and the last side to have beaten Mexico before their streak, ran out 4-0 winners in San Antonio.

Lautaro Martinez scored a hat-trick before being substituted at half-time, with all four goals coming in the first 45 minutes.

Martino explained: "I do not think this is our reality - nor do I believe that having 11 games without losing is our reality.

"Of the 'A' class [of team], this is the second game we played - the first was against Chile and the substantial difference is that tonight we made mistakes.

"Argentina could hurt us because there were 15 minutes where we played well and then the breakdown starts from an error.

"To learn from this, we need to play more major games of this stature. We must look to try to compete with the best in order to be able to take that leap we want to take."

LA Galaxy midfielder Jonathan dos Santos offered a similar assessment, frustrated by Argentina's ability to punish Mexico, who dominated possession but were outdone on the break.

"I think the team started well," he said. "I feel that the goals for Argentina were more our mistakes than their successes. We know that we cannot make these mistakes against these teams.

"We have to lift our heads, we are still working very well. The team is confident and I think it is a defeat that will make us learn."

Lionel Scaloni was delighted with the application of his Argentina side against Mexico, claiming they played "a perfect game" in a 4-0 victory.

Lautaro Martinez hit a first-half hat-trick as Argentina, still without Lionel Messi, ended Tata Martino's unbeaten start to life as Mexico coach in style, with Leandro Paredes also on target from the penalty spot.

Scaloni's men ceded possession to their opponents at San Antonio's Alamodome, but the coach saw his plan work to a tee and hailed the team's spirit.

"We knew the way that Mexico would play and we came out quickly to create some chances," he told a news conference. "We are happy because we played a perfect game.

"We knew that Mexico would dominate the opening minutes and that's why we were prepared to go out on the counter-attack.

"We gave the feeling that we are a team - that's the important thing. Everyone played for their lives, for their team-mates and for wanting to be in the Argentina team.

"We knew that if we recovered the ball, we would have to get it quickly to the striker.

"It's no good if we just defend well. We analysed Mexico a lot and we were courageous enough to do what we had to do in this match.

"We want an Argentina team that is competitive, where our opponents respect us."

Martinez was substituted at half-time, with Scaloni revealing the striker had been carrying a knock prior to the match, joking the Inter star appeared to play better injured.

"The change was planned, because he had some discomfort," the coach said. "Hopefully he can continue playing with discomfort."

Fagner called on Brazil to learn from Tuesday's defeat to Peru, although both he and Marquinhos criticised the LA Memorial Coliseum pitch.

Brazil were beaten for the first time since their 2018 World Cup reverse to Belgium, ending a 17-match unbeaten run, as they lost 1-0 to a late Luis Abram goal.

But Fagner insists the South American champions never questioned the threat of their opponents, who they defeated in the Copa America final.

The right-back, who started, with Dani Alves on the bench, hoped Brazil would be able to grow from a rare loss.

"We know the strength of South American football. There is no poor team," Fagner told TV Globo. "We played a consistent game and created chances to score. We were penalised by a set-piece at the end of the game.

"We need to grow and mature as soon as possible with these types of games to improve for the World Cup qualifiers.

"These games have to make us grow as a team. We know the importance of winning, of working calmly towards victory. But we also know that defeats can happen. This has to make us grow."

Fagner added the firm pitch in Los Angeles, used to hosting American football games, "undoubtedly" contributed to the defeat, and team-mate Marquinhos concurred.

"I think it was a very close game. We came from two good games against them and good results," Marquinhos said. "We knew they would come for the result and they did what they had to do.

"The pitch didn't help much. The ball bounced a lot. We tried to force passes through the middle, but both teams misplaced a lot. We knew it was a one-goal game and they were happy from set-pieces."

Lautaro Martinez was "happy and excited" after scoring a hat-trick for Argentina in an impressive friendly win over Mexico on Tuesday.

Martinez struck a first-half hat-trick in Texas as Lionel Scaloni's men ended Mexico's unbeaten record under Gerardo Martino with a 4-0 victory.

Inter forward Martinez, who impressed at the Copa America earlier this year, dominated, producing three clinical finishes for his first international hat-trick.

