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Fab Fabiano inspires Brazil

June 20th, 2010

Fabiano is the man of the moment in Soccer City

Kaka sent off in dying minutes of enthralling Group G clash

A superb double from Luis Fabiano inspired Brazil to a fine 3-1 win over the Ivory Coast in Johannesburg, securing their place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s Elephants headed into the game at Soccer City in optimistic mood, having held Portugal to a 0-0 draw in their opening Group G clash, but they were outplayed by a Brazil side who can now go into their last group match in relaxed mood.

Fabiano opened the scoring in the 25th minute after being fed into the area by Kaka, smashing the ball into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

The Sevilla striker’s second was a joy to behold as, despite suspicions of handball, he lifted the ball over two defenders before waiting for it to drop and finishing past the goalkeeper five minutes after half-time.

Kaka laid a goal on a plate for Elano to slot home Brazil’s third in the 62nd minute, before Drogba headed a consolation home for the Ivory Coast with just over 10 minutes remaining.

However, the match ended on a sour note as Kaka was shown his marching orders in the dying minutes for two yellow cards – the second of which was extremely harsh.

The game nearly started with a bang as Robinho picked the ball up in the Ivory Coast half in the first minute and drove forward before unleashing a shot that flew narrowly over the bar.

It was a rare attempt that came close to troubling either goalkeeper in the early stages, as both sides were feeling their way into the tie.

Ambitious

Didier Drogba, starting a game for the first time since fracturing his arm, then tried an ambitious attempt from a long-range free-kick in the 13th minute that flew high and wide.

The Ivory Coast skipper was involved again on the quarter-of-an-hour mark after theatrically going down near the left touchline following a tussle with Lucio.

Emmanuel Eboue whipped in the free-kick but Julio Cesar came out well to punch the ball away and avert the danger.

The contest then ebbed and flowed before Brazil broke the deadlock with 25 minutes gone thanks to a fantastic finish from Fabiano.

Robinho and Kaka were involved in the build-up outside the area on the right as Kaka fed the ball through to the Sevilla man, who rifled a shot into the roof of the net from a difficult angle.

It gave goalkeeper Boubacar Barry no chance and the Brazilian fans inside Soccer City voiced their appreciation of a fine finish.

Dunga’s side then dominated possession but the African outfit stayed strong and did not give away any opportunities, and Aruna Dindane hit a first-time effort towards goal in the 37th minute that was blocked.

Dindane half-heartedly appealed for handball and a consequent penalty, but the referee was having none of it.

The former Portsmouth man then tried a crack from range that was comfortably saved by Cesar, before Eboue tried his luck from similar distance – his effort flying wide.

After the break, it went from bad to worse for the Ivory Coast as Fabiano doubled Brazil’s lead with a superb individual effort just five minutes from the restart.

While his initial control on the right edge of the area suggested a handball, the 29-year-old then took the ball over Siaka Tiene and Didier Zokora with his left-foot before hitting the ball past the keeper.

It was a fine piece of play worthy of winning any match, despite the suspicions of handball.

Response

Eriksson’s side responded well and in the 54th minute Dindane got down the right to cross for Drogba at the back post, but the Chelsea man headed it just wide.

However, Brazil put the nail in the coffin just after the hour mark when Elano scored their third.

Kaka was once again involved as he was fed in down the left, before using a burst of pace to make half a yard in which to slide the ball across goal and Elano finished with aplomb.

The former Manchester City midfielder was on the receiving end of a crunching challenge from Cheik Tiote soon later though, and was forced off with what looked like a nasty injury.

Drogba had the final say in the game as, following a surge forward from substitute Gervinho, the ball came to Yaya Toure who chipped a ball over for the powerful forward to head into the corner after a well-timed run.

The tone of the game turned fiery for the last 10 minutes, as tempers flared following a string of tough tackles.

And it ended on a sour note as Kader Keita went down theatrically after running into Kaka, and the referee showed the Brazil midfielder an unnecessary second yellow card to send him off – his first coming just three minutes earlier for dissent.

By James Riach

http://www.skysports.com


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