Robinho scored in the second half and collected two assists
as Brazil managed a 3-2 victory over a Canadian men's team that didn't back down
from the five-time World Cup champions in an international soccer friendly
Canada fell behind early but then went toe-to-toe with the world's No. 2-ranked
team. The Canadians missed a couple scoring chances, including a breakaway in
the first half, which could have turned the outcome of the game.
A tie looked possible for Canada after midfielder Julian de Guzman, who plays in
the Spanish first division, knotted the score 2-2 in the 56th minute. He jumped
on a loose ball and blasted a shot that beat Brazilian goaltender Julio Cesar.
The Canadian joy was short lived. Robinho stole a de Guzman's failed back pass,
faked Canadian goaltender Pat Onstad out of position, then toed the ball into
the open net in the 63rd minute.
Diego, in the fourth minute, and Luis Fabiano in the 45th minute also scored for
Forward Rob Friend, who plays for Borussia Mnchengladbach in Germany, scored
Canada's other goal in the 10th minute
Canada has a record of 0-2-2 against Brazil.
Canada, ranked 62nd by FIFA, trailed 2-1 at the half but easily could have led
Brazil flexed its muscles early. Robinho undressed two Canadian defenders then
slid a soft pass over to Diego, who plays for Werder Bremen of the German First
Bundesliga. He launched a shot from 12 yards out that found the far corner of
the net, just past Onstad's outstretched fingers.
Instead of dejecting the Canadians, the early goal seemed to make them angry.
The Canadian fans in the crowd of 47,052 at Qwest Field got something to cheer
about in the 11th minute when defender Mike Klukowski lifted a long shot into
the box. Friend out leaped Cesar and headed the ball into the net.
Canada missed a glorious scoring chance in the 24th minute when midfielder Issey
Nakajima-Farran had a clear breakaway. With Cesar beaten, Nakajima-Farran
chipped the ball wide.
De Guzman also had a chance in the 32nd minute, blasting a shot from about 22
yards out that Cesar managed to stop.
Brazil pulled ahead in the 45th minute when Robinho sent a pass to Fabiano, who
headed the ball at the net. Onstad managed to stop the shot but the ball rolled
past him into the net.
Brazil played without marquee players Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka. The country
still managed to field a team that had seven player who played in the last World
A river of bright yellow Brazil jerseys flowed through the stands at Qwest Field,
home of the NFL Seahawks. The loud and proud Brazilian fans waved flags, banged
drums and thumped tambourines. Some Canadian fans, wearing red and white and
waving Maple Leafs, battled to make their presence known.
Brazil is a five-time World Cup champion, more than any other country, and twice
was runner up. Canada has qualified for the World Cup once.
Canada will play Panama Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., then begins a
two-game World Cup qualifying series against St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Brazil will play its World Cup qualifying matches against Paraguay and Argentina.
Notes: The game will be shown Sunday morning on Rogers Sportsnet. ...The
Canadian cerebral palsy soccer team, currently playing in a tournament at
Langley, B.C., attended the game. ...Prior to the match, Toronto FC coach John
Carver said he would be disappointed if keeper Greg Sutton didn't play. "I'm not
trying to tell anybody how to do their job, but I think he's been outstanding
and for me, he deserves to be on the team."