Crowds enjoy goal-fest as Brazil eke win

2009-06-16 00:00

THE opener was a disappointment and the second match an appetiser, but yesterday evening in Bloemfontein the 2009 Confederations Cup sprang to life as Brazil eked out a 4-3 win over Egypt.

Brazil coach Dunga put his team’s lethargic second-half performance down to jet lag, having only arrived on Friday after World Cup qualifiers last week against Uruguay and Paraguay, but Egypt showed they are a world-class side by fighting back from 3-1 down to equalise before being foiled by Kaka’s 90th-minute penalty.

This is what hosting the Confed and 2010 World Cup is about. Major companies can put up money to bring big-name clubs to South Africa for friendly tournaments, but nothing can match a competitive, international football game between two superb teams.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter yesterday bemoaned empty seats in the stadiums, and yesterday there were a few again, but he can’t complain about the party spirit of South African fans with 27 851 supporters in the 45 000-seater Free State Stadium, lapping up a goal-fest.

This included a magical opener by Real Madrid’s new £80 million signing Kaka. Taking Dani Alves’s pass on the edge of the area, the quintessential Brazilian No.10 chipped defender Hani Said, touched the ball past Wael Gomaa and gently stabbed home the Selecao’s first goal of the tournament in the fifth minute.

But Kaka was not the only world-class performer on the stage. Al-Ahly’s Mohamed Aboutrika, arguably the best midfielder on the African continent, and Borussia Dortmund’s Mohamed Zidan, terrorized the Brazil defence.

This duo combined as Egypt pulled one back in the ninth minute when Zidan rose majestically at the far post to head in Aboutrika’s cross. Within three minutes, Sevilla striker Luis Fabiano got above the Egyptian defence to glance in Elano’s free-kick.

After that flurry the game drifted until AS Roma central defender Juan buried Elano’s corner eight minutes before the break to make it 3-1.

After standing off the Brazilians too much in the first half, Egypt stunned their opponents and brought the crowd to life with two goals out of the top drawer early in the second.

In the 53rd minute good interplay by Aboutrika and Sayed Moawad on the right of the area saw the Goliath-like midfielder Mohamed Shawky teed up, who picked his spot with a powerful shot past Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Then Aboutrika slipped through a pass that put Zidan on goal to make it 3-3.

The crowd, now firmly behind the African champions, cheered every challenge made at full stretch by the Egyptians to keep Kaka at bay.

Eventually, though, the former AC Milan icon had the last laugh. In the 89th minute, substitute Ahmed al Muhammadi clearly handled Lucio’s volley on the line. Kaka placed his spot-kick to the right of Essam Al Hadary and the Brazilians were relieved winners.

Egypt were to lodge a protest to Fifa about the penalty, claiming English referee Howard Webb had changed his decision to award a corner after seeing the big-screen replay.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.