Brazil beat Costa Rica 1-0 in New Jersey in their first game since the Copa America.
Hulk scored the only goal in the 10th minute of a game the Selecao dominated at Red Bull Arena.
But despite having by far the greater share of the chances, the scoreline was not one to greatly lift Brazil after their disappointing quarter-final defeat to Paraguay in the summer's continental competition.
And their failure to build on their early lead was almost punished, with Costa Rica - under new coach Oscar Ramirez, after Paulo Wanchope was dismissed amid controversy over an altercation with a fan - only denied an equaliser when captain Bryan Ruiz was wrongly flagged offside.
Brazil defender David Luiz somehow failed to open the scoring in the fifth minute when Douglas Costa's cross bounced into his path but he could only stab it back across goal into the arms of keeper Patrick Pemberton.
Hulk's free-kick was saved but he found the net in the 10th minute when Costa Rica gave the ball away in attack and from a long ball forward by full-back Danilo, the Zenit St Petersburg forward outmuscled defender Giancarlo Gonzalez, recovered from a stumble and finished left-footed.
Midfielder Fernandinho has found goalscoring form with Manchester City at the start of the new season and he threatened in the 16th minute when he was sent clear by Lucas Lima's neat pass but saw an angled drive beaten behind by Pemberton.
Luiz Gustavo shot over as the rest of the first half passed with little in the way of goalmouth action, but Hulk was back in the thick of things at the start of the second.
Lima was again the creator and Hulk's footwork opened up a shooting chance, but his low effort lacked the power to beat Pemberton.
Marcelo flashed a shot across goal and away for a throw-in before failing to properly connect with an effort under pressure on his weaker right foot.
Costa Rica were denied in the 55th minute when, from Johan Venegas' through-ball, Ruiz was clearly played onside by the dozing Luiz and hammered the ball past keeper Marcelo Grohe from eight yards, but the flag went up to spare the Paris St Germain centre-back's blushes.
Pemberton brilliantly denied Douglas Costa a second goal when he tipped over a first-time shot from near the penalty spot following good work by substitute Kaka.
Another of Dunga's substitutes, Lucas Moura, saw one shot blocked and another well saved by Pemberton, while Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho also went close in the final stages.