For Brazil’s soccer team, Tuesday’s match with Portugal in Foxborough is no ‘friendly’

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FOXBOROUGH — While Brazil’s soccer team has qualified automatically for next summer’s World Cup as host, it’s playing its exhibitions this year as if they’re tournament matches. The five-time global champions scored half a dozen goals on Australia last weekend in Brasilia and are determined not to go easy on Portugal Tuesday night before what will be close to a capacity crowd of nearly 69,000 inside Gillette Stadium. “We are playing Portugal as if it is the World Cup,” said manager Luiz Felipe Scolari, whose squad is facing the Portuguese for the first time on American soil. Portugal, which won, 4-2, at Northern Ireland last weekend, will be without superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, whose second-half hat trick produced a precious victory but who is staying home to deal with tendinitis.

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