World Cup 2010 – Ominous Brazil advance past Chile
Brazil demonstrated their power with a 3-0 win over Chile at Ellis Park in Johannesburg to book a place in the World Cup quarter-finals.
Two goals in quick succession from Juan and Luis Fabiano in the first half got the Selecao on their way before Robinho added a third after the break to make sure of the result.
Chile held their own for half an hour, although their strike force, which included the returning Humberto Suazo, failed to test Brazil keeper Julio Cesar with anything more than speculative long-range shots.
At the other end, the five-times champions took their time to get going, but once they did, two goals flew in within four minutes of each other to effectively sink Chile’s challenge.
The opener was most unlike Brazil – in the traditional sense – and was simplicity itself, centre-back Juan rising high to meet a corner with a thumping header into the roof of the net.
But this Brazil side are unlike previous incarnations – they are far more European in construction, incredibly strong at the back, with two holding midfielders playing just in front.
What is more, hard work has been a key to the success of this side so far this tournament, with even the likes of Robinho willing to track back and help out defensively, as he demonstrated during the second half at Ellis Park.
Still, the new-look Brazil does not exclude flair entirely, and the second goal was far more in keeping with their reputation, Kaka slipping the ball through for Luis Fabiano to run onto, round the keeper and slot into an empty net. It was the Sevilla striker’s 13th goal in his last 13 competitive appearances for Brazil.
The outcome of the game was effectively sealed in the 59th minute when Robinho curled a shot past keeper Claudio Bravo following a powerful burst forward from midfield by Ramires, deputising for the injured Felipe Melo as one of the two holding midfielders.
It was a devastating break, and one which knocked the wind out of Chile’s already half-deflated sails. Brazil looked to capitalise further by going in search of a fourth, and they nearly found it when Dani Alves struck a long-range shot just over the bar.
Kaka, still not playing to his full capabilities, blazed over and Robinho nearly found his second of the night with an angled drive towards the corner of the goal; only an excellent save by Bravo denied him.
The Manchester City-owned man then had a goal disallowed for offside – correctly – before Chile mounted a late charge for a consolation goal. Suazo hit a volley into the ground which bounced up and onto the top of Julio Cesar’s crossbar and Jean Beausejour dragged a shot wide of the mark as time ran out, but it was not to be Chile’s night.
They slipped to their worst World Cup defeat since losing 4-1 to Brazil at the same stage in 1998 while Brazil marched on having maintained their unbeaten run at the tournament.
1st Half Goals 2-0
Shots on Target 6-1
Shots off Target 11-7
Blocked Shots 0-6
Yellow Cards 2-3
Red Cards 0-0
Passing Success 76.9%-82%
Tackles Success 81%-77.4%
Territorial Advantage 43.9%-56.1%
Mike Hytner / Eurosport