Lackluster Brazil struggle to beat South Africa 1-0

SAO PAULO Fri Sep 7, 2012 5:19pm EDT

1 of 2. Brazil's Neymar (L) and South Africa's Lerato Chabangu fight for the ball during their international friendly soccer match in Sao Paulo September 7, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Paulo Whitaker

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SAO PAULO (Reuters) - A disappointing Brazil beat South Africa 1-0 in a friendly on Friday but the lackluster performance cast further doubts on coach Mano Menezes's future in the job.

Menezes sent out an attacking team but they struggled to break down the dogged South Africans and the match was only decided in the 74th minute with a goal from second-half substitute Hulk.

The striker signed by Zenit St Petersburg last week for 55 million euros ($70.4 million) had been on the pitch for less than 10 minutes when he pounced on a rebound to turn and smash the ball home from 12 meters.

Menezes is under pressure to produce an exciting and winning side ahead of the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup, both of which will be held in Brazil.

The win was his second in two games but followed a disappointing loss to Mexico in the Olympic Games final.

($1 = 0.7812 euros)

(Reporting by Andrew Downie, editing by Ed Osmond)

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