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The momentum, though, didn’t last long, as Brazil restored its two-goal lead seven minutes after the break. Attacking the U.S. on the counter, Neymar ran onto a through ball from Hulk before finding Marcelo in front of goal for an easy finish.

Pato capped Brazil’s outburst in the 87th minute, taking a cross from Marcelo and burying an angled shot past Howard. The strike, which drew calls for offside from the Americans, unfolded moments after Onyewu struck the crossbar with a header at the other end.

“It’s bad,” Howard said. “It’s not the end of the world, but it’s never nice when you do your job and you screw up. And 4-1 means we didn’t do a great job. So it hurts.”