Maicon Helps Brazil Past Resilient Korea DPR
Wednesday, 16th June 2010 at 09:41am
Inter Milan fullback Maicon demonstrated why he is considered the best right back in world football in Johannesburg last night with a piece of Brazilian magic to help Dunga's men overcome a stubborn Korea DPR side on their first finals appearance since 1966.
The five-time champions endured a difficult opening 45 minutes against a Korea side that little is known, and the 1000/1 outsiders ranked 105th in the world caused their illustrious opponents more than a few problems.
Star striker Jong Tae-se was particularly impressive, causing the Brazil defence a number of problems, as the Koreans settled nicely and started to test Brazilian 'keeper Julio Cesar.
Brazil were limited to long-range efforts before the break but took the lead 10 minutes after the restart when Maicon ran onto Elano's pass down the right and from the byeline smashed a swerving shot past Korean goalkeeper Ri Myong-Guk.
Dunga's men found their rhythm after the goal and doubled their lead 17 minutes later when Elano ran onto Robinho's brilliant pass and finished from inside the box.
Rather than capitulate, the Koreans rallied and grabbed a deserved goal in the 89th minute when Ji Yun-Nam finished brilliantly.
In Group G's other match, the Ivory Coast and Portugal fought out a nervy 0-0 draw as neither team was able to score a goal that would make qualification from the group a much easier task.
Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo smashed a shot against the post in the first half and Didier Drogba, a second half substitute, was involved in some of the Ivory Coast's best moments.
Both teams are expected to beat Korea DPR, although after their performance against Brazil that is by no means a guarantee, and it will come down to how many goals they score and how they fare against Brazil.
In Group E, New Zealand registered their first ever goal at the World Cup finals and with it their first ever point when Winston Reid headed in a 93rd minute equaliser to cancel out Robert Vittek's opener after 50 minutes.
Competing in their first World Cup finals as an independent nation, Slovakia took the lead five minutes into the second half when Vittek headed them in front.
Slovakia created a number of other chances but Vladimir Weiss' men were content to sit back as the game neared a close and were punished when Reid headed in at the far post to delight the travelling Kiwi support.