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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 07:48, June 19, 2006
Brazil beat Australia 2-0 to qualify for World Cup knockout stage
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Brazil beat Australia 2-0 at their World Cup Group F match to qualify for the knockout stage on Sunday in Munich.

Inter striker Adriano opened the scoring in the 49 minute from a good pass from Ronaldo.

Ronaldo, who kept his starting position despite his disappointing performance in beating Croatia 1-0, gathered the ball on the left-hand corner of the area and three defenders immediately circled him.

He spotted Adriano and played a square ball to his strike partner which struck low into the corner of the net.

Harry Kewell, Australia's second half substitute, could have make it 1-1 in the 57th minute, but the Liverpool player shot high above the crossbar of Brazil's unguarded goal.

After Australia had threatened to equalise on several more occasions, substitute Fred tapped home into an empty net in the 89th minute after fellow substitute Robinho's drive crashed off the post.

Brazil, who started Ronaldo again despite his disappointing performance in Brazil's 1-0 win over Croatia, created few chances in front of a very physical squad of Australia.

In the 42nd minute, Ronaldo showed a glimpse of his strength by shrugging off the attentions of Vince Grella and, with very little back lift, fired in a shot that was wide of Aussie goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer's left post.

Ronaldo was finally replaced by his Real Madrid teammate Robinho in the 72nd minute.

Brazil booked their spot in the second round and maintained their 100 percent record, but it is a flattering result against a hard-working Australia side.

Brazil coach Parreira said they deserved the win despite the hard work.

Parreira said: "We are happy to have qualified. It's a deserved win. We imposed both our style of playing, passing the ball around, and also imposed ourselves physically."

The coach added: "It is true that with three Australian forwards in our half it was more complicated, and we struggled at times but overall I think there are more positives than negatives."

Parreira warned: "It is normal that we are not in top form. We only played three friendlies before the finals and we are getting better and better little by little.

"We played better than we did against Croatia and we will play even better in the next one (against Japan)."

Australia, who crushed Japan 3-1 in the last game, can still qualify from the group should they beat Croatia in their last group game.

Australia coach Guus Hiddink is still confident that Australia can get through to the next round.

The Dutchman said: "We have a chance to qualify for the second round and that would be a tremendous achievement for Australia.

"Even after this loss, morale is very high and we still hope to go through. The players are eager and ambitious."

He added: "Of course, I'm not happy with the result but I think the way the team acted during the whole game, we can be proud of the way we performed.

"In the second half we had two or three opportunities but we failed to get the goal. We can be proud of the way we played. We made the world champions have to counter-attack."

Australia skipper Mark Viduka was disappointed not to have come away with three points.

"I thought we played well - on another day it could have been a different result," said Viduka. "We had a few chances we could have put away, but it was a great display by the boys. We gave them a good match."

Source: Xinhua

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