You have to hand it to Chile – to keep fighting in the face of a loss takes something special, but to do so when Brazil is handing out a football lesson is quite simply astounding. Hats off to Chile, they were very brave. But stopping Brazil was as possible as stopping global warming. The match ended Brazil 3, Chile 0.
The Chileans were undone by one thing: they lack a world-class finisher. In the first 15 minutes, they were all but camped in the Brazilian half and looked like they were on the verge of another classic World Cup upset, but simply could not contend with the combined fire-power of Kaka, Robinho and Luis Fabiano.
Humberto Suazo was the one player who stood out for the Chileans, almost always at the right place to make a shot. It is just a dreadful shame that he didn’t manage to score, considering how hard he worked for it.
For Brazil, it was a magnificent display of Dunga’s philosophy: a fast-flowing defence commanded by the captain Lucio, and an even faster attack led by Kaka and Robinho. Even though we’ve pointed out the weaknesses in this strategy, the Samba Boys have yet to meet an opponent tough and wily enough to pry these faults wide open.
With Kaka playing after sitting out a one-match ban, Brazil’s attack was far more dangerous than we’d seen against Portugal. His presence freed Luis Fabiano up to play his attacking role, where he’s far more comfortable, as opposed to the deeper position he was forced to play in the game against Portugal.
Brazil face the Netherlands in their quarter final match, and you’d be hard pressed to pick an obvious winner. Brazil’s devastating attacks versus the Netherlands’ careful, almost ponderous build-ups: can’t wait to see that.
Here are this reporter’s notes:
Brazil: Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Juan, Michel Bastos, Ramires, Gilberto Silva, Dani Alves, Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano.
Chile: Claudio Bravo; Mauricio Isla, Pablo Contreras, Ismael Fuentes, Arturo Vidal, Mark Gonzalez, Carlos Carmona, Gonzalo Jara, Humberto Suazo, Jean Beausejour, Alexis Sanchez.
Referee: Howard Webb (England)
Chile are not buggering around in the opening minutes of the match. They’re camped in the Brazilian half, and causing Dunga some discomfort. Dunga’s the Brazilian coach, if you didn’t know.
- 4th minute: Brazil have their first break of the match, and Luis Fabiano crosses the ball instead of shooting. Ey? He had all the space in the world, and decided to pass it to nobody.
- 9th minute: Gilberto Silva drives a ferocious shot at the Chilean goal. Claudio Bravo pulls off a spectacular save.
You wound the Brazilian beast at your own peril…
Chile have seven men in that box whenever Brazil attack. The uber-defensive strategy has worked so far. Robinho and Kaka have been reduced to taking hopeful stabs at the goal from afar.
- 13th minute: Humberto Suazo does well to control a long pass, and squeezes past the two Brazilian central defenders to shoot. I don’t think he expected to get away with that, and the shot tells. It was half-hearted, at best.
- 15th minute: Ramires has a shot from way out, and predictably, it ends up Claudio Bravo’s arms.
- 24th minute: Optimistic shot by Beausejour goes nowhere near Julio Cesar’s goal. The shot took the slightest of deflections off Maicon’s leg, so it’s a corner to Chile.
- 26th minute: Free kick to Brazil. Maicon loops it towards Lucio on the far end of the Chilean penalty area, but can’t find him.
- 27th minute: Is that a penalty to Brazil? Lucio’s leg was caught in a vice by Carlos Carmona’s legs, but the referee didn’t see it. In all fairness to Howard Webb, he had quite a few players blocking his view.
- 29th minute: free kick to Chile after Kaka whips Arturo Vidal’s legs from under him. Yellow card to Kaka, the third of this tournament. Suazo’s free kick is smacked right into the Brazilian wall.
It’s been a frustrating World Cup for football’s golden boys, hasn’t it? Rooney not scoring. Drogba being hampered by injury. Cannavaro sent home in the third round of the group stages. Kaka picking up yellow cards like they’re sponsorships. Actually, both Rooney and Drogba have also been sent home already.
