November 15, 2012
PAYING THE PENALTY
Neymar misses PK in Brazil's tie with Colombia
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Brazil and Colombia played to a 1-1 tie in an international friendly as Neymar missed a late penalty kick at a half-filled Met ife Stadium on Wednesday night.
Colombia took the lead in the 44th minute as Juan Guillermo Curadrado sent a shot that richoheted off the glove of Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Alves and off the post and into the net.
"That was very intense match, two teams committed to score goals. Friendlies usually are not played at this level," Colombia coach Jose Pekerman told the Associated Press. "Colombia is on the right path, charging ahead on the qualifiers. At this point, I can say that we're in a right spot.''
The 20-year-old Neymar, a Santos standout coveted by many European teams, equalized for the Braziians as he cut back between a pair of defenders before firing a shot just inside the far post in the 64th minute.
"I was happy for playing a good part in the game. The team performed well," Neymar was quoted by Reuters.
Colombian striker Roberto Falcao, one of the hottest strikers in Europe with Atletico Madrid (Sapin), had his best chance two minutes later when he missed a diving header.
Neymar had an opportunity to send his team into the lead with a penalty kick in the 81st minute after Pablo Armero took down Dani Alves in the penaty area.
The star took a stutter-step before blasting the ball well over the crossbar.
"The penalty was horrible but you probably noticed the state the pitch was in, it didn't have any stability," Neymar was quoted by Reuters. "I tried to take it slowly but it didn't work out. . . . These things happen."
Brazil has not lost to Colombia in 21 years.