Striker Leandro Damiao scored his first international goal as Brazil defeated Ghana, 1-0, in a feisty friendly in London, England, at Craven Cottage.

Leandro, making his first ever start for Brazil, scored in the 45th minute off a well-placed through-ball by Fernandinho.

Ghana played with 10 men for most of the match after defender Daniel Opare received his second yellow card in the 34th minute after a harsh challenge on up-and-coming forward Neymar. Referee Mike Dean handed out eight cards in the match.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the match was the return of a familiar face to Brazil. Ronaldinho, known for sometimes choosing to enjoy nightlife over preparing for a match, was recalled for Monday's match after a 10-month absence. The exciting attacking midfielder nearly scored on an excellent free kick, just before the final whistle.

Also involved in the match for the five-time World Cup Champions were Ganso, Marcelo, Alexandre Pato, and Lucas.

Ghana were without Michael Essien and Kevin-Prince Boateng, but John Paintsil of Leicester City, Sulley Muntari of Inter, and Kwadwo Asamoah of Udinese. Ghana, who nearly advanced to the semi-finals of the 2010 World Cup, were able to keep the match close despite playing a man down for nearly two-thirds of the match.

After coming under fire for an early exit in the 2011 Copa America, Brazil head coach Mario Menezes needed this win to quell the harsh criticism he's received this summer. Brazil lost in the quarterfinals to Paraguay in a penalty shootout.

Craven Cottage, the home of Premier League club Fulham, was near capacity for the match.

 

Take a look at the goal by Leandro.