Brazil’s 2-0 victory over Australia on Sunday, guaranteed the team a berth in the final 16, even before it plays its last match against Japan, but the world’s and Brazil’s sports media said the team’s play was sub-par in a game that seemed to be a classic mismatch.
After a scoreless first half, Inter Milan striker Adriano unloaded a left-footed strike into the corner at the 49-minute mark. Reserve striker Fred tapped in a rebound in the final minute.
Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said the important thing was a second-round berth and that Brazil would need time to hit its stride in the Cup. But it was Brazil’s second unconvincing win, after a narrow 1-0 victory over Croatia in the opener, and fans are getting restless.
The team’s "magic quartet" of Kaká, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Adriano seemed anything but wizardly against Australia, which hadn’t qualified for the World Cup since 1974.
Three-time FIFA Player of the Year Ronaldo still looked overweight and immobile, competing with Adriano for the same space on the field.
FIFA’s choice of defensive midfielder Zé Roberto as the game’s outstanding player showed the shortcomings of the offense, the sporting daily Lance said.
The defense also looked suspect. Goalie Dida raced off his line unexpectedly when Australia attacked and left the net unguarded, but the Aussies didn’t have the luck or the cool to capitalize on their chances.
While Brazil is unbeaten and hasn’t allowed a goal in the Cup, its attack hasn’t clicked, two-time FIFA Player of the Year Ronaldinho is scoreless and the offense is the worst since 1990.
Pravda – www.pravda.ru