15th June 2010
Brazil coach Carlos Dunga feels a much improved second half performance was the contributing factor behind in his side’s 2-1 victory over North Korea in their opening match of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The five time World Champions were slow out of the blocks in the openings stages, but goals from Maicon and Elano were enough to send Brazil top of group G despite a late revival from their spirited opponents and Dunga was quick to praise his teams second half performance.
He said, “Every team has to be efficient in the World Cup. We have to have quality to attack and defend with efficiency. In the first half we didn’t play well, we weren’t moving the ball quickly enough. In the second half, it got better,”
“We were faster and created more chances. Obviously we wanted to be scoring goals without conceding any, but the first game is always hard. Conceding goals happens to everyone, it’s a normal thing in football.
Brazil’s attacking intent was clear from the off, with Robinho showboating a couple of traditional side-steps in the opening seconds, but the North Koreans seemed to have their opponents at bay in the opening 45 minutes.
They could have taken a surprise lead in the 10th minute after some clever play by lone striker Tae-Se Jong, who strolled past two defenders but his shot was saved comfortably by Julio Cesar. Robinho and Maicon came close but failed to find an opener for Brazil in the first half.
After the break Dunga’s side seemed to raise their tempo and deservedly took the lead in the 55th minute thanks to either a moment of brilliance or sheer luck. Inter Milan right-back Maicon was given time and space in the penalty area and somehow managed to swerve the ball home from the tightest of angles.
Luis Fabiano wasted a good chance from close range before Elano strengthened Brazil’s lead in the 72nd minute. A superb piece of link up play with Manchester City teammate Robinho allowed the winger to slot home Brazil’s second goal of the game with a well-crafted first time finish.
With minutes left to play, North Korea managed to defy all odds and score against their superior opponents. Ji Yun-nam took control of a knockdown and made a quick dart into the box before firing home a delightful left-footed finish which produced an unlikely nervy finish for the Brazilians.
1 Julio Cesar, 2 Maicon, 3 Lucio (c), 4 Juan, 6 Michel Bastos, 5 Felipe Melo (Ramires, 84 Yellow card), 7 Elano (Daniel, 73), 8 Silva, 10 Kaka (Nilmar, 78), 9 Luis Fabiano, 11 Robinho
1 Myong-Guk Ri , 2 Jong-Hyok Cha, 3 Jun-Il Ri, 5 Kwang-Chon Ri, 13 Chol-Jin Pak, 4 Nam-C Pak, 8 Yun-Nam Ji, 11 In-Guk Mun (K-I Kim, 80), 17 Yong-Hak Ahn, 9 Tae-Se Jong, 10 Yong-Jo Hong (c)