Brazil grow in confidence

2010-06-29 08:24

A three-year plan is coming together for Brazil head coach Dunga as

the 2010 World Cup heads into the final stretch this weekend.

Brazil underlined their status as the favourite team to win the

World Cup with the way they brushed aside fellow South American side Chile 3-0

in the Round of 16 clash at Ellis Park on Monday night.

Brazil will now face the Netherlands in the quarterfinals in Port

Elizabeth this weekend.

But the Brazil head coach and former captain would not be drawn on

whether Ghana, the only surviving African side left in the tournament, could go

all the way to the final. Ghana play Uruguay in their quarterfinal clash at

Soccer City on Friday at 8.30pm.

Said Dunga: “Ghana play a fast type of game. It is difficult to say

if they will go further or if it will be the more mature teams that will

progress.”

When asked if the weight of being favourites weighed heavy on him

and the players, Dunga said that in the World Cup, teams have to improve and go

forward.

“There is a lot of expectation on us. Some people doubted we could

win the World Cup when we started out three years ago, but that is changing. The

confidence is growing with each game.”

Dunga said three years of thorough preparation was paying off: “A

lot of preparation and hard work went into this talented group of players with

the ultimate goal of winning the Word Cup.

“This group has bonded in the three years they have been together.

They have been given freedom to express themselves and now we are seeing the

benefit of all the hard work.

“We need to be mentally and physically fit, and be able to think on

our feet, which we did against Chile.”

Dunga said key to the team’s success was the fact that so many

players were versatile and could play in more than one position.

“This gives me other options. Players are willing to play in

whatever position I need them and it adds to our strength.”

But Dunga, who as captain of his country beat Holland in the 1994

and 1998 World Cups, said the Dutch posed a massive test for Brazil, but stopped

short of saying he could make it a hat-trick of personal wins over

Holland.

“Holland are a good side and will be difficult to play against.

They are top class technically and that is something we are going to have to

deal with.”

Dunga also hit out at referees for not protecting his star

midfielder, Kaka, who was given a third yellow card in two matches when English

referee Howard Webb booked the Real Madrid ace in the first half against

Chile.

Kaka was unlucky to be sent off in the 3-1 win over Ivory Coast at

Soccer City in the group phase after picking up two yellow cards and missed last

week’s 0-0 draw in the final group match against Portugal in Durban.

“It worries me that players who are technically good get punished

by referees and those who commit the fouls get away with no punishment.

“I will be talking to Kaka about the bookings and try to make sure

we keep him out of the referee’s radar.”

Dunga said he would shorten the team’s training sessions this week.

“We use training sessions to recover and recuperate from games. There is no need

to prolong training sessions at this stage, although this group loves to

train.”

Dunga also praised Chile’s spirited performance. It was Chile’s

eighth successive defeat at the hands of Brazil.


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