Zimbabwe 0-3 Brazil: ‘Samba Kings’ given rough ride by ‘The Warriors’

2nd June 2010 | World Cup Betting category: Football World Cup News
Football World Cup News

In what appeared a peculiar match up at first glance actually presented several sub-plots, as well as a thoroughly entertaining affair in Harare. Zimbabwe, ranked 113 in the world, were the hosts as they competed against a nation which topped the latest FIFA Rankings in World Cup kings Brazil. The South American’s were looking to stretch their unbeaten run over African sides further while the Zimbabwe players were aiming to become the first Zimbabwians to score against the five-time World champs. As far as we’re aware, Brazil’s final warm up after this trip to Zimbabwe would be against Tanzania, so considering this was their one and only friendly since the beginning of March it was a bizarre decision from the Brazil management to pencil in a game which, on paper anyway, wouldn’t test their Brazilian squad.

 

There were conspiracies before kick-off with news that Brazil were paid $1.8Mil to play this friendly in Zimbabwe and that Brazil, because they were being paid a handsome amount, weren’t going to turn up and send the home fans home deflated with a hammering of their ‘Warriors’ side. And with 30 minutes of the game gone and Zimbabwe unlucky not to have taken the lead on no less than three occasions, those pre-match rumours were beginning to sound a tad realistic. Even we were caught off guard however by the pace of some of Zimbabwe’s players, as well was Lucio, with the Inter Milan stalwart run ragged in the opening exchanges and exposed by outright pace.

With half-an-hour played, onlookers would have been forgiven for thinking Zimbabwe were the team ranked No. 1 in the world after carving out numerous opportunities. Brazil aren’t five-time World Cup winners without having a shade of luck by their side and although their first goal on 42 minutes had nothing to do with luck – Michael Bastos scoring a sublime free-kick, leathering his shot into the top left-hand corner of the goal – the fact Brazil spent the majority of the first quarter under the cosh but still managed to etch out the first goal displays the characteristics of a successful side. If the hosts felt they were hard done by with Brazil’s delightful opener, the ‘Samba Kings’ second just two minutes later will have been like daggers to the heart, Robinho doubling Brazil’s lead.

 

Kaka, amongst a couple others, was replaced at half-time after picking up a knock in the first half. Julio Cesar, Brazil’s commander between the sticks, exited proceedings ever earlier, after just 25 minutes in fact, and we await news of a likely injury. Daniel Alves and Julio Baptista made appearances in the second half and the pair linked up nicely for Brazil’s third, with Elano capping off a swift one-touch move by tapping into an empty net. And that’s how the game in Harare finished, with Brazil eventually winning a touch cosily. Zimbabwe though, despite first impressions, provided Dunga’s men with a stern test this afternoon, especially at the back. It was also intruiging to see how the Brazil back four coped with some pacey Zimbabwe individuals, and the results weren’t good. Something Dunga will need to work on in the remaining few days before Brazil take on North Korea on June 15th.

The 3-0 win also ensured Brazil avoided crashing to their first ever defeat to an African side, although their unbeatable record against African opponents will be well and truly on the line when they face arguably the toughest African nation in South Africa, Sven Goran Eriksson’s Ivory Coast on June 20th.

Dunga will lead Brazil into battle one final time before the finals, with Selecao put through their paces for a final time against Tanzania on June 9th.

 

Goals: M. Bastos, Robinho and Elano

World-Cup-Betting MOTM: Michael Bastos – Looked lively at left-back, bombing forward with real intent and purposes but was equally impressive when having to track back and get in a tackle. Looks to have cemented that full-back position ahead of finals.



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