Martinez, 22, was delighted with his performance as he moved onto nine goals for Argentina in 13 appearances.

"I am happy and excited," he said, via the team's Twitter account.

"There is a lot of sacrifice that one makes to be here and not every day three goals are made with this shirt."

While scoring three times, Martinez also helped Argentina win a penalty that was converted by Leandro Paredes in a ruthless opening 45 minutes.

The former Racing Club forward paid tribute to his team-mates after his match-winning hat-trick.

"It is very difficult to get here and stay. There are very good players," Martinez said.

"I am very happy and grateful to my team-mates and the coaching staff. We train to give joy to the national team. Hopefully we continue along this path."

Luis Abram was the hero as Peru exacted some revenge over Brazil with a 1-0 victory in a rematch of the Copa America final.

Brazil claimed their ninth Copa America title by beating Peru 3-1 in South America's showpiece tournament decider in July.

But defender Abram's 85th-minute header saw Peru past Brazil in Los Angeles on Tuesday, while condemning the Selecao to their first defeat since the 2018 World Cup.

Neymar started on the bench as Tite made four changes to his line-up that drew 2-2 against Colombia, with David Neres, Eder Militao and Allan coming in for the PSG star, Dani Alves, Thiago Silva and Arthur.

It was a scrappy match on a pitch that still showed the marks of American football in Los Angeles, where NFL franchise the Rams and the NCAA's USC Trojans are tenants.

While there was plenty of energy and endeavour from Peru, chances were few and far between in the first half – Edison Flores' volley in the 23rd minute the closest either team went to breaking the deadlock.

After Neres went down inside the area under a risky challenge from captain Luis Advincula amid appeals for a penalty, Flores then produced an instinctive volley to force Brazil goalkeeper Ederson into a save.

There was a nasty clash of heads between Brazil team-mates Casemiro and Neres just past the half-hour mark, but both players managed to play on.

Pedro Gallese came to Peru's rescue four minutes into the second half. Richarlison played a delightful throughball to Allan but the goalkeeper was quick off his mark to deny the Brazil midfielder his first international goal.

A drilled effort from Philippe Coutinho caused problems for Gallese just past the hour-mark before Neymar's introduction, and while the latter provided some spark, there was to be no breakthrough for Brazil.

Just as the match looked to be petering out for a draw, a delightful free-kick from Yoshimar Yotun picked out Abram, whose deft touch beat Ederson and found the back of the net.

 

What does it mean? Peru end Brazil's unbeaten run

Since losing to Belgium in the World Cup quarter-finals last year, Brazil had gone 17 matches without defeat. However, that impressive run came to a shock end in LA.

Abram opens account in style

Making his 17th appearance, Abram emerged the unlikely hero for Peru. His late header not only silenced Brazil but saw the 23-year-old celebrate his first international goal.

Neymar poised for Selecao century

After marking his first appearance back with a goal and an assist against Colombia last time out, Neymar was a second-half substitute in LA. The 27-year-old's appearance, though, was his 99th on the international stage – moving him clear of Ronaldo and Djalma Santos for seventh in the all-time Brazil standings, still well adrift of Cafu's appearance record of 142.

What's next?

Brazil will return to action in October with a friendly against Thailand in Singapore and another fixture that is yet to be determined. Peru, meanwhile, are set to take on Uruguay in a pair of friendlies next month.

Lautaro Martinez stole the show to lead Argentina to an impressive 4-0 win over Mexico in a friendly in Texas on Tuesday.

Martinez scored a stunning first-half hat-trick at the Alamodome as Lionel Scaloni's men ran riot in the opening 45 minutes.

Inter forward Martinez was the star, netting three times and also helping Argentina – without the suspended Lionel Messi – win a penalty that was converted by Leandro Paredes.

Martinez came off at the break after putting Argentina in complete control as they saw out a comprehensive victory.

It was quite the way for Mexico to be handed their first defeat under head coach Gerardo Martino, who took over in January.

Mexico could have been awarded an early penalty for a handball, but instead fell behind in the 17th minute.

