Brazil defeat Japan 4-1 in Group F
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Brazil came from a goal down to beat Japan 4-1 in an entertaining last Group F game, Thursday.
Two goals from Ronaldo put his combined Fifa World Cup tournament tally at 14 - equal to German Gerd Muller and two more than fellow Brazilian legend Pele.
The game against Japan did not go the Brazilian's way until the second half. Yoshikatsu Kawaguichi had made five stunning saves to deny Ronaldo, Robinho and Juninho.
Inspired, Japan then shocked the 2002 World Cup champions when, against the run of play, Japanese left-back Alessandro Santos - "Alex" - found Keiji Tamada in the Brazilian area with only Dida to beat. The striker slammed the ball home.
Ronaldo leveled with a deserved equaliser just before half time when Cicinho headed Ronaldinho's ball across goal for Ronaldo to head past Kawaguichi.
The Japanese keeper saved 10 of 14 shots in a one-sided match but, despite his earlier heroics, was at fault for Juninho's go ahead goal which he seemed to lose in the flight as it rifled in from 25 yards.
Ronaldinho sent Gilberto down Japan's right flank to score the third and Ronaldo wrapped up the victory with a stunning drive from outside the box.
The total of 15 fouls in the game was to that date the lowest of the tournament and indicates this was not a physical contest; rather, both teams focussed on passing and movement to create scoring openings.
"Modern football at its best" was the opinion of Gyorgy Mezey of Fifa's Technical Study Group.
Brazil topped Group F with nine points and would play the runner-up in Group E, Ghana, for the right to get into the World Cup quarter-finals.
|June 22, 2006|
|Brazil||4–1||Japan||Signal Iduna Park|
|Ronaldo 46+', 81'
- 01 N Dida (Substituted: 82' C Rogerio)
- 03 F Lucio
- 04 S Juan
- 13 J Cicinho
- 16 D Gilberto 44'
- 08 R Kaka (Substituted: 71' J Ze Roberto)
- 10 G Ronaldinho (Substituted: 71' L Ricardinho)
- 17 G Silva
- 19 P Juninho
- 09 L Ronaldo
- 23 D Robinho
- 23 Y Kawaguchi
- 14 A Santos
- 19 K Tsuboi
- 21 A Kaji 40'
- 22 Y Nakazawa
- 07 H Nakata
- 08 M Ogasawara (Substituted: 56' K Nakata)
- 10 S Nakamura
- 17 J Inamoto
- 11 S Maki (Substituted: 60' N Takahara)
- 20 K Tamada
Fifa World Cup Group F table June 22, 2006
- "Australia draws with Croatia 2-2, advances to next round in Group F" — Wikinews, June 22, 2006
- This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.
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