China Faces Tough Challenge to Fight Brazil

World Cup debutantes China will face a huge challenge when they meet four-time champions Brazil for the first time at the Jeju World Cup Stadium Saturday evening in Seogwipo.

China, which spent 44 years to fulfill their World Cup finals dream, lost their opening match 2-0 to Costa Rica in a game where they created few chances.

Two of Chinese most experienced defenders Sun Jihai and Fan Zhiyi were injured in the June 4th game.

Sun, who plays for newly promoted English Premier League club Manchester City, was forced off in the 26th minute in China's first game after being ploughed down by Mauricio Solis of Costa Rica.

Fan, who sustained a left knee injury in a friendly match against Portugal two weeks ago, aggravated the injury against Costa Rica and was forced to come off in the 74th minute.

Fan has over 100 caps for his country, and was chosen the AsianPlayer of the Year for 2001.

Three Chinese players -- Li Tie, Xu Yunlong and Li Xiaopeng, are on a yellow card from game one.

Brazil are coming off a strong performance against Turkey, 1-0 down at half-time. Ronaldo has said the opportunity is there to maintain this style and attack China right from the starting whistle.

Gilberto Silva should again fill the hole left by Emerson who was forced home after dislocating a shoulder.

Rivaldo was fined by a FIFA Disciplinary Committee on June 5 for "simulation", after theatrically falling to the ground and grabbing his face when the ball kicked by Hakan Unsal of Turkey clearly struck him around the midriff.

Rivaldo was also warned that if he continues to behave in this manner, he may be sanctioned strongly by FIFA Disciplinary Committee.

A win for Brazil will secure their spot in the round of 16.



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