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FIFA World Cup: Brazil deliver a masterclass to Chile; romp into Quarters with 3-0 win

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robinho.jpgBrazil delivered a footballing lesson to their fellow South Americans from Chile as they cantered into the quarter finals by an impressive margin of 3-0. The ‘Dunga way of football' was at its prominent best as the Samba boys defended stoutly and then hit the adventurous Chileans on the break. Goals from Juan and Fabiano in the first half had for most onlookers sealed the tie; but a third from a sumptuous finish from Robinho merely added the icing on the cake. The Chileans on their part didn't play badly; it was just that they encountered the most successful nation in World Cup history at their efficient best.

The Brazilians are now up against the Dutch in the quarter finals in what seems on paper the first real test for Dunga's men. The Dutch have silently but effectively got the results in the tournament so far and play in a similar fashion to the Brazilians - with two holding midfielders, lone striker and three men supporting him. It promises to be a humdinger of a clash on Friday, 2nd July at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium when the two footballing heavyweights are involved in a battle for a place in the last four of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

World Cup favourites Brazil took on their South American counterparts Chile in the last 16 encounter at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, knowing all too well that it would only need a single mistake to dismantle their promising campaign. Carlos Alberto Dunga's men came out of the ‘Group of Death' unscathed and that ensured their rightful position among the favourites of this World Cup. Chile on the other hand has surprised quite a few of the footballing fraternity with their tenacious, but attacking displays. Under Argentine coach Marcelo Bielsa, the Chileans have turned into a compact unit capable of turning the tables on their more fancied opponents.

Brazil welcomed back Robinho and Kaka following a 0-0 draw against Portugal; though Felipe Melo and Elano missed out due to injury. Dani Alves was picked in the advance role down the right while Ramires joined Gilberto Silva in the midfield engine room. Chile on the other hand, were deprived of Gary Medel, Waldo Ponce and Marco Estrada due to suspensions. They were replaced by Pablo Contreras and Ismael Fuentes in the defence, while Carlos Carmona bolstered the three-man midfield. Mati Fernandez was surprisingly excluded from the starting line up despite returning from suspension. With the Chileans' propensity to go out for goals and play an expansive brand of football and the Samba Boys' new found zeal to attack on the counter; the match seemed destined for some great action.

Chile started on the right note as they continued with their attacking philosophy and had the better of the early half chances. Luis Fabiano shot narrowly wide in the 5th minute to signal his intent as Chile gave signs of being caught on the counter. Gilberto Silva then tried his long lost shooting boots with an effort from nearly 30 yards in the 9th minute. Chile keeper Bravo had to dive full length to fist the ball to relative safety. Ramires followed his midfield partner in the 15th minute but his dipping effort was held onto by Bravo. Brazil definitely were looking the stronger of the two; they were compact at the back and attacked at pace to exploit the pockets of space Chile left behind when they pushed forward.

Chile then survived a possible penalty appeal around the half hour mark when Lucio got his legs taken away by a poor challenge from Contreras. Brazil's domination finally paid off in the 34th minute when central defender Juan headed them into the lead from a Maicon corner. It was poor defending from the Chileans as Juan (along with Fabiano and Lucio) were left free in the middle and Juan made them pay for their indiscretions. Brazil added a second 4 minutes later with a patent counter attack of the ‘Dunga era'. The star triumvirate of Robinho, Kaka and Fabiano combined in lethal fashion to give Brazil one foot in the quarter finals against the Dutch. Luis Fabiano's cool finish and Kaka's vision to pick him out with the silkiest of touches of the ball were clearly from a different planet.

At the break, the Chileans were a demoralised lot. They hadn't played badly but were simply overrun by their more talented South American counterparts. For Dunga and his boys, it was now a matter of continuing with the same philosophy - sit back and hit on the counter. The second half started with Chile trying to string some passes around the edge of the Brazilian box.The death knell though came at the hour mark when Robinho provided a sublime finish into the back of the net after Ramires had skipped past a trio of Chilean challenges. It was a master class from the Samba boys to their fellow South American neighbours, who for all their enterprise had hardly threatened Julio Cesar. Dani Alves almost made it four for the Brazilians when his shot from 35 yards swerved just wide of the Chile goal with Bravo rooted to his spot.

Another flowing counter attack from Brazil in the 74th minute saw Robinho greasing the palms of Bravo. Chile finally had Julio Cesar diving full stretch in the 76th minute when a neat turn from Suazo and a rasping shot brought the best out of the keeper. Two minutes later, the Chilean striker was in action again as his volley into the ground bounced off the crossbar. Beausejour then flashed a drilled ball across the 6 yard area but there was no team mate of his to tap the invitation home. The final whistle came soon enough and put the Chileans out of their misery.

The Brazilians now go to their first big test as they take on a Netherlands side that has slowly but steadily reached this far without much fuss. The Dutch have been getting the results and with players of the calibre of Van Persie, Sneijder and Robben in their ranks, the Samba boys would be in for a tough test. Chile on the other hand, go out of the tournament with their heads held high on the back of some impressive performances. Their attacking endeavours won them rave reviews, and in winger Alexis Sanchez, they may have unearthed the next big name from the South American continent. Their decision to leave out Fernandez today was mightily perplexing, and the suspensions to key players exposed their lack of depth in the squad. Sadly, the game saw a little too much feigning of injury, and that took some of the gloss away from what was otherwise an entertaining encounter.

Teams:

Brazil: Cesar, Juan, Lucio, Maicon, Bastos, Ramires, Gilberto, Alves, Robinho (Gilberto Melo 85'), Kaka (Kleberson 81'), Fabiano (Nilmar 76')

Chile: Bravo, Jara, Contreras (Tello 45'), Fuentes, Isla (Millar 62'), Carmona, Beausejour, Vidal, Gonzalez (Valdivia 45'), Suazo, Sanchez

Brazil 3-0 Chile
Juan 34'
Fabiano 38'
Robinho 59'

Also Read: Netherlands 2-1 Slovakia (Match Report)

Robinho Photograph Copyright: Reto Stauffer

Other Photos by 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa

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