Brazil beat Australia 2-0, through to next stage
19 June 2006, MUNICH/SYDNEY - Brazil beat Australia 2-0 in Group F on Sunday to become the seventh team to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup. Their performance was an improvement on their first showing against Croatia and Lyon striker Fred, who scored the second goal, said they were content with the improvement and aware of the expectation being placed on them. The striker, who had only been on the pitch two minutes when he scored, said: "It's a difficult tournament and there are lot of good
19 June 2006
MUNICH/SYDNEY - Brazil beat Australia 2-0 in Group F on Sunday to become the seventh team to qualify for the knockout stage of the World Cup.
Their performance was an improvement on their first showing against Croatia and Lyon striker Fred, who scored the second goal, said they were content with the improvement and aware of the expectation being placed on them.
The striker, who had only been on the pitch two minutes when he scored, said: "It's a difficult tournament and there are lot of good teams who don't want to be beaten. There are no easy opponents.
"We are still finding our feet but we are improving from game to game. People expect a lot of us and of course we want to deliver - hopefully getting to the final."
Fred's late strike followed Adriano's goal four minutes into the second half and was a little harsh on Australia who had the chances to take a point from the game.
Their physical approach was in evidence from the start with Vince Grella kicking Ronaldo in the knee on the edge of the box. He escaped without a booking but Brett Emerton didn't moments later when he was booked for dissent after being harshly penalised for a challenge on Roberto Carlos.
Brazil spent much of the early period camped in the Australian half but couldn't find a way through. Ronaldinho even trod on the ball and fell over inside the box as he tried to find room for a shot.
On 28 minutes the Barcelona star flicked a delicate pass to Ronaldo but Craig Moore's lunging tackle took the ball off the striker's foot as he lined up to shoot.
Ronaldo was looking sharper than in his disappointing opening game but on 32 minutes he was booked for putting the ball in the net when the referee had already blown for offside.
The Real Madrid star's misery continued moments later when he kicked fresh air as he tried to connect with Kaka's pass, and then blasted wide when set-up by Adriano. His frustration summed-up Brazil's first half.
Australia had to take injured Tony Popovic off just before the break and bring on Marco Bresciano who curled a shot just over the bar with the last kick of the first 45 minutes.
But despite ending the first half strongly they started the second badly and in the 49th minute they were behind. Ronaldinho fed Ronaldo who squared to Adriano and he found the bottom corner of Mark Schwarzer's net.
Australia had three chances to level inside the next five minutes. Bresciano broke clear but fluffed his shot, Sterjovski fired over and Harry Kewell missed an open goal with his first kick after replacing Cahill.
Kewell fired over from distance on 67 minutes as Australia refused to give up but Brazil were dangerous on the break and Kaka's fine run and shot almost extended the World Champion's lead.
With 18 minutes left Ronaldo was replaced by Robinho and the substitute almost scored twice flicking over from the edge of the six-yard box and having a shot saved from the resulting corner.
"Ronaldo played much better today than he did against Croatia, but he needs more games to find his rhythm," said Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto.
Ten minutes from time Bresciano's spectacular scissor kick was turned round the post by Dida and Kaka headed a Ronaldinho corner against the bar as both sides continued attacking.
With four minutes remaining Australia were still in the game and John Aloisi set-up Mark Viduka who clipped the ball over the advancing Dida and just over the bar.
But Brazil had the last word with their second goal. Robinho, who had impressed since coming on for Ronaldo, fired against a post and Lyon's Fred followed in the rebound to finish off the socceroos.
"It was a fantastic feeling to score the second goal," said the substitute. "As a child I always dreamed of scoring in a World Cup Finals for my country."
Guus Hiddink remained upbeat afterwards. His side had not disgraced themselves and because of Croatia and Japan's draw they are still favourites to qualify. He said: "The players gave everything. We had our chances but unfortunately we just couldn't take them."
Millions of Australians had their hopes of an upset victory over Brazil dashed. It was the biggest game in Australian football history and the wished-for surprise victory would have touched off celebrations not seen since a local boat beat the United States entry in the Americas Cup yacht race in 1983.
Tens of thousands braved rain and 5-degree southern hemisphere winter temperatures to watch the game on giant screens set up in public squares around the nation.
Police in Melbourne closed Federation Square after 10,000 fans crammed the viewing area. In Sydney, fans braved rain to watch the 2 a.m. transmission of the Munich match at screens on the harbour foreshore.
Pubs and clubs across the country disgorged football fans saddened by their team's loss. Many were unlikely to show up for work later on Monday morning.
An estimated 2,500 Brazilian expatriates watched the Samba Kings despatch the Socceroos on screens at the Home nightclub in Sydney's Darling Harbour tourist precinct.
Millions of Australians who had rarely watched a football game caught "Fussball Fieber" when their team posted a shock 3-1 win in their opening match with Japan.
Australia's last World Cup appearance was in Germany in 1974, where the team came away without winning a match or scoring a goal.
National broadcaster SBS was expecting to beat the record it set for the Japan game when 3.3 million tuned in to see Brazil secure a place in the last 16 and their team hope for salvation in the coming Group F game against Croatia.
Employers' groups and politicians are urging bosses not to penalize those who turn up late for work - or don't turn up at all.
DPA with Expatica
Subject: German news