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Brazil beats Ireland 2-0 in London exhibition


LONDON (AP) -- Exactly 100 days before the World Cup opener, Brazil produced an impressive second-half display after having failed to reach any heights of brilliance before halftime.

Brazil defeated Ireland 2-0 in an exhibition Tuesday night, getting an own-goal by Keith Andrews followed by Robinho's goal in the second half.

"He has shown with his effort on the pitch what he can do. You can see that he's happy again," Brazil coach Dunga said of Robinho, who has returned to Brazil with Santos after spells at Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Andrews turned Robinho's cross past goalkeeper Shay Given and into his own net in the final minute of the first half. Robinho swapped passes with Kaka and Grafite before scoring in the 76th minute.

Dunga suggested that AC Milan's Pato and Ronaldinho, both overlooked, would struggle to earn places on Brazil's World Cup roster.

"Everybody has had his chance to show what they can do," Dunga said. "Now things have to be decided."

Arsenal's 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium appeared two-thirds full, with an even split between fans of both teams. It was Brazil's fifth game at the site, following wins over Argentina (3-0), Sweden (1-0) and Italy (2-0) and a 2-0 loss to Portugal.

"Up until about 45 minutes, it was a beautiful game," Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni said. "I think we played to the level of Brazil. Afterwards we made two or three silly, easy mistakes and that gave them a great opportunity. They could have scored one or two goals more."

The five-time World Cup champions started without injured forward Luis Fabiano. Robbie Keane, initially ruled out with a knee problem, lined up as Ireland's captain and leading threat in attack.

In a stop-and-start first half, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar stuck out his left hand too block a header by Kevin Doyle and Given pushed a powerful 25-yard free kick by Adriano over the crossbar.

Brazil went ahead when Maicon sent Robinho, who appeared to be offside, down the right and his low cross was turned into his own net by Andrews.

Substitute Daniel Alves should have made it 2-0 within seconds of entering in the 65th minute, bursting past Sean St. Ledger and drawing Given off his line before shooting wide of the unguarded net.

Soon after, Robinho had the ball in the net but was ruled offside. He then scooped the ball over the bar from Kaka's pass as the Brazilians began to slice through the Irish defense.

Robinho, loaned to Santos by Manchester City in January, produced a moment of magic to score the second goal. He took a return pass off Kaka's heel and exchanged passes with Grafite before stroking the ball inside the post from 12 yards
 
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