Jun 16, 2010
Brazil found the going surprisingly tough against North Korea but they finished with a 2-1 victory in their Group G match of the 2010 World Cup at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Maicon scored a miraculous goal for Brazil in the 55th minute to give Brazil the lead, before Elano put the South Americans up by two goals with a quality strike on 72 minutes.
Not many gave North Korea much hope against the might of Brazil and most expected the floodgates to open after Brazil’s second goal , but not only did the Koreans serve it up to the five time champion, they managed to score a late goal when Ji scored in the 89th minute.
Brazil were made to work in the first half and the North Koreans employed flooding type tactics to make sure the Brazilians task was much harder than what they would have expected.
Unable to find a clear path through the Asian’s defence for much of the half, Brazil had a couple of half chances with Kaka and Elano but nothing come to fruition.
Brazil kept on the attack with Baston and Maicon having shots that were never going to find the net and the South Americans were just not able to find a way to goal.
North Korea managed to get forward at times and showed plenty of spunk when they did, with Cha Jong-Hyok and Ri Kwang-Chon busy.
The Asian side more than held their own against the number one ranked side in the world.
The Brazilians were not at their best and they were stifled by North Korea for the first half with the score 0-0 at half-time much to most soccer pundits surprise.
First half rating (Out of 5): Brazil 3.5 – North Korea 3
Brazil upped the ante in the second half and they started to break down the North Korean defence with more accuracy in their passing.
On 55 minutes Maicon was responsible for one of the goals of the tournament when he ran onto a ball heading towards the goal line and his right foot lunge at the ball made it swerve towards goal to beat the keeper at his near post in extraordinary circumstances.
It was probably an attempted pass more than anything but will go down in history as one of the great goals of the World Cup.
The relief for Brazil was evident as they started to play with more freedom and creativity and started to look like the Brazil of old.
A sublime Robinho pass split the Korean defence on 72 minutes and found Elano who slotted home a perfectly timed second goal for Brazil.
Brazil attacked further with Kaka, Robinho and Nilmar all having cracks without adding to the scoreline.
North Korea rocked Brazil on 89 minutes when Ji Yun-Nam broke through the Brazilian defence with purpose and accuracy to find the back of the net and give Chollima a well earned goal.
Brazil won the game as expected but not many would have guessed a 2-1 scoreline.
Second Half rating (Out of 5): Brazil 4 – North Korea 3.0
Brazil 2 – 1 North Korea
55m Maicon (Br)
72m Elano (Br)
88m Yun-Nam Ji (NK)
88m Ramires (Br)
Brazil Starting 11
Maicon, Lucio, Juan, Michel Bastos, Elano, Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo, Kaka, Robinho, Luis Fabiano
73m Daniel Alves for Elano
78m Nilmar for Kaka
84m Ramires for Felipe Melo
North Korea Starting 11
Myong-Guk Ri, Jong-Hyok Cha, Chol-Jin Pak, Nam-Chol Pak, Kwang-Chon Ri, In-Guk Mun, Jun-Il Ri, Yun-Nam Ji, Yong-Hak An, Yong-Jo Hong, Tea-Se Jong
80m Kum-Il Kim for In-Guk Mun
Team Game Rating (out of 10): Brazil 7.5 – North Korea 6
North Korea would have surprised many with their tenacity and willingness to take it up to the Brazilians in this match. Portugal and Ivory Coast would have been expecting easy games against the Koreans but if they bring the same game they played tonight then they will make a game of it.
Brazil had a couple of passengers on the night and some big names are not what they once were. Good sides win when the going gets tough and Brazil did what they had to do and will not only improve from that hit out, they will also learn from it and be better for it.
Positives: Got the job done when things were looking grim against an opponent determined to nullify them.
Area to Improve: First half was not typical Brazil and second half was much better and room for improvement.
Where to now: Tackle the Ivory Coast next and will need to bring their A game to the table to get over the line.
Positives: Kept the number one ranked team in the world goalless until the 55th minute of the game with some enterprising play.
Area to Improve: Played the best in the world and will learn plenty going forward.
Where to now: Take on Portugal and will do so with plenty of confidence. On Portugal’s showing against Ivory Coast the Koreans may be able to emply the same negating tactics to frustrate the Portugeuse.
Filed Under: 2010 World Cup