Luis Fabiano and Robinho score to help Brazil beat Chile 3-0 to reach WCup quarterfinalsBy Tales Azzoni, AP
Monday, June 28, 2010
Brazil beats Chile 3-0 to reach WCup quarterfinals
JOHANNESBURG — As Brazil was dismantling Chile, a couple of fans delighted the crowd by parading around the stadium with two giant gold replicas of the World Cup trophy.
Another three games like this and Brazil could be hoisting the real thing — yet again.
With an impressive mixture of symphony-like teamwork and standout individual plays, Brazil routed South American rival Chile 3-0 on Monday night to advance to the quarterfinals. The five-time champions will face the Netherlands, which earlier Monday defeated Slovakia 2-1, on Friday.
“Now it’s a match between two traditional teams with great players,” Brazil captain Lucio said. “Now the matches will get harder and harder.”
Brazil’s players were almost nonchalant after the victory as they shook hands and exchanged hugs. Who can blame them: reaching the later stages may as well be part of Brazil’s World Cup itinerary.
Brazil has now reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup every time since the 1990 tournament in Italy, when it fell 1-0 to Diego Maradona’s Argentina in the second round. Brazil coach Dunga and assistant coach Jorginho were starters in that Brazilian team.
The Brazilians won the 1994 and 2002 World Cups in that span.
“It was a very good performance for Brazil,” playmaker Kaka said. “I’m happy with how we played. It shows that we are improving after each match, just as planned.”
Chile hasn’t beaten Brazil in a decade and didn’t come close, freeing the folks in the stands to do the samba and the singing as the Brazilians moved closer to holding the real prize.
“When our opponent attacks like that, Brazil always creates a lot of chances,” Luis Fabiano said. “That was exactly what happened today and we took advantage of that.”
Juan opened the scoring in the 35th minute at Ellis Park Stadium with a firm header from near the penalty spot off a corner kick. Luis Fabiano added to the lead in the 38th, receiving a one-touch pass from Kaka and dribbling past goalkeeper Claudio Bravo inside the area before hitting the open net.
Robinho scored his first goal in the tournament with a shot from the top of the area in the 59th minute, a one-timer into the far corner. It was Robinho’s seventh goal in Brazil’s last six matches against the Chileans.
Chile is the first South American team eliminated. Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay are in the final eight, and Paraguay plays Japan on Tuesday.
“We leave the tournament knowing that we gave everything on the pitch,” Bravo said. “We are a very fragile team at times. We attack very well, but we have to know when to defend.”
The victory in front of nearly 55,000 fans at Ellis Park extended Brazil’s dominance over Chile. It was the eighth consecutive win; the last loss to Chile was 3-0 in a 2000 qualifier for the 2002 World Cup.
Led by Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa, Chile kept pace with the Brazilians in the beginning, threatening with some quick ball movement on offense.
But Brazil quickly gained control of the match and created some of the most dangerous opportunities. After Juan’s first goal, the Brazilians took advantage of their speedy strikers to keep the pressure on the Chileans.
Bravo already had to work hard on a long-range shot by Gilberto Silva, diving to his left and barely tipping the ball wide. A minute later, Kaka’s low shot from the top of the area also missed.
Humberto Suazo, back in Chile’s starting lineup after missing the loss to Spain, gave the Chileans their first opportunity in the 13th, but his shot from just outside the box was easily saved by goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Chile was trying to advance past the second round for the first time since its home tournament in 1962, when it lost to eventual champion Brazil in the semifinals. Chile also lost to Brazil the last time it reached the round of 16, 4-1 in 1998 in France.
Brazil again was without regular Elano because of a right ankle injury, and coach Dunga also could not count on defensive midfielder Felipe Melo because of a left ankle problem. It didn’t matter.
Kaka did not play against Portugal because of a red card in the previous match, while Robinho was rested because of a minor left thigh ailment. They certainly were ready Monday night.
Chile was without several starters, including central defenders Gary Medel and Waldo Ponce because of yellow card suspensions, while Marco Estrada was suspended for being ejected against Spain.
Tags: 2010 Fifa World Cup, Africa, Brazil, Chile, Dunga, Durban, Events, Felipe melo, International Soccer, Johannesburg, Latin America And Caribbean, Robinho, South Africa, South America, Southern Africa, World Cup