It was a case of winners all around when mighty Brazil, one of the favorites, faced massive underdog North Korea in Group G at the World Cup on Tuesday. Brazil won, but North Korea got the goal it deserved for sheer hard work and hustle. Who knows, the way Portugal and the Ivory Coast performed in the other group game Tuesday, the North Koreans might fancy its chances of progressing. [ad#as3]
Dunga’s Brazil are hard working, too. He made sure of that. And even though the Samba Boys aren’t as flamboyant as in years past, North Korea achieved a moral victory by keeping it scoreless at halftime.
Brazil broke the deadlock in somewhat fortunate fashion – or at least that’s what it seemed like. Maicon, the treble-winning Inter right back, beat the keeper with a laser from a tight angle in the 55th minute. He probably meant to cross it, but he’ll take it. There was no luck involved on the second goal in the 72nd minute, as moody Robinho’s perfectly weighted pass split open the dogged defence. Elano latched onto it and deposited a right-footed shot into the corner.
North Korea kept plugging away and earned a consolation – approved by most neutrals – in the 89th minute.
The affair was entertaining, thankfully, after Portugal’s 0-0 bore draw against the Ivory Coast.
The World Cup’s other minnow, New Zealand, also played well – and got a point. Winston Reid turned into a national hero by scoring in the 93rd minute, making it 1-1 against disappointing Slovakia in Group F, Italy’s group.