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Beautiful Brazil Spank The Yanks


The Camden Cad
Aug 24, 2004
North London
Brazil 3-0 USA

Melo 7
Robinho 18
Maicon 62

As any Arsenal fan will tell you, it can be frustrating to support a team who are as capable of excellence as they are of ineptitude. Defeats are all the more frustrating when you know what your players are capable of producing at their peak. Imagine how it feels to be Brazilian. You know that, pound for pound, your team are as good as anyone on the planet. But you also know that an all-too-familiar period of indolence can leave you weeping with relief when a lucky break gives you a victory over someone like Egypt. The question every Brazilian was asking before yesterday's win over the USA was simply, which team are going to turn up? The good one, it transpired.

Brazil was so superior in Pretoria that you half-expected a blood-stained towel to hurled onto the pitch from the American dug-out at half-time. It didn't really seem very fair. Poor Jay DeMerit, captain of cash-strapped Watford, was being led a merry dance by Kaka who seemed to be aiming his runs directly at the big, ungainly defender out of spite. It was like watching a cat chasing a dog and finding to his delight that the dog would always run away. Robinho was equally cruel. After his 18th minute strike put Brazil 2-0 up inside 20 minutes, the Manchester City star cut short his celebrations to conduct an impromptu interview on the sidelines, rabbiting away quite happily to the microphone. Who says that it's hard to gain access to the top players?

The US certainly didn't make it difficult for their opponents. Melo's crashing header opened the scoring after only the faintest hint of man-to-man marking from West Ham's Jonathan Spector, but Robinho's strike was the heavy price of a schoolboy error from DaMarcus Beasley. The Rangers winger failed to control a simple corner from Landon Donovan and Brazil pounced. The ball was quickly pushed forward via Kaka and Ramieres and within five seconds, Robinho was chatting with the press. You can't give a team like Brazil a chance like that when they are in this kind of mood.

Beleaguered American coach Bob Bradley tried to mix things up at half-time, throwing on another striker in an effort to increase the pressure from 'non-existent', but only succeeded in cranking it up to 'sporadic'. The US deserved more from their opening battle with Italy, but they couldn't argue the outcome of this tussle. For the second time in two games they were reduced to ten men when Sacha Kljestan was dismissed just before the hour and his exit effectively ended the game as a contest. Maicon's delicious third goal was thoroughly deserved.

Brazil have flattered to deceive in recent years, their exquisite technique marred by a lack of application. This, however, was a lesson in what they are capable of when everything clicks into place. Of the two Brazilian sides apparently in existence, this is the one that every fan will be hoping to see next summer.