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Brazil v Colombia: Dunga era begins in Miami

3 September 2014 20:25

Ramires and his Brazil team-mates are eager to move on from their World Cup disappointment and begin a new era against Colombia on Friday.

Dunga's second spell in charge of the national team begins with the Miami friendly and a win would provide a welcome morale boost following Brazil's World Cup anguish.

The tournament hosts were embarrassed in a 7-1 semi-final defeat to Germany and only fared slightly better in the third-place play-off, which they lost 3-0 to the Netherlands.

Luis Felipe Scolari resigned as a result, paving the way for the 50-year-old Dunga - who captained Brazil to victory at the 1994 World Cup and also coached them at the 2010 tournament – to return.

His desire for change was demonstrated when he selected just 10 players from Scolari's World Cup squad in a 22-man party to face Colombia.

Although that figure rose to 11 when Marcelo was a late call-up to replace the injured Alex Sandro, it reverted back to 10 as Hulk withdrew with a thigh problem.

Robinho, who has 92 Brazil caps, won a surprise recall to replace Zenit forward Hulk in a squad initially headlined by the omissions of goalkeeper Julio Cesar and defender Dani Alves.

Brazil captain Thiago Silva is absent (hamstring) for the rematch of their World Cup quarter-final, but Neymar – who seriously injured his back in that previous meeting with Colombia and was sidelined for more than six weeks – will feature.

Midfielder Ramires is hopeful Dunga can help Brazil embark on an era of success.

"We will try to do what Dunga asks so that we can return to what was Brazilian soccer and what will always be Brazilian soccer," the Chelsea midfielder told a news conference.

"Brazil isn't just one World Cup. This World Cup didn't end happily, but we have other World Cups in the future."

While this week's match is classed as a friendly, the stakes are high for a Brazil side desperate for redemption and they can expect to receive partisan support in Miami.

Victory for either side would offer a lift ahead of South American World Cup qualifying, which is expected to be hotly contested ahead of the 2018 tournament in Russia.

While most of the headlines have gone to Brazil ahead of the game, the likes of James Rodriguez and Radamel Falcao could help Colombia spoil the party at the Sun Life Stadium.

Colombia's run to the last eight at the World Cup, inspired by Rodriguez's tournament-high six goals, was one of the stories of the tournament and Jose Pekerman's side will surely be out for revenge against the side who ended their campaign.

Like Brazil, Colombia will be playing their first match since the World Cup and new Manchester United signing Falcao will be desperate to make his mark after missing the showpiece with a knee problem.

Defender Juan Zuniga, the man responsible for injuring Neymar with what Thiago Silva dubbed a "coward's tackle", has not been selected.

The match is the first of two in the US for Brazil, who play Ecuador in New Jersey on Tuesday.

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