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Brazil can answer critics in game with Australia
By BARRY WILNER, AP Sports Writer
June 17, 2006
BERLIN (AP) -- So much is expected of them that an ordinary 1-0 victory appears shoddy. So when the World Cup favorite Brazilians take the field in Munich on Sunday against Australia, they might be looking to put on a real show.
The five-time world champions admitted they weren't their sharpest in the win over Croatia. And with the Aussies already having a victory in Group F against Japan, Brazil will take to its task quite seriously.
"We have everything to win the match, but we will need to play very seriously," coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said.
"All of us will need to work a little bit more," added Kaka, who scored the goal against Croatia.
That includes two-time FIFA player of the year Ronaldinho and 2002 World Cup star Ronaldo. Ronaldinho has been somewhat overshadowed this month by the troubles plaguing Ronaldo.
But Ronaldo is expected to start against the Aussies four days after being examined at a hospital for dizziness. He also has been bothered by a respiratory infection, blisters and, some say, too much girth.
Ronaldo has promised good things are in store for him and his team. His teammates simply want to switch the spotlight back to soccer.
"We need to stop talking about Ronaldo. That's a problem that's in the past, just as the match against Croatia is," Brazil captain Cafu said. "We need to focus on our main goal now, which is the match against Australia."
It figures to be a physical match. The Socceroos, in their first trip to the World Cup since 1974, can be a bruising bunch. They also are resilient, having come from behind to beat Japan 3-1, scoring three goals in the final six minutes, plus injury time.
"There's a work ethic there. Very, very hard training sessions," captain Mark Viduka said. "The last two weeks before we came here, I think everyone thought we were going to war or something, because the amount of training we were doing was unbelievable. But it pays off.
"First of all, physically we're fit. And also the way we play. We play the ball around a lot more than in previous years. And we can match up with the best."
Which is precisely what they must do Sunday.
The other games will be Japan vs. Croatia at Nuremberg, and France against South Korea at Leipzig.
After giving Brazil all it could handle, Croatia rides a wave of confidence into the match. It also has a significant height advantage it hopes to use in front of the net, something it didn't do well against the Brazilians.
"We are bigger, heavier and probably stronger. That's where we will look for our chances," Croatia coach Zlatko Kranjcar said.
"We played well against Brazil and it is a boost before we take on Japan," Croatian defender Josip Simunic added. "They have a different style, a different mentality and that's why we will play a different tactic."
One tactic Japan must master is how to shut down an opponent late in a match. The Japanese defense fell apart against Australia.
Japan also can't allow the disappointment of that defeat to linger.
"We had a chance to win," said Hidetoshi Nakata, Japan's most recognizable player. "If we took advantage of our chances and scored another goal in the second half we could have won. Both teams were tired near the end of the match, so that's no excuse."
France can make all the excuses it wants about its scoring drought, but the time to find the net certainly has come. The French won the 1998 title at home, were blanked in three games in their first-round exit in 2002, and played a 0-0 draw with Switzerland to open this event.
Now they play the Koreans, World Cup regulars who won their first tournament game outside of their country with a 2-1 victory against Togo.
"It's human to think about bad things that happened to you," France defender Willy Sagnol said. "You don't want history to repeat itself, so you are apprehensive, and this saps a lot of your energy and strength."
Anything less than their best could be damaging for the French. South Korea is no slouch.
"You can expect a France that is very up for this game," South Korea coach Dick Advocaat said. "If we can pressure them a little bit and make life a bit hard like Switzerland did, maybe we can surprise them."
My take on this game........Look for Brazil 2 be NO less than Argentina's 6 Vs Serbia...Poor Aussies...They'll be bombarded today !!!!!!!:dielaugh:
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In all fairness...if Carson35 IS allowed to copy & paste here..So can I !!!!
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