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Brazil ease into quarters
Published : 28 Jun 2010 22:00:03
Brazil's relentless march to the latter stages of this World Cup continued with an effortless 3-0 victory over Chile.
A team combining a potent mix of physique, power and mouthwatering ability were hugely assured in a one-side dismissal of their fellow South Americans to line up a quarter-final with Holland on Friday.
The boys in the famous yellow and blue were in control from virtually the first whistle and goals by Juan, Luis Fabiano and Robinho confirmed their status as tournament favourites.
After Juan had opened the scoring, punishing Chile for their failure to deal with Brazil's aerial threat at a corner from Maicon, Real Madrid playmaker Kaka - returning from suspension after his controversial sending off against the Ivory Coast - was heavily involved in the second goal.
Robinho began the move with a burst down the left and an early ball into Kaka in the middle. One brilliant first-time pass split the Chile central defenders asunder and left Luis Fabiano able to skip past keeper Claudio Bravo and finish.
The goal made up for Luis Fabiano having dragged his shot wide after being put in the clear by a super ball from Dani Alves.
Chile's main hope looked to be through the creative instincts of their gifted 21-year-old Alexis Sanchez, a player being watched by a number of Premier League clubs including Manchester United. The Udinese player certainly provided Brazil with something to think about with a series of decent touches - one lovely pass for Humberto Suazo promised much but the striker did not match up with a disappointing effort to lob Julio Cesar.
Brazil could afford to take their foot off the gas at half-time, so minimal was the threat posed by the Marcelo Bielsa's Chileans, but they still managed to extend their lead. Robinho was the man to strike just before the hour mark, curling it effortlessly past Bravo but he had Ramires to thank after a blistering run by the Benfica midfielder.
Alves hit a thunderbolt that must have had Bravo worried but it drifted just wide, before Jorge Valdivia came as close as Chile had managed to a reply, teeing himself up and then firing just over from the edge of the box.
Kaka nearly claimed the goal his performance deserved after a surge down the left by Michel Bastos but was narrowly off target. Bravo kept the score respectable by denying Robinho and then Suazo neatly turned Lucio but Julio Cesar beat away his strike.