Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beautiful goal by Maicon and Elano scores make Brazil the lead group G : Barazil 2-1 North Korea

**Six time world champions Brazil kicked-off their World Cup campaign against the secretive North Koreans, at the Ellis Park Stadium, in Johannesburg, on Tuesday.

In what was touted as the most intriguing mismatch of this edition of the mega event, Brazil, the most successful team in the history of the tournament edged past North Korea, total unknowns in international football, 2-1. I say unknown because their one and only World Cup appearance came 44 years ago.

It was a complete mismatch on paper too. With North Korea, the lowest ranked team in the tournament, taking on the top-seeds.

The first half ended with Brazil failing to go past a rigid Korean defence. For the Koreans, forward Jong Tae-Se did manage to create a few ripples in the Brazilian defence, whenever he got run with the ball.

The second half started seemingly where the first ended, with Brazil patiently searching for an opening, and the Koreans absorbing the pressure with ease.

It was not until the 55th minute when Brazil finally broke down the Korean resistance. It took an absolute stunner from Maicon, who hit the ball low and with lots of venom, netting the ball from the tightest of angles.

Star striker Luis Fabiano blew a simple chance to double the lead in the 64th minute, hitting the ball over the bar, ten yards from goal.

Any doubters left were put to rest as Elano struck in the 72nd minute to take the score-line to 2-0, finishing off a superb Robinho pass with his right foot to the bottom right corner. And, that was the midfielder’s last action for the night as Barcelona’s Dani Alves came on in the very next minute to get a run out.

The second half seemed to be more or less one-way traffic, with the game being played almost exclusively in the Korean half, before Brazil received a jolt! Dunga’s hopes of a clean sheet were thwarted by Ji Yun Nam, who pulled one back for the Koreans, calmly firing one past Cesar from about ten yards in the 89th.

Overall, a dismal display from Brazil with shades of brilliance in the second half. The gritty Koreans held their turf for 55 minutes, and this loss would be one that would be etched into their memories for a long time to come. The history books will show that Brazil beat Korea DPR 2-1, but what they would not show, is that the minnows had the football giants fearing for their professional dignity for most of the 90 minutes.

Team Line-Ups:

Brazil: Julio Cesar; Maicon, Lucio, Juan, Michel Bastos, Felipe Melo (Ramires 83'), Gilberto Silva, Elano (Dani Alves 72'), Kaka (Nilmar 78'), Robinho, Luis Fabiano.

Korea DPR: Ri Myong-woof; Ri Kwang-chon, Cha Jong-hyok, chol-jin Pak, Ri Jun-il, Ji Yun-nam, Mun In- woof (Kim Kum-il 80'), An Yong-right, Pak Nam-chol, Hong Yong-jo, Jong Tae-se.


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