Martinez received a pass from Paredes 30 yards from goal, running at the Mexico defence and beating three markers before placing a left-footed strike into the bottom corner.

Just five minutes later and Martinez doubled his, and Argentina's, tally.

Exequiel Palacios put in a beautiful throughball for Martinez's well-timed run, the forward producing a first-time finish into the bottom corner.

Argentina's incredible start continued when they were awarded a penalty for a Carlos Salcedo handball, the ball hitting the defender's outstretched arm after a Martinez flick.

Paredes stepped up and while Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa got a hand on the spot-kick, it found the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Martinez had Mexico panicking and it showed as he remarkably completed a first-half hat-trick.

The 22-year-old's first touch after a Palacios pass let him down but Nestor Araujo was unable to deal with the loose ball, Martinez claiming possession again before firing past Ochoa.

Martinez came off at half-time and Argentina almost struck again six minutes into the second half, Ochoa saving a strike from Rodrigo De Paul.

Substitutions impacted the rhythm of the contest, although Argentina were never in trouble after Martine's first-half heroics.

 

What does it mean? Scaloni's Argentina produce one of their best

Scaloni has faced plenty of criticism since taking the helm, but Tuesday's first half was undoubtedly one of Argentina's best since he was named coach in August last year. Martinez's performance helped, but they denied Mexico clear-cut chances and were clinical.

Martinez marvellous for Argentina

The Inter forward had Mexico's defence worried throughout and he took his chances. Palacios' wonderful pass set up Martinez's second, but it was otherwise the former Racing Club doing all the hard work to move onto nine international goals.

Martino unable to stop Mexico's Argentina woe

Under Martino, Mexico have shown they can contend with South American sides, beating Chile, Paraguay, Venezuela and Ecuador during an 11-match unbeaten streak with the former Barcelona boss in charge. But they are now winless in their past 10 meetings with Argentina, a run dating back to the 2004 Copa America.

What's next?

Argentina will take on Germany in a friendly next month, while Mexico meet Trinidad and Tobago before CONCACAF Nations League clashes with Bermuda and Panama.

Jordan Morris' second-half goal helped the United States to a 1-1 friendly draw against Uruguay in St Louis on Tuesday.

Coming off two straight losses, USA managed to avoid defeat as Morris cancelled out Brian Rodriguez's 50th-minute opener at Busch Stadium.

It was a fortunate equaliser for USA, who had squandered their best opportunities during the first half before falling behind.

Brian Rodriguez's first international goal had Uruguay – without the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and Diego Godin – on track, but Morris levelled for Gregg Berhalter's men.

A beautiful team move led to Uruguay's first chance in the sixth minute, but Jonathan Rodriguez was just unable to get a shot off with only USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan to beat.

After Cristian Roldan headed straight at Fernando Muslera for USA, the hosts created a great chance midway through the first half.

Morris beat his marker down the left before crossing to Tyler Boyd, who put his shot into the ground and over the crossbar from close range.

A Tim Ream block denied Uruguay an opener moments later before Muslera pushed away a 25-yard effort from Sergino Dest six minutes prior to the break.

USA should have been awarded a penalty on the stroke of half-time for a handball by Jose Gimenez, but they went into the interval locked at 0-0.

Brian Rodriguez broke the deadlock five minutes into the second half thanks to his first international goal.

A counter-attack saw Federico Valverde play a pass to Brian Rodriguez, who beat his marker before firing a power left-footed effort past Guzan from inside the area.

USA were fortunate to equalise with 11 minutes remaining, a clearance by Uruguay coming off Nick Lima and falling to Morris to chest in at the back post.

 

What does it mean? USA avoid three-game losing streak

Runners-up at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, USA were well beaten by Mexico last week and the draw with Uruguay at least meant they avoided being handed three straight losses for the first time since 2015.

Goalscoring woes go on for USA

USA must find a way to score goals and quickly. It took a huge piece of luck to get their equaliser against Uruguay and they have struggled to find the back of the net since thrashing Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago to begin the Gold Cup. Since those wins, USA have scored six goals in six games, netting more than once in a match just once in that run.

