This day in history of Ronaldo
DUBLIN, Feb 18 (Reuters) - World champions Brazil were held to a 0-0 draw by Ireland in a friendly on Wednesday and were saved from defeat only by poor finishing from the home side.
Defenders John O'Shea and Stephen Carr both came close to giving Brian Kerr's men the lead in the first half and Tottenham Hotspur striker Robbie Keane put a second-half header over the bar when it looked easier to score.
Ronaldo and Kaka had a quiet night up front for the Brazilians and their best effort came from Ronaldinho, who grazed the Irish crossbar with a 74th-minute effort from the edge of the box.
Brazil's Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva was substituted after 14 minutes with a twisted ankle.
Sevilla midfielder Julio Baptista made his debut for Carlos Alberto Parreira's side after the break but failed to make much of an impact.
"Although it was 0-0 is was exciting," Parreira told reporters. "Both teams denied space to the other. I think we settled much better in the second half. In the first half we lost the ball too early."
The draw was an improvement for Brazil on their last visit to Lansdowne Road in 1987, when they lost 1-0 in a friendly, but the performance will hardly have pleased Parreira.
He had played up the importance of the game, part of Brazilian preparations World Cup qualifying matches against Paraguay next month and Argentina in June.
Ireland made the more confident start, although the early cries of "Ole" from their fans when their players touched the ball were perhaps presumptuous given the calibre of the opposition.
O'Shea went close in the 12th minute with a downward header from a corner which Dida saved on his line without seeming to know much about it.
Brazil's only real chance of the half came just before the half hour when Ronaldo set up Ronaldinho only for the Barcelona player to skew his shot wide from the edge of the box, though Ronaldo did show some nice touches to create an opening before shooting wide.
Clinton Morrison should have done better when clean through on goal following a poor back header from Edmilson before Carr squandered the best chance of the half just a minute before the break.
The Spurs defender turned Lucio with the deftness of a striker but could only stab his close range shot at Dida.
If the ball had run to Keane, lurking on the edge of the six-yard box, it might have been a different story.
Keane wasted the best chance of the night, heading over from a Morrison cross soon after the break, and although the Irish continued to threaten until the final whistle, they could not find the back of the net.
"We had four or five decent chances," Kerr said. "Robbie's was maybe the clearest of all. Stephen Carr had one, John O'Shea with the header early on, Clinton had one too but it just wasn't to be."
By Gideon Long