The Samba boys are still missing a beat or two
BRAzIL began their quest for a sixth world crown with a 2-1 victory over North Korea at Ellis Park but it was far from a vintage display from Dunga’s men against hard-working opposition.
The Koreans, ranked 85th in the world, kept Brazil at bay for 55 minutes until Maicon’s cross-cum-shot swerved in at the near post and the three points were assured by a rare moment of magic as Robinho laid a second goal on a plate for former Manchester City team-mate Elano, although Ji Yun-nam gave them a late scare by halving the deficit.
The win took Brazil top of Group G, but they did not look particularly convincing in living up to their tag of joint World Cup favourites alongside Spain.
The lack of genuine width seemed to be causing Brazil problems as North Korea’s five-man defence ganged up on Kaka, Luis Fabiano, Robinho and Elano in a congested attacking third and Kim Jong-hun’s team were content to burst forward in small numbers on the break.