Classy Brazil beat DPR Korea 2-1

13:30, June 16, 2010      

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Maicon's miraculous goal from by-line and Elano's perfectly-timed slot helped Brazil beat the Democratic People's Republic of Korea 2-1 in their World Cup Group G opener on Tuesday.

The day also saw two draws in New Zealand-Slovakia and Cote d'Ivoire-Portugal clashes.

Maicon emulated Marco van Basten's stunt in 1988 Euro final by finding the DPR Korean net from the acutest of angles at the 55th minute.

Elano released Maicon on the overlap inside the area. It looked like Maicon would pull the ball back from near the by-line and that was what DPR Korean keeper Ri Myong-guk was expecting.

Instead, Maicon swung the ball with the outside of his right foot and it flew between the goalkeeper and his near post and settled in the net.

Brazil was 2-0 ahead when Robinho's inch-perfect pass found Elano, who slotted past the out-stretched dive of Ri.

DPK Korea scored a consolation goal through Kim Yun Nam at the 89th minute.

Cote d'Ivoire and Portugal, both known for attacking power, played a solid game to end scoreless at Nelson Mandela Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

Bundled with heavy favorites Brazil in Group G, both sides tried very hard to avoid defeat. They played an even first half, with both pressing ahead but still keeping tight defence.

Cote d'Ivoire's attacking trio of Gervinho, Salomon Kalou and Aruna Dindane were all fired up but it was Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who had the best chance at the early stages, smashing at the outside of the post in the 11th minute.

Moments later Cote d'Ivoire's Siaka Tiene threatened the Portugal's goal with a set-piece and Ismael Tiote sent a strike just over the bar.

Both sides had chances in the second half but failed to convert them to goal.

Chelsea striker Didier Drogb, who broke his arm on June 4, was thrown into the pitch after the break to loud cheers from the far-from-capacity crowd, but he didn't make an impact on the game.

Cote d'Ivoire will now take on Brazil in Johannesburg's Soccer City on Sunday, while Portugal clash with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea the following day in Green Point Stadium in Cape Town.

New Zealand happily shared spoils with Slovakia thanks to a last-ditch header by Wisnston Reid in a Group F match in Rustenburg.

As Slovakia were sailing to a perfect start in their World Cup debut as an independent nation after Robert Vittek's 50th-minute header, Reid rose to head home Shane Smeltz's left-wing cross in the third minute of injury time to grab a precious point.

Their group mates Italy and Paraguay each had one point on their 1-1 draw on Monday.

Slovakia will confront with Paraguay on Sunday with New Zealand taking on defending champions Italy.

Source: Xinhua


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