Nilmar strikes again as Brazil cruise to one more victory

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The Independent Football

Brazil rounded off a successful pre-World Cup year yesterday with a 2-0 friendly win in Oman to take their tally to 14 victories in 17 matches. Nilmar opened the scoring in the fourth minute and Oman midfielder Hassan Ghailani headed into his own goal just past the hour.

Playing with the same team that beat England 1-0 in Doha on Saturday, Brazil dominated possession but were denied on several occasions by Oman goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi. The home side did not sit back, creating a good chance in the second minute when Hassan Rabbea fired wide. Two minutes later Brazil were in front. Luis Fabiano's shot was parried by Al-Habsi and Nilmar, who also scored the winner against England, netted the rebound.

"It's always good to score goals, to play, to get opportunities [in the national team]. I'm trying to make the most of it," said the 25-year-old Villarreal winger, who was standing in for the injured Robinho.

Chile strengthened their status as potential dark horses at the World Cup next year with a 2-1 win over fellow qualifiers Slovakia in Zilina. "At times it seemed like we were playing Barcelona," the Slovakia coach, Vladimir Weiss, said. "They don't let you get near the ball. They are excellent tactically. They are a magnificent team with a magnificent coach [Marcelo Bielsa]."

Defender Gonzalo Jara put the visitors ahead from close range after nine minutes before Slovakia equalised against the run of play with a header from Stanislav Sestak eight minutes later.

Chile should have gone back in front before half-time and had to wait until the 56th minute when Fabian Orellana's cross picked out Arturo Vidal at the far post and he nodded down for Esteban Paredes to score from close range.