Uruguay show off depth

Without their two star forwards in Suarez and Cavani, Uruguay showed off some depth in the attacking third. Brian Rodriguez, 19, opened his international account and Jonathan Rodriguez was also dangerous.

What's next?

USA begin their CONCACAF Nations League campaign with matches against Cuba and Canada next month, while Uruguay will face Peru in two friendlies.

Republic of Ireland coach Mick McCarthy has ruled out staying on beyond Euro 2020 despite an impressive run of results since being reappointed.

McCarthy replaced Martin O'Neill in charge of Ireland in November 2018 for his second spell, having managed the country between 1996 and 2002.

Ireland clinched a 3-1 friendly win over Bulgaria in Dublin on Tuesday which ensured McCarthy is unbeaten in eight matches, with the country also top of Group D in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The Football Association of Ireland's plan is for McCarthy, 60, to hand over the reins to Under-21 coach Stephen Kenny when his tenure comes to an end after Euro 2020.

And when asked if there was a chance his contract would be extended if Ireland were to qualify for the tournament, McCarthy responded with an emphatic "no" and then refused to be drawn much further on the subject.

"You know the situation. I've just said no," McCarthy said.

"Hopefully we qualify for the Euros and it [the succession plan] will be seen as a really good decision."

McCarthy gave five players their international debuts against Bulgaria.

Goalkeeper Mark Travers and midfielder Josh Cullen started, while Jack Byrne, striker James Collins and shot-stopper Kieran O'Hara all came on during the second half.

 

Ireland secured victory thanks to first international goals from Alan Browne, Kevin Long and Collins, which left McCarthy satisfied.

"Ultimately the result pleased me the most," McCarthy said. "Josh Cullen deserved man of the match – he was excellent. 

"Alan Browne was also excellent. I loved James Collins' performance when he came on. Jack Byrne lit the place up with his forward passing and created two goals."

McCarthy also revealed he will ask left-back Stephen Ward to come out of international retirement for their crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia next month.

Ward, 34, retired from Ireland duty in March after he won 50 caps and represented his country at both Euro 2012 and 2016.

However, with first-choice left-back Enda Stevens suspended for Ireland's trip to Georgia, McCarthy will ask the Stoke City defender to step in.

"Stephen might tell me to get lost and he is retired," added McCarthy, who used midfielder Conor Hourihane at left-back against Bulgaria.

"But if I want him, he might just put his boots on one more time.

"James McClean is probably one of the best options if I don't have a recognised left-back.

"Hourihane had no chance at left-back ever. I played him to give him 65 minutes."

Brazil head coach Tite refused to reveal whether or not he has given life advice to Paris Saint-Germain superstar Neymar following a turbulent off-season.

Neymar scored his first goal of the season for club or country as Brazil drew 2-2 with South American rivals Colombia in an international friendly on Friday.

His goalscoring display came after the 27-year-old forward – yet to play for PSG this season – was unable to secure a return to LaLiga champions Barcelona prior to the transfer deadline.

Neymar was the topic of conversation again as Brazil prepare to face Peru in a rematch of the Copa America final and Tite told reporters on Monday: "Whatever is good for Neymar, I will never say publicly.

"But we can do it here in the national team. In the areas that are competent to us, the 10 days we are here, we always try to create situations that are good for him and for selection.

"Not primarily for one or the other. Because I also understand that he is top three worldwide."

Brazil beat Peru 3-1 in the Copa America final in July and the two nations will meet again in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Previewing the clash, Tite said: "If I were on the side of the Peruvian national team, I would have a feeling of revenge but with loyalty.

"They don't have to beat us up but play to show that they are better. We have to play a great game, since we have been working under pressure

"The ideal would be to have friendly against European teams, but there is a calendar problem and sometimes it is incompatible."

Brazil coach Tite rued not giving Vinicius Junior his international debut in Friday's friendly against Colombia, owing the decision to Neymar displaying "perfect" body language upon his return.

Real Madrid talent Vinicius has long been tipped to make the breakthrough at senior level for Brazil, having sparkled in his fledgling career with Flamengo and then last season in Spain.

Injury denied him a first cap in March after he was called up for matches against Panama and Czech Republic, while he failed to make the cut for Tite's Copa America squad.

