Curate Omnes

Pay attention, everybody

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Brazil 1 - 0 Croatia

This was an extremely frustrating match. I don't know if Parreira decided that they needed to conserve energy to face Australia after seeing the comeback against Japan. It's a crazy strategy, if that's what he was thinking. Not only could they have lost or tied, but even with the win, they could have used the lift that an emphatic win would have provided. As it is, they're now flat heading into the Australia match. I hope they can get themselves up before Sunday.

As for the game itself, I felt bad for the Croatians. Even before Kak√°'s goal, it was pretty clear that the Brazilians wanted to walk through the game. They weren't making any runs into the area, any serious attacks down the flank, or any use of all that talent wandering around the field. The Croatians, on the other hand, were really putting themselves into the game. Dida and the defense was playing fairly well, and it was enough to keep them at bay.

After the goal, it got only worse. Brazil passed the ball around effectively, but there was no real menace, only more and more of those shots from distance. When Robinho was introduced in place of Ronaldo, I hoped that he would use his speed and dribbling to good effect, and maybe enliven Brazil and the game. Unfortunately, he too was content to move the ball around and hope that Dida could keep the ball out.

In the end, the three points are valuable for Brazil, but they'll need to take up several notches if they're going to live up to the hype. I hope they're up to it.

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