Andrews (og) 44, Robiniho 76
A game that had been labelled as just a friendly was anything but. The Republic of Ireland went into this match needing a win to heal there wounded pride.
Having lost out on a place to South Africa at the hands of the French, they wanted to win at any means. But against a team like Brazil that boasts the talents of Gilberto Silva and having a Keeper like Julio Cesar, there was only going to be one result. For the first 45 minutes of the game you would not have thought that. Ireland came out firing, when in the third minute Robbie Keane had a shot at goal, but the low shot by the Irish captain was easily smothered by Brazilian goalkeeper Cesar. Brazil slowly began to realise that this game would not be a walk in the park when on the 11th minute a Kaka shot went over the bar. The Real Madrid star weaved his way inside the Ireland box before being dispossessed, and when he got the ball back his shot when just over the bar, a bit of good luck for the Irish. It was evident by the way the Brazilian squad were playing that they were showing off and trying to impress the Coach Dunga, who had the difficult job of deciding who he should take to South Africa.
Brazil had shown their skill in fits and bursts and you sensed a goal was on the way, and lo and behold it arrived but not in the way they would have liked. Just a minute before half-time, Kaka made a wonderful run from his own half and set up a beautiful pass that then met Robinho, who whipped it in and it took an unfortunate touch by Keith Andrews and Brazil were ahead. Although the run that Robinho made on the right had looked off-side and Giovanni’s men would have felt aggrieved that the goal was allowed to stand. The second half brought a more recognisable Brazil side – the team talk at half time had obviously motivated them to step up a gear. After 56 minute of the game being played, Trappatoni decided to change thing and he took off Damien Duff and Glenn Whelan and replaced them with the Manchester United youngster Darren Gibson and Aiden Mc Geady. These changes really didn’t trouble the five times World Champions as they continued to press.
It could have so easily been 2-0 up for Brazil when their substitute Daniel Alves raced around Shay Given but could only stab the ball wide. Again Brazil continued to press and on the 68th minute it looked as if Robinho had put the game to bed, but the goal was rightly chalked off as off- side- to the relief of the Irish. There was then a flurry of Brazilian chances as the Irish had been confined to their own half. The final blow came at the 75th minute, when Robinho finished of f a move that consisted of 22 passes. This just goes to show that Brazil may not show up for 45 minutes but they only need the smallest of opportunities to end all your hopes.