FIFA CONFEDERATIONS CUP

Zentralstadion, Leipzig, Germany

Referee: 0

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Brazil

  • Adriano 41'
  • Robinho 46'
  • Juninho 81'

3 - 0

FT

Brazil 3-0 Greece: Adriano wonder goal

LEIPZIG, Germany, June 16 (Reuters) - World champions Brazil scored an emphatic 3-0 win over European champions Greece on Thursday, with a stunning goal by Adriano the highlight of their opening Group B Confederations Cup match.

The striker's inswinging left-foot shot from 30 metres

embarrassed Greek goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis as it flew

past him at his near post after 41 minutes.

But while Adriano grabbed some of the spotlight, Robinho

gave further evidence he is on his way to becoming Brazil's next

great player with a superb solo performance, capped by their

second goal and the Man of the Match award.

The 21-year-old Santos striker, coveted by many of Europe's

richest clubs, scored in the 46th minute after Gilberto surged

through the Greek defence unchallenged before crossing for him

to steer the ball home unmarked at the far post.

Substitute Juninho Pernambucano added Brazil's third in the

81st minute, just four minutes after replacing Kaka, firing home

a superbly executed free-kick from 20 metres out.

Along with the award, Robinho's third goal in his eighth

full international won the praise of coach Carlos Alberto

Parreira.

'Robinho is a reality' he said. 'He is a treasure for us. He

has such skill, such personality, so much talent and he is so

young.

'This was a big occasion for him playing a tough match

against the European champions and he did very very well.'

Brazil were the better team in a match that was evenly

balanced for most of the first half, before opening up in the

second as Greece were forced out of their shell.

CREATING CHANCES

'I was very pleased with the way we played, we were a real

team today. We created plenty of chances and played very well

defensively,' Parreira said.

'It was a very good start to the competition for us. This is

the Confederations Cup, not the World Cup, but it had the

feeling of the World Cup about it.'

Despite their typically robust defending, often with seven

or eight men behind the ball, Brazil's superior technique told

as the artistry of Ronaldinho, Robinho, Kaka and Adriano found

increasingly large gaps in the Greek defence.

Greece could have gone ahead as early as the second minute,

though, when the unmarked Sotirios Kyrgiakos wasted a clear

header.

It was their last clearcut chance until first-half stoppage

time when Angelos Haristeas swept the ball into the side netting

with only Brazilian keeper Dida to beat.

Brazil missed a good chance after 17 minutes when Ronaldinho

jinked his way past a defender to set up Robinho for a rasping

shot which Nikopolidis saved superbly.

Kyrgiakos was a tower for Greece at the back and followed

Adriano like a shadow all over the pitch, but was powerless to

stop him scoring four minutes before the break.

Kyrgiakos had only just returned to the field after being

treated for a leg injury and for once allowed some daylight

between himself and Adriano, who took full advantage.

Robinho could also have doubled Brazil's lead with the last

kick of the first half when he volleyed high and wide unmarked

at the far post - although he made up for that seconds after

the break with Brazil's second.

With the likes of Cafu, Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo all

missing from this squad, Parreira is testing younger players

like right-back Cicinho and Robinho, who both acquitted

themselves well.

Greece's German coach Otto Rehhagel, starting the match with

eight of the players who won Euro 2004 a year ago, saw his team

play with their usual gritty defensive strength.

But the Brazilian rearguard, helped by an outstanding Roque

Junior, performed even better and in the end, there was only one

team in it.

Rehhagel admitted: 'It was a special feeling for us today,

there were so many Greek fans here.

'It was just a shame it was not a more open match and I wish

we could have put up more of a fight against them. I think we

played better in the second half but it was against Brazil and

it is always difficult against Brazil.

'You can't do much against a bomb like that from Adriano.

You can't shut Brazil down for 90 minutes.'

Mexico beat Japan 2-1 in the other Group B match played

earlier on Thursday.

Scoring Summary

  • Brazil
  • Greece
Adriano (41')
Robinho (46')
Juninho (81')
 

Match Stats

  • Brazil
  • Greece
9(5) Shots (on goal) 6(2)
9 Fouls 9
3 Corner kicks 1
3 Offsides 2
0% Time of Possession 0%
1 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
3 Saves 4

Teams

  • Brazil
  • Greece
Substitutes
Substitutions
Renato for Ronaldinho (71')
Ricardo Oliveira for Adriano (72')
Juninho for Kaká (77')
Yellow Cards