Tite planned to let the 19-year-old feature as Brazil drew 2-2 with Carlos Queiroz's Colombia, but instead opted to keep Neymar – playing his first match for club or country in three months – on the pitch in an attempt to maximise the Paris Saint-Germain star's fitness.

"Vinicius was ready to enter," Tite told reporters. "The idea was to for him to come on, but circumstances change.

"He will have his chance. Of course, he will be used as a left winger. Playing in the national team is already complicated, the yellow shirt weighs on anyone.

"So, in the case of Vinicius, I will put him in his natural position, where he is accustomed and feels comfortable.

"The plan was not that Neymar played 90 minutes, he came from more than three months without playing, and I was about to take him off three times during the second half, but he was improving technically and physically as the minutes passed.

"I was talking with Dr. Rodrigo Lasmar and our physio during the match and we decided to leave him on the pitch.

"I don't think he expected me to play him for 90 minutes, I saw him look at the bench a couple of times, but his body language was perfect, he was not tired and there was no point in taking him out.

"The level of the game was so high and I saw the team at such a good pace that I didn't want to make any more changes."

Neymar scored Brazil's second goal, after a Luis Muriel brace had cancelled out Casemiro's headed opener.

Brazil are next in action against Peru on Wednesday.

Brazil coach Tite admitted Neymar's performance in the 2-2 draw with Colombia surprised him as he revealed he has a "relationship of truth and loyalty" with the unsettled forward.

After a move from Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona failed to materialise in the transfer window, fit-again Neymar played for the first time in three months in Brazil's friendly at Hard Rock Stadium, Miami.

He made an impact 19 minutes into the game when his corner teed up Casemiro to give Brazil the lead and, though Colombia turned the game on its head with two goals in nine first-half minutes, Neymar side-footed an equaliser into the net after the break.

Tite said he considered substituting the 27-year-old but instead allowed him to play the full 90 minutes, having been impressed with Neymar's display.

"I said, 'I'll take him off' for the sake of physical preservation," Tite told reporters after the game.

"But I saw that his physical responses were strong, intense, and coordinated. I could see him growing.

"As the end of the game approached he produced more and more. He keeps his technique light and creates space. He was above my expectation."

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel has yet to include Neymar in any of his four matchday squads in Ligue 1 this season, but Tite gave a glowing assessment of the forward's condition.

"We talked yesterday about monitoring the performance of Neymar from 45 minutes," he said. "A player starts thinking and cannot perform [when fatigued]. But he was thinking and performing. It surprised me."

After scoring Brazil's second goal, Neymar wrapped his arms around the Brazil coach, who said the pair enjoy a strong working relationship at a time when the forward's career is in a tumultuous phase.

"It is a reaction of true loyalty," said Tite. "We have a relationship of truth and loyalty. We say what we think is right, what is wrong.

"It is a transparent relationship. I don't analyse other facts, other situations. But I can say that we have a real relationship."

Jonathan Rodriguez scored a 90th-minute winner as Uruguay beat Costa Rica 2-1 in their international friendly on Friday.

Celso Borges thought he had earned a draw for Costa Rica in the 48th minute after cancelling out Giorgian De Arrascaeta's first-half penalty in San Jose.

However, Rodriguez came off the bench and netted a last-gasp winner for visiting Uruguay – who were playing in the absence of Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani – at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica.

There was a new face in the dugout for Costa Rica following Gustavo Matosas' shock resignation due to boredom.

After less than a year in the job, Argentine-born Uruguayan Matosas told a news conference on Wednesday: "I didn't know being a national team manager was so boring. I don't regret it and I don't leave frustrated because I gave my best. I won't manage a national team again. I can't only have the players every two months. It's not for me."

It was initially thought Matosas would take charge of Friday's friendly, however, interim boss Douglas Sequeira oversaw proceedings.

Borges' stunning free-kick three minutes into the second half gave Costa Rica something to celebrate after De Arrascaeta had converted a penalty three minutes prior to the interval.

However, Sequeira watched Costa Rica crash to their third consecutive defeat following Rodriguez's powerful low strike at the death.

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