‘Gabigol’ scores on debut as Brazil beat Panama 2-0
LONDON – Teenage striker Gabriel lived up to his nickname ‘Gabigol’ when he came off the bench to score on his debut in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Panama.
The 19-year-old replaced Jonas after 62 minutes of the friendly match in Colorado and slotted home Brazil’s second with his left foot 10 minutes later. Jonas had opened the scoring in the second minute for a compact and solid Brazil.
“I am very happy with the debut and the goal,” Gabriel said in a televised interview after Brazil’s final warmup ahead of next week’s Centenary Copa America in the United States.
“It was a dream come true for me to play alongside players like Kaka and Dani Alves.”
Brazil open their Copa America campaign against Ecuador and also face Haiti and Peru in Group B of the 16-team tournament.
In another friendly on Sunday, Colombia beat Haiti 3-1.
Colombia were without Radamel Falcao, who will miss the Copa America through injury, and James Rodriguez, who was with Real Madrid for Saturday’s Champions League win over Atletico.
Coach Jose Pekerman looked to youth for the game in Miami, handing a start to 19-year-old Marlos Moreno and introduced Roger Martinez, 21, as a second-half substitute.
Dayro Moreno put Colombia ahead after 14 minutes with an acrobatic volley but Haiti leveled 20 minutes later when Wilde-Donald Guerrier bulleted home a header.
Haiti’s hopes of a win faded when Max Hilaire picked up a second yellow card six minutes before half time.
Juan Guillermo Cuadrado chipped home Colombia’s second after 54 minutes and Martinez marked his debut with the third with 20 minutes remaining. -Reuters