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Three goals in the opening 20 minutes set Brazil on their way to a comfortable victory at Venezuela. Both teams played some breathtaking attacking football but the two goalkeepers also had a blinder of a game. Goal.com rates the performers on the pitch.

VENEZUELA  

Vega – 7: Made a number of good saves to prevent an even uglier scoreline. Could not be held accountable for the four goals, maybe except for the first due to his poor positioning. Almost made two assists himself for his forwards!

Chacon – 5: Far too involved in attack and that’s the reason why
Brazil galloped to an early three goal lead. Responsible either directly or indirectly for the first three goals as they all came through his side of the pitch. Improved in the second period.

Rey – 4: Caught out of position in all four goals as he recklessly ventured forward. He did make a few vital interceptions to deny Brazil going even further ahead in the first half but the damage had already been done.

Boada – 4: Woeful marking and positioning. Everything you shouldn’t do as a defender against Brazil, he did.

Rojas 4: Like Chacon, he was well too offensive for his team’s own good. Allowed the likes of Kaká and Elano too much space to explore.

Vielma – 5: An anonymous display in midfield. Had a few good battles with Josué and Gilberto Silva but could not come up with the answers to stop Kaká and Robinho.

Vitali – 5.5: He did his job as the link between defence and attack. But he did not help make any significant contributions in attack, yet never really looked assured when defending.

Guerra – 7.5: The only real spark in the Venezuelan midfield. Showed plenty of flair and creativity and never afraid to have a crack at goal. Surprised to see him taken off midway through the second half.

Vargas – 6.5: Saw a lot of the ball but never could make the most out of it. His passing and crossing in the final third of the pitch was simply not up to par.

Arango – 7: Had countless chances to score but was either denied by Júlio César, or a defender, or poor ball control, or bad decision making. Completely disappeared from the game in the second half.

Maldonado – 7: Very lively in attack but constantly drifted off to the wings and that created a huge hole in the centre as the team lacked the decisive target striker in the middle of the box.

Substitutes:

Seijas – 5.5: Provided little to no effect in attack.

Moreno – 5.5: Like his fellow substitute, simply had no influence on the game whatsoever. Baffling changes by the coach.

Lucena – N/A

BRAZIL

Júlio César – 7.5: Pulled off some spectacular saves to keep a clean sheet. It would have been a much more evenly balanced scoreline if it wasn’t for him.

Maicon – 6.5: Had a tough battle trying to contain Guerra and Rojas. Not quite as adventurous in attack as he usually is.

Lúcio – 7: As usual, solid at the back. Brought the ball out of defence and forward whenever he had the opportunity.

Juan – 7: Made a few critical interceptions and clearances. Gladly made way for Thiago Silva at the break with his mission completed in the first half.

Kléber – 7: Had a busy time shackling Vargas and Maldonado. Was still able to help out in attack as he provided a perfect cross to Robinho for the fourth goal.

Elano – 7: Very involved with his fellow attackers. Supplied a great cross to set-up Adriano’s goal. One of those “solid but not spectacular” performances.

Gilberto Silva – 7.5: Never needed any more than two touches or three seconds on the ball to connect defence to attack. A textbook performance on how to become the perfect defensive midfielder.

Josué – 7: Combined well with Gilberto Silva and showed good understanding. Never allowed himself to be overrun by the opposition in midfield.

Kaká – 8: What a return to the Seleção. Scored an absolute stunner for an opening goal and continued to menace the Venezuela defence throughout the game, running the show from the middle of the park.

Robinho 9: Another irresistible display for his country. Initiated the opening goal, and scored two gems of his own. Could have even had a hat trick as he constantly bombarded the Venezuelan goal with shots and overlapping runs.  He looks a different player since leaving Real Madrid and deservedly bags the Man of the Match accolade.

Adriano – 7: Very hardworking. Helped out in midfield to initiate any possible counter attacks. With Dunga still considering all his candidates for the lone striker role, Adriano will be in the coach’s good books.

Substitutes:

Thiago Silva – 6: Never really looked troubled. A good way to get some experience and extra playing time under his belt.

Alex – 6.5: Showed some brilliant touches and good control and almost set-up Adriano for a goal.  

Mancini – 5: Made only a couple of through passes, none of them really found his target.

KS Leong

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