Brazil Stay On Course

Fewer Brazilian performances will be as derided as today’s 2-0 win over Australia. And if Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos thought 1998 was bad, they haven’t seen anything yet. Then at least Ronaldo’s ‘mystery illness’ was a convenient excuse – this time, the media will not be so generous.

To be honest, Brazil were efficient – they created chances, defended really well (although a better team would have converted the half-chances Viduka and Kewell missed) and when it mattered, scored two goals. The only problem is that the whole world is now waiting for Brazil to beat a team 6-0 like Argentina, and until they do that (or win the World Cup), the media will stay on their back.

The midfield, marshalled superbly by Ze Roberto and Emerson, was responsible for some of the best defending seen in this world cup as well as giving the ball away several times to the Australians.

When I wrote the ‘how to beat brazil‘ piece this morning, I was hoping to see the Aussies play better on the flanks, but they weren’t able to do that. Instead, they got bogged down in a midfield battle – apparently to negate the impact of Kaka and Ronaldinho. Kaka still managed to be one of the more active members of the Brazilian midfield, his surging runs perfectly complemented by Emerson’s and Ze Roberto’s precision tackling.

The difference was simple – both sides made defensive mistakes, missed chances and tried to win (although Australia really went for after the first goal), but only one side actually converted those chances.

Ronaldinho had an indifferent game, but the media attention will be squarely focused on Ronaldo and Roberto Carlos. It’s the fickle nature of the media, but Brazil will need to improve as they progress through this tournament.

Much like another team that is much talked about here (with a misfiring midfielder and an unfit striker)…

[tags]World Cup, World Cup 2006, Brazil[/tags]

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