Photo: Brazil’s Juan (2nd L) heads the ball to score against Chile during a 2010 World Cup second round soccer match at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
- 34th minute: Beautiful header by Juan! He had four of his teammates jostling for the corner cross, and no challenger from the Chilean defenders. Simple and beautiful.
- 35th minute: Brazil are on a rampage here. Kaka and Robinho slice the Chilean defence up to set Luis Fabiano up for a shot. The Sevilla hit man then dances around Bravo to fire into the empty net.
Brazil make it look so easy.
- 39th minute: Ismael Fuentes goes into Webb’s book for a clumsy shove on Luis Fabiano. Yellow card. The Chileans are like deer caught in the headlights at the moment, reacting fearfully to the Brazilian attacks.
- 41st minute: Michel Bastos drives across the face of goal.
- 44th minute: Maicon sets Fabiano up for a shot with a pin-pointed header, and Fabiano smacks it straight over the poles with his head.
End of the first half.
Chile make two substitutions to try to shore things up. Rodrigo Tello and Jorge Valdivia come on for Mark Gonzalez and Pablo Contreras.
- 47th minute: Arturo Vidal gets a yellow card for barging into Kaka. Silly place to give a yellow card. Dani Alves takes the free kick, and almost repeats his Confederations Cup goal that sunk South Africa. The ball doesn’t dip as wonderfully as it did last year.
- 50th minute: Free kick to Chile after Gilberto Silva chops away at Valdivia’s legs. Silva protests his innocence and gets waved away by Webb for his troubles.
Has any player ever turned a referee’s decision, ever?
- 55th minute: Brazil get a corner, and Juan lurks again, but this time the Chileans get it away.
Chile are falling for the oldest trick in the book – they’ve been caught time and again pushing too many men forward, and Brazil are punishing them through counter-attacks.
- 59th minute: Yep, there you go. Ramires makes a run into the heart of the Chilean defence, but Robinho chips the final ball in.
- 63rd minute: Rodrigo Tello has an opportunity to add some respectability to the score-line with a free kick, but lets the moment get to him and smashes the ball against the wall.
- 66th minute: Chile are not going down quietly. Valdivia bends the ball just a little too high to test Cesar.
You’ve got to admire Chile’s balls.
- 68th minute: Well, those aren’t the kind of balls we’re looking for here. Ismael Fuentes gets a yellow card for a harsh tackle on Fabiano.
- 69th minute: Michel Bastos sets Kaka up for a shot from about the same area that Robinho scored from, but the Real Madrid man’s shot is overshot.
- 71st minute: A yellow card for Ramires for a kick on Alexis Sanchez. If there’s one thing that the Confederations Cup taught us, it’s that Ramires has yellow cards in him.
- 74th minute: Robinho nips in behind the Chilean defence on the right flank, and charges in to shoot from angle, but can’t beat Bravo this time.
- 75th minute: That was excellent from Humberto Suazo. He turns Lucio inside-out and drives at goal, prompting a save from Cesar.
- 75th minute: Fabiano comes off for Nilmar.
- 76th minute: Robinho goes just a little too early, and is caught offside. Very nearly 4-0 there.
- 77th minute: Suazo is giving it everything he’s got. His curling shot just touches the top of Cesar’s goal and goes out.
- 81st minute: Kleberson comes on for Kaka.
Photo: Chile’s Arturo Vidal reacts and cries after the 2010 World Cup second round soccer match against Brazil at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
- 84th minute: Chile drift slowly wide of Brazil’s penalty area, Beausejour finally summoning the courage to shoot. The ball skitters across goal face for a goal kick.
- 86th minute: Gilberto Mello comes on for Robinho.
- 90th minute: Ramires skies the ball ridiculously.
- 90th minute: Chile are still huffing and puffing. Valdivia pounces after Lucio makes an error, and shoots just wide.
- 92nd minute: Bastos beats two defenders and then anticlimactically blasts the ball wide.
End of the match.
By Sipho Hlongwane
Main photo: Brazil’s Luis Fabiano (9) celebrates his goal with team mates during the 2010 World Cup second round soccer match against Chile at Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg June 28, 2010. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach