Well, that was certainly a good debut, wasn't it?
Some thoughts about our team:
didn't have much to do; for most of the game Colombia was contained by Brazil. I don't think he deserves blame for the goal, but it's an arguable point I guess.
was the old workhorse we know and love, and kept mostly to defense to watch out for Hernandez, who played in his sector.
had good forward runs but left some spaces in defense, and he missed the pace of the ball on Colombia's goal.
Surprisingly, the high point of our defense was Roque Junior
, who was dominating on defense, constantly trying to organize defensive coverage. :eekani: RJ seems to be improving with age.
was solid and efficient as ever, always making something off all the balls he receives.
was fukking magnificent. His timing is almost flawless, and he makes tackling look easy.
was better in the second half, when he played closer to Cafu, which gave us more options. Good match, not good enough to silence his critics though. Emerson didn't even play that roughly today, but he will continue to be called "brucutu". Renato
came in for Emerson in the 59th minute and was only competent.
had some great moments but Kaka
's dazzling 2nd-half entrance, with the immediate goal, makes Alex's participation look paler – which is not entirely fair. Both were good, IMO.
was very good especially in the first half, when he attacked and defended well, and made the assist for our first goal. Very dynamic participation. In the 2nd half he was more discreet, dropped back and gave Roberto Carlos space to attack more -- they work very well together, and their mutual versatility allows for multiple tactical combinations on the left side. Today Ze Roberto proved his worth to the team, IMO.
tried to open spaces, made several forward runs and tried some difficult passes... not running too much but always well-positioned. Great off-the-ball work: For example, on our first goal, Rivo attracted Yepes off his position, which left Ronaldo free to score. If
he had scored on that chance he had on the 34th minute, his performance would be complete -- but he didn't, so it wasn't.
, though, did have a complete performance. He scored our opening goal with a nice shot, cool and collected to apply the finish.
Then he made the assist for Kaka's goal. What else did he have to do? Apparently much more. That cancelled goal in the 17th minute of the 2nd half (correctly cancelled)
was disallowed but still beautiful
He missed some more chances but meh, who's complaining?
The team looks interesting, and the good news is that there's still room for improvement. But a victory on a difficult match like this is certainly a great way to start our Qualifiers campaign.
One question, though -- what the hell was Maturana thinking
, leaving Aristizabal out? Baaad move.