Player Ratings: Brazil 0-0 Venezuela

In what was supposed to be a celebration match for Brazil to wrap up the qualifiers, they were held to an exasperating stalemate. Goal.com rates the performers on the pitch.

BRAZIL  

Julio Cesar – 7: Had to be very alert to keep out the rare attacks, including an in-swinger from a corner and a few long range efforts.

Maicon – 6.5: Constantly roamed forward down the right flank, but his crosses were disappointing. Six assists so far

Miranda – 4: Beaten in the air once or twice. His frustration showed when he challenged Maldonado with his fist and was promptly shown a straight red card.

Luisao – 6: Without Lucio, the Benfica man was given the permission to bring the ball forward out of defence. Rarely looked troubled at the back.

Filipe Luis – 6: The Deportivo La Crouna left-back made a commendable Selecao debut. Wasn’t as adventurous as Maicon but provided sufficient ammunition for his strikers with his set-piece deliveries.

Gilberto Silva 7: With Lucas helping out with the dirty work, the captain was able to show more attacking intent than usual. Even had an attempt which came back off the post.

Lucas – 6: Still not the finished article but he combined well with Gilberto Silva to hold down the fort in midfield. Like his partner, he also had a few cracks at goal.

Ramires – 7: Very lively down the right wing. Floated in countless crosses but none of his team-mates could finish off. Ran tirelessly throughout the game and even backtracked to help defend.

Kaka – 7.5: Given plenty of freedom to run at the Venezuela defence. Played some lovely one-two’s with his fellow attackers. Came closest of anybody to breaking the deadlock when his last-minute shot cannoned off the post and bobbled along the goal line.

Luis Fabiano – 7: Saw plenty of the ball in the first half. Threatened in the air and on the ground and showed some nice touches. But lucky to stay on the pitch after a dive inside the area escaped a booking.

Nilmar – 6.5: In contrast to his strike partner, the Villarreal hot-shot had a subdued first period before coming to life in the second. Had a few shots from distance but couldn’t trouble the opposition goalkeeper.

Substitutes:

Alex – 6: A bundle of energy immediately after coming on. Constantly bombed forward with his overlapping runs.

Elano – 5.5: Too conservative. Didn’t put his fresh legs to good use.

Tardelli 6: Tried to force his way through like the rest of his team-mates but ran into a brick wall everytime.

VENEZUELA

Vega – 7: Made a number of decent saves but in truth, he wasn’t stretched as much as his counterpart eventhough his goal was constantly bombarded with shots.

Chacon – 7: Tried to surprise the Brazilian defence by charging forward a few times early on in the game but had to be pinned back once the home sides started attacking in waves. Had a few intriguing battles with Kaka.

Vizcarrondo – 7.5: Made a number of pivotal tackles and interceptions. Didn’t do the best job when it comes to marking, but he wasn’t afraid to throw his body on the line.

Granados – 6.5: An uncompromising tackler. Did his part to keep the Canarinho at bay.

Rey – 5: Left gaps for Maicon and Ramires to exploit. Didn’t do to much going forward either.

Lucena – 7: Had to work very hard to win scraps of possession in midfield.

Rincon – 6: Made a bright start but as the hosts started to control the game, he started to drift away. By the second half, he was almost completely anonymous and was rightly taken off just past the hour mark.

Di Giorgi – 7: Lingered infront of the backfour for most of the game but never afraid to burst forward and test Julio Cesar. A good distributor of the ball as well and came close on a number of occasions to catch the Brazil defence off-guard.

Arango – 7: Saw an excellent late first half header brilliantly saved by Cesar and again with a 30-yard curling freekick after Miranda was sent off. Otherwise spent most of his time inside his own half to help recover possession.

Maldonado 6: Took on a playmaker’s role after Arango was withdrawn and only then was he able to get into the game.

Moreno – 5: Very isolated upfront and had to drop deep just to get a touch of the ball.

Substitutes:

Seijas – 5: Brought in to further stifle the midfield and defence and he did his job.

Rondon – 6: Almost breached the Brazilian defence in a rare attack but caught offside, although television replays showed otherwise.

Fedor – N/A

KS Leong, Goal.com