<Argentina 1 – 3 Brazil
Even though the score sheet might not tell the entire story of the match, the better team won last night. Brazil officially qualified for the World Cup in spectacular fashion, in an environment that many thought would be impossible to come out of with three points. Goals were scored by Luisao and my man of the match, Luis Fabiano, who put two in the back of the net. Brazil maintained their lead at the top of the qualifying table, while Argentina remained in fourth, with two points separating them from Ecuador and Colombia.
Looking at the score sheet you would have thought this was a complete dismantling of Argentina. This was far from the case, as Argentina put a good amount of pressure on the Brazilian defense. However this Brazil side maintained complete composure in a difficult environment. The back four, including Andre Santos played a very good match. Felipe Melo and Gilberto Silva did an outstanding job tracking back throughout the match. Kaka’s through ball to Luis Fabiano was world class. Brazil could have easily put a fourth goal on the board if Ramires didn’t have an awful touch on a ball that was beautifully played to him.
Dunga deserves a tremendous amount of credit for having his team completely prepared for this match. This team has only allowed seven goals in qualifying…a stunning number when you think about the quality of attacking that exists in South America. He has instilled a level of professionalism in this squad that did not exist in 2006. He has the team clicking on all cylinders. Brazil is the best team in the world right now.
I’ll let the Argentina fans discuss what exactly happened to them last night. I will say this…playing a world class opponent like Brazil requires a world class team. Argentina certainly has this type of team in their talent pool, unfortunately that wasn’t the team that was called for last night.
Here are my player ratings:
Julio Cesar, 7.5, Made a couple of key saves in the second half after a quiet first half.
Andre Santos, 7, A very solid match for someone who had left a lot to be desired in his previous matches. Saved a potential goal in the first half hustling back to put a head on a ball.
Lucio, 7, Always consistent and strong. Games like this were made for players like him.
Luisao, 7.5, Continues his recent improvement with that national team. Put a great header on the ball for the key first goal.
Maicon, 6.5, Gave a too much room for Datolo to get his shot and subsequent goal off. Other than this he was okay, he’s had better matches though.
Elano, 6, I’m glad he got a start in a match like this. His set pieces are always great, he deserve a ton a credit on the first goal. I thought his overall play in the midfield was poor though. Gave away a lot of balls.
Felipe Melo, 6.5, Was very good defensively, but poor on his passing. He too gave away too many balls.
Gilberto Silva, 7, He was steady all night. Caused a foul in a dangerous area, other than this is he was sound.
Robinho, 5.5, I thought he had a very poor match, and he was pulled early in the second half for Ramires. Same old story with him and that step over. There was one counter Brazil had where he had to put a shot on goal or feed Kaka on the flank…he did neither and gave up the ball
Kaka, 8, Got off to a bit of a slow start, but got better as the game went on. His through ball to Luis Fabiano for the third goal was outstanding.
Luis Fabiano, 8.5, The man of the match who buried any opportunity that came his way. This is a big time striker.
Dani Alves, 6.5
Ramires , 5.5
ARGENTINA 1 X 3 BRASIL
Local: Estádio Gigante de Arroyito, em Rosário (Argentina)
Data: 5 de setembro de 2009, sábado
Horário: 21h30 (de Brasília)
Árbitro: Óscar Ruiz (Colômbia)
Assistentes: Abraham González e Humberto Clavijo (ambos da Colômbia)
Cartões amarelos: Mascherano, Verón (Argentina); Lúcio, Kaká, Luisão, Luís Fabiano, Ramires (Brasil)
Gols: ARGENTINA: Dátolo, aos 20 minutos do segundo tempo; BRASIL: Luisão, aos 23, e Luís Fabiano, aos 30 minutos do primeiro tempo; Luís Fabiano, aos 22 minutos do segundo tempo
ARGENTINA: Andújar; Zanetti, Sebá Dominguez, Otamendi e Heinze; Mascherano, Verón, Dátolo e Máxi Rodríguez (Agüero); Messi e Tevez (Milito) Técnico: Diego Armando Maradona
BRASIL: Júlio César; Maicon, Luisão, Lúcio e André Santos; Gilberto Silva, Felipe Melo, Elano (Daniel Alves) e Kaká; Robinho (Ramires) e Luís Fabiano (Adriano) Técnico: Dunga
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