Neymar enjoys winning start as Brazil captain

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United States 0-2 Brazil

Tite handed the permanent captaincy to Neymar after scrapping his rotation policy and the Paris Saint-Germain superstar enjoyed a winning start as skipper in New Jersey, where Brazil prevailed thanks to a two-goal first half.

Roberto Firmino took his international tally to eight goals with a fine volley in the 11th minute before Neymar doubled the lead from the spot two minutes prior to half-time after Brazil was awarded a contentious penalty, Fabinho going to ground under minimal contact.

The hosts were not without chances, with Weston McKennie in the thick of the action, but they were unable to execute in front of a vocal crowd at MetLife Stadium, where the likes of Barcelona midfielder Arthur and Everton forward Richarlison made Brazil debuts.

This fixture was the start of an evolution, not a revolution, for Brazil after its shock quarter-final exit at the FIFA World Cup, with only Neymar, Alisson, Philippe Coutinho and Thiago Silva remaining from the starting XI that faced Belgium that day.

Dave Sarachan, whose US side held eventual world champion France to a draw in June, continued to keep faith with his young team, while PSG sensation Timothy Weah started on the bench.

Brazil dazzled early in New Jersey, where the Selecao controlled the tempo and broke the deadlock within 11 minutes thanks to Firmino.

Costa was at the heart of the move, the Juventus star's stunning burst of pace leaving his opponent in his wake before picking out Firmino, who volleyed home the opener with the outside of his boot from inside the six-yard box.

United States struggled to keep possession against a composed Brazil but the host started to knock on the door and almost equalised 10 minutes before half-time but Alisson managed to deny McKennie's close-range effort.

Sarachan's men were dealt a huge blow with the interval approaching after the referee awarded Brazil a controversial penalty, much to the shock of the players and fans.

Liverpool recruit Fabinho went to ground under minimal contact and Neymar, unfazed by the protests, casually converted from the spot.

Fred nearly helped put Brazil 3-0 ahead two minutes into the second half but his pass to Firmino was cut out by US goalkeeper Zack Steffen, while Neymar's shot was cleared off the line four minutes later.

McKennie, who almost pulled a goal back late in the first half, saw further opportunities spurned as Brazil beat United States for the 18th time in 19 meetings.

Neymar and Brazil will head to Landover in Maryland for Wednesday's (AEST) friendly against minnow El Salvador, while United States is set to face rival Mexico in Nashville.