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WORLD CUP: Brazil find form to see off brave North Korea

Brazil deserved their 2-1 victory over a North Korea side who made one of the tournament favourites work hard for the three points. Brazil have appeared at every World Cup and this clash pitched the highest ranked team in the competition with North Korea, the lowest ranked.

Yet at the end of a scoreless first half the difference in pedigree between the two sides was hard to determine.

North Korea were marvellously marshalled at the back as Brazil dominated for long periods, yet were limited to long range efforts.

Man of the Match Robinho was always Brazil's biggest threat and the best chances all fell to the Manchester City player but Korea had their moments on the break with lone striker Tae-Se Jong catching the eye.

Brazil looked frustrated as they walked off at half time but got the early goal they needed to relax and turn on the style.

Sisenando Maicon charged own the right, broke into the penalty area, and from a tight angle swerved the ball between keeper Myong-Guk Ri and the near post.

If Brazil gained in confidence from this goal, suddenly knocking the ball around with confidence and finding gaps in their opponents defence, North Korea began to look ragged and their neat passing game disappeared.

The Samba kings doubled their lead when the outstanding Robinho played a wonderfully weighted ball into the path of Blumer Elano who finished clinically with 19 minutes remaining.

Credit to the North Koreans for not giving up and late on Yun-Nam Ji burst clear and lifted the ball over the advancing Soares Julio Cesar.

This ensured a couple of nervy minutes for the Brazilians before the final whistle.

However, on their second half performance Brazil, and Robinho in general, set down a marker to the tournament that they are beginning to find their flair and form. Starting Line-Ups


1. Soares Julio Cesar 2. Sisenando Maicon 3. Ferreira Lucio 4. Silveira Juan 6. Fernandes Michel Bastos 5. De Carvalho Felipe Melo (Ramires, 84) 8. Gilberto Silva 7. Blumer Elano (Daniel, 73) 10. Ricardo Kaka (Nilmar, 78) 11. De Souza Robinho 9. Clemente Luis Fabiano SUBS

12. Heurelho Gomes (GK) 22. Alexander Doni (GK) 13. da Silva Dani Alves 14. Anderson Luisao 15. Emiliano Thiago Silva 16. Da Silva Gilberto 17. Anunciado Josue 18. Nascimento Ramires 19. Cesar Julio Baptista 20. Jose Kleberson 21. Honorato da Silva Nilmar 23. Libano Batista Grafite NKOR

1. Myong-Guk Ri 2. Jong-Hyok Cha 13. Chol-Jin Pak 4. Nam-Chol Pak 5. Kwang-Chon Ri 11. In-Guk Mun (K-I Kim, 80) 3. Jun-Il Ri 8. Yun-Nam Ji 10. Yong-Jo Hong 17. Yong-Hak Ahn 9. Tae-Se Jong


18. Myong-Gil Kim (GK) 20. Myong-Won Kim (GK) 6. Kum-il Kim 7. Chol-Hyok An 12. Kum-Chol Choe 14. Nam-Chol Pak 15. Yong-Jun Kim 16. Song-Chol Nam 19. Chol-Myong Ri 21. Kwang-Hyok Ri 22. Kyong-Il Kim 23. Sung Hyok Pak

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