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Brazil 3-1 Ivory Coast - Match Report
Brazil showed they will be the team to beat at these World Cup finals after crushing a defensive-minded Ivory Coast side 3-1 thanks to a Luis Fabiano brace and a third goal from Elano.
However, their evening was marred when Kaka was sent off in the closing stages after lashing out at Kader Keita in an ill-tempered conclusion to the match.
The five-times World Cup winners only showed in brief glimpses their true quality but they still had far too much for the Elephants who produced another dire performance following their grim goalless draw with Portugal five days earlier.
Dunga opted to start with an unchanged starting line-up while Sven-Goran Eriksson brought in Didier Drogba only for the Chelsea striker to produce a limp display, despite scoring a late consolation goal.
Brazil had been functional in their 2-1 victory against North Korea and played within themselves again until taking the lead in the 25th minute. The ball broke on the edge of the area to Luis Fabiano who strode forward before lashing a shot high into the net from a difficult angle.
The first half was very dull though with Eriksson contriving to set up a team of quality players into a dull, defensive unit. Just before the half-time whistle, Emmanuel Eboue lashed a shot wide but that was as good as it got for the Elephants in the opening 45 minutes.
The match was as good as over five minutes into the second period when Luis Fabiano added a second goal. This time the Sevilla star steered the ball home although there was a hint of handball in the build-up. Boubacar Barry got a hand to the shot but couldn't keep it out.
In the 52nd minute, Aruna Dindane picked out Drogba at the far post but the striker could only guide his header wide of the target.
Ten minutes later one of the best moves of the match ended with Barry parrying Kaka's shot. However, almost immediately Kaka beat his man, got to the byline and pulled the ball pack for Elano to sidefoot his shot into the net with Barry helpless.
The former Manchester City star soon had to be stretchered off the pitch and, as Ivory Coast finally broke free from their shackles, Drogba timed his run to perfection with 11 minutes left as he sent his header past Julio Cesar.
The final ten minutes were extremely fractious and Kaka was booked late on for an off-the-ball incident before being dismissed after clashing with Keita.
Although the Real Madrid star did barge into Keita with his shoulder it was only a minor collision. However, after the Ivorian fell to the ground clutching his face, the referee opted to send Kaka off.
The incident left a nasty taste in the mouth and it could lead to Kaka playing no further part in the tournament.
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