By Ollie Irish
This was more like it – not a great match but still a significant improvement on most of what’s gone before. Robinho was absolutely brilliant for Brazil, so much so that any Man City fans watching must have been thinking, “Cheeky bastard, why didn’t he play like that for us?” Michel Bastos was ace too, a real livewire down the left for Dunga’s side. It’s not all rosy for Brazil though: Kaka was weak, as he was for Real Madrid all season, and No.1 striker Luis Fabiano never looked like scoring. But under Dunga, Brazil looks solid enough to go a long way in the tournament, especially with Robinho in such dazzling form.
The Koreans were very impressive in the first half, working super hard as a team – take note, England – and using the ball efficiently if without flair. They lost their way after Maicon scored from a ridiculously tight angle, but rallied late with a superb Ji Yun Nam goal on to keep Brazil honest in the closing minutes. On this evidence, the so-called whipping boys in Group G will give both Portugal and Ivory Coast a good workout.
So did Maicon mean it? He claims he did, pointing to a similar goal he scored against the Portuguese in a friendly back in 2008:
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Who are we to argue? Our man love for Maicon is well documented, after all. He’s certainly good enough to smash the ball home from that position.