WATCH: Gabriel splits U.S. center backs as Brazil leads U-23s 1-0

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The United States U-23 men’s national team trails Brazil 1-0 at halftime of Wednesday’s friendly, a match well-controlled by the hosts.

The U.S. is playing a pair of matches against Brazil’s U-23s this week in continued preparation for the CONCACAF-CONMEBOL Olympic qualifying playoff against Colombia, which must be played by March.

U.S. keeper Charlie Horton was whistled for a six-second violation, giving Brazil an indirect kick just inside the 18. The U.S. wall was a yard outside the six, and Gabriel Barbosa’s shot went off Fred Rodrigues Santos and into the wall.

Horton had to fly to stop a 30-yard blast from Fred as the game reached 20 minutes, and Brazil controlled much of the possession at home.

[ MORE: How will the USMNT line-up in Friday’s World Cup qualifying opener? ]

Things were testy in Brazil, as Matt Polster and Fred both picked up yellows as the half moved on. The States were forced into a first half change due to a leg injury to Boyd Okwuono. Oscar Sorto came on for the Real Salt Lake defender.

Brazil was extremely dangerous with overlapping runs on the wings, especially on the right side of the States defense. Fred thankfully blasted a shot over the bar on a wide-open ball late in the frame.

The 43rd minute saw Brazil up 1-0 on a terrific through ball from Lucas Silva to Gabriel, who blazed a run past Cameron Carter-Vickers before rounding Horton to finish the game’s first goal.