Brazil progressed into the quarter-finals of the World Cup to play Holland after a comfortable 3-0 victory over South American rivals Chile.
Dunga’s side were in complete control of the game in Johannesburg, although Chile came out of the blocks firing for the first quarter-of-an-hour.
But after seeing off the early pressure, Brazil soon asserted their authority on the game and took the lead in the 35th minute when Juan headed in Maicon’s corner.
If the opener was not a typical Brazilian goal, their second certainly was. Just three minutes later Kaka slipped in Luis Fabiano and the in-form striker rounded goalkeeper Claudio Bravo before slotting home.
The result was secured just before the hour mark as Robinho picked up the ball after a superb run from Ramires, and he curled it into the far corner from the edge of the area leaving Bravo with no chance.
It has been no easy run for Brazil – they emerged from a ‘Group of Death’ unscathed and with reputations enhanced, and on this evidence the Dutch will need to summon up the spirits of past greats if they are to challenge Dunga’s men.
Kaka remains Brazil’s talisman and the Real Madrid midfielder was impressive on his return from suspension – though he managed to pick up his third booking of the tournament after English referee Howard Webb was unimpressed with his trip on a Chile player.
After Juan had opened the scoring, punishing Chile for their failure to deal with Brazil’s aerial threat at a corner from Maicon, Kaka was heavily involved in the second goal.
Robinho began the move with a burst down the left and an early ball into Kaka in the middle. One brilliant first-time pass split the Chile central defenders asunder and left Fabiano able to skip past keeper Bravo and finish.
Credit too to English linesman Michael Mullarkey for a perfect call to judge the Sevilla striker onside.
The goal made up for Fabiano having dragged his shot wide after being put in the clear by a super ball from Dani Alves.
Brazil had almost drawn first blood earlier through Gilberto Silva, proving in this match and not for the first time that Arsene Wenger committed a rare blunder in disposing of his services two years ago, who hit a fierce long-range effort that Bravo turned aside at full stretch.
Chile’s main hope looked to be through the creative instincts of their gifted 21-year-old Alexis Sanchez, a player being watched by a number of Premier League clubs including Manchester United.
The Udinese player certainly provided Brazil with something to think about with a series of decent touches – one lovely pass for Humberto Suazo promised much but the striker did not match up with a disappointing effort to lob Julio Cesar.
Brazil could afford to take their foot off the gas at half-time, so minimal was the threat posed by Marcelo Bielsa’s Chileans, but they still managed to extend their lead.
Robinho was the man to strike just before the hour mark, curling it effortlessly past Bravo but he had Ramires to thank after a blistering run by the Benfica midfielder.
Alves hit a thunderbolt that must have had Bravo worried but it drifted just wide, before Jorge Valdivia came as close as Chile had managed to a reply, teeing himself up and then firing just over from the edge of the box.
Kaka nearly claimed the goal his performance deserved after a surge down the left by Michel Bastos but was narrowly off target.
Bravo kept the score respectable by denying Robinho and then Suazo neatly turned Lucio – and not many players have done that this tournament – but Julio Cesar beat away his strike.
The game was up for Chile however and Dunga rubbed salt in the wound by taking off Kaka and sending on Kleberson – the player who flopped so dismally at Manchester United – to illustrate Brazil’s overwhelming superiority.
|2||1st Half Goals||0|
|6||Shots on Target||1|
|11||Shots off Target||7|
Man of the match: Tough call between Gilberto Silva and Michel Bastos, but Bastos gets the nod for keeping Chile dangerman Alexis Sanchez quiet.
Moment of the match: Brazil’s second goal was a typical Brazil effort as Robinho, Kaka and Fabiano combined to open up the Chile defence.
Attempt of the match: The hard-working Suazo produced a superb turn and shot inside the box which forced Cesar into his only real save of the game.
Save of the match: Bravo produced a flying save to keep out Gilberto Silva’s powerful shot in the first half.
Talking point: Can anyone stop Brazil as they look strong in defence as well as in attack?
Goal of the game: Kaka provided a superb cushioned pass to Fabiano who coolly rounded the goalkeeper before slotting home.