• FT

    New Zealand




  • FT

    Ivory Coast




  • FT



    North Korea



Ellis Park, Johannesburg, South Africa

Referee: Viktor Kassai | Attendance: 54331

* Local time based on your geographic location.


  • Maicon 55'
  • Elano 72'

2 - 1


North Korea

  • Ji Yun-Nam 89'

Brazil 2-1 North Korea: Brazil see off brave Koreans

Brazil began their quest for a sixth world crown with victory over North Korea

at Ellis Park but it was far from a vintage display from Dunga's men against

hard-working opposition.

• Brewin at Ellis Park

• Krug on Korean pride

• Dunga senses nerves

• Blog: South supports North

• Gallery

The Koreans, ranked 85th in the world, kept Brazil at bay for 55 minutes until

Maicon's cross-cum-shot swerved in at the near post and the three points were

assured by a rare moment of magic as Robinho laid a second goal on a plate for

former Manchester City team-mate Elano, although Ji Yun-nam gave them a late

scare by halving the deficit.

The win took Brazil top of Group G, above Portugal and the Ivory Coast, but

they did not look particularly convincing in living up to their tag of joint

World Cup favourites alongside Spain.

The North Koreans were the first to have a shot on target after 10 minutes when

Japan-born striker Jong Tae-se bustled past two markers and drilled in a

left-footed shot which Julio Cesar was able to gather.

Brazil were dominating possession but struggling to pick the final pass and the

Koreans were not purely sitting back as Cha Jong-hyok got forward to blast a

left-footed shot wide after 15 minutes.

The South Americans threatened when Luis Fabiano slotted the ball through to

Robinho in the box. The forward, on loan at Santos from Manchester City, was

able to make room for a shot but North Korea goalkeeper Ri Myong-guk got well

behind it.

The lack of genuine width seemed to be causing Brazil problems as North Korea's

five-man defence ganged up on Kaka, Luis Fabiano, Robinho and Elano in a

congested attacking third and Kim Jong-hun's team were content to burst forward

in small numbers on the break.

Goalkeeper Ri parried away a Maicon drive at his near post in the 28th minute

which was Brazil's best effort up to that point.

The North Koreans were making a fight of it and, following a corner, Pak

Chol-jin cut the ball back from the right to Ri Kwang-chon but the defender

scuffed a presentable shooting chance wide from 25 yards.

Not much was going Brazil's way as Michel Bastos' shot deflected off Pak

Chol-jin and looped over the crossbar with Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai

wrongly awarding a goal-kick, and Ri Kwang-chon made a vital header clear under

pressure from Luis Fabiano as the half ended goalless, against all the odds.

The second half started in much the same vein as the first had ended as North

Korea, to borrow Jose Mourinho's phrase, ``parked the bus'' on the edge of the

box and Brazil struggled to find a way through.

Michel Bastos blasted a free-kick wide from just outside the box in the 51st

minute after Pak Chol-jin was penalised for a foul on Kaka. The Real Madrid star

then chested the ball down for Robinho to shoot from 26 yards but his

right-footed effort was again wayward.

The goal finally came on 55 minutes when Elano played the ball into the box for

the overlapping Maicon and his shot beat Ri at the near post, with the

goalkeeper seemingly expecting the Inter Milan full-back to cut the ball back

rather than shoot.

Ri fisted clear another long-range drive from Michel Bastos and, as North Korea

committed more men forward, they left gaps. On one counter-attack Robinho found

Luis Fabiano, who beat defender Ri Jun-il in the box but blasted a left-footed

shot over.

Brazil added a second in the 72nd minute and it was a thing of beauty as

Robinho slipped a perfect through-ball to Elano advancing into the box on the

right and the Galatasaray man made no mistake with a cool side-footed finish.

The goalscorer was immediately substituted, with Dani Alves coming on.

Villarreal forward Nilmar, on for Kaka, drove in a right-footed shot which Ri

gathered at the second attempt with 12 minutes left and he also had to field a

Felipe Melo effort shortly afterwards.

Juan had to make a last-ditch tackle to deny Jong a late chance and Ji then

burst through to score, sparking a wild celebration, although the points

remained with Brazil.

Scoring Summary

  • Brazil
  • North Korea
Maicon (55')
Elano (72')
(89') Ji Yun-Nam

Match Stats

  • Brazil
  • North Korea
26(10) Shots (on goal) 11(3)
9 Fouls 10
7 Corner kicks 3
3 Offsides 1
63% Time of Possession 37%
1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
2 Saves 8


  • Brazil
  • North Korea
Dani Alves for Elano (73')
Nilmar for Kaká (78')
Ramires for Felipe Melo (84')
Yellow Cards
Ramires (88')