Brazil beat brave Canada in Seattle
After pushing Brazil to the limit, a mistake late in the second half tripped up Canada's chances of upsetting the world's No. 2-ranked team in an exciting international soccer friendly in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday night.
Forward Robinho, who assisted on Brazil's first two goals, pounced on Julian de Guzman's failed back pass and scored in the 63rd minute to give the five-time World Cup champions a 3-2 victory.
De Guzman's mistake came just moments after he had pulled Canada into a 2-2 draw and put the possibility of a upset on the map.
"I felt really down," de Guzman, who plays for Spanish club Deportivo La Coruna, said after the game. "We had the momentum and everything going for us. We could have gotten away with a win."
Despite the loss, Canada had plenty to be happy over the game. The Canadians moved the ball well and played an innovative attacking style.
The men weren't derailed when Brazil scored four minutes into the match Canada battled back and missed a couple scoring chances, including a breakaway in the first half, which could have turned the outcome of the game.
"We performed well," said striker Dwayne de Rosario. "On another day…we could have come out with a tie or win. We had some good chances.
"We performed well as a unit, as a team. The way we moved the ball, it was very refreshing."
Diego, in the fourth minute, and Luis Fabiano in the 45th minute also scored for Brazil.
Forward Rob Friend, who plays for Borussia Monchengladbach in Germany, scored Canada's other goal in the 10th minute.
Canada now has a record of 0-2-2 against Brazil.
Coach Dale Mitchell said he was proud of the fight his side showed.
"To go a goal down in the third or fourth minute, it would have been easy to concede a lot more," said Mitchell. "We had a great response.
"There was certainly more chances for us to get a little more from the game. In general, I was pleased with our performance and the way we played football. We played some good stuff, kept the ball on the ground and created opportunities."
Brazilian coach Dunga said it was 'no surprise' Canada played so well.
"They are a very disciplined team," he said. "They have two or three plays they execute well and they scored on one of them."
He praised Robinho, who was a thorn in the Canadian side all night.
"Every time he comes to play," said Dunga, who played for Brazil when they won the 1994 World Cup. "(Robinho) plays with motivation and passes that happiness onto his teammates."
Canada, ranked 62nd by FIFA, trailed 2-1 at the half, but easily could have led 3-2.
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 Bundesliga. He launched a shot from 12 yards out that found the far corner of the net, just out of the reach of Canadian goalkeeper Pat Onstad's outstretched fingers.
The early goal seemed to wake up Canada.
The Canadian fans in the crowd of 47,052 at Qwest Field got something to cheer about in the 10th minute when defender Mike Klukowski lifted a long shot into the box. Friend out leaped Brazilian goalkeeper Julio 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 and into the net.
Brazil played without marquee players Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka. The country still managed to field a team that had seven players who played in the last World Cup.
A river of bright yellow Brazil jerseys flowed through the stands at Qwest Field, home of the NFL's Seattle 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.
18.Pat Onstad; 19.Mike Klukowski, 20.Adrian Serioux, 11.Richard Hastings, 7.Paul Stalteri; 12.Issey Nakajima-Farran, 13.Atiba Hutchinson (15.Patrice Bernier 82'), 6.Julian de Guzman (8.Tam Nsaliwa 78'), 14.Dwayne de Rosario (17.Jaime Peters 80'); 16.Rob Friend, 9.Tomasz Radzinski (2.Marcel de Jong 74')
1.Julio Cesar; 6.Gilberto, 2.Maicon (13.Daniel Alves 74'), 4.Juan, 3.Lucio (14.Luisao 64'); 5.Josue, 10.Diego (19.Alexandre Pato 70'), 7.Julio Baptista (17.Elano 64'), 8.Mineiro; 9.Luis Fabiano (20.Adriano 64'), 11.Robinho (18.Rafael Sobis 87')