JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 15: Maicon of Brazil celebrates scoring the first goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group G match between Brazil and North Korea at Ellis Park Stadium on June 15, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

World Cup 2010: Brazil Holds-Off North Korea, Wins Opener 2-1

Brazil starts their quest for their sixth world title as the top ranked team in the world. In their opener, they take on the lowest-rated team in the tournament.

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Brazil Vs. North Korea, World Cup 2010: Favorites Win Surprisingly Difficult Opener, 2-1

Brazil has opened their 2010 World Cup with a win, but the final score will disappoint those who expected the world’s top rated team to have an easy time of it against North Korea, the 105th ranked team in the world. However, a stalwart early defense and a late North Korean goal gave the Brazilians little time to rest throughout their 2-1, Tuesday win.

Brazil had no strong chances in the first half, but in the second a wonder goal from Maicon opened the scoring in the 55th minute.

Played through to the left of the North Korean goal. the Brazil right back shot from just outside the six yard box, two feet from the goal line and scored, coming across the ball with his right foot to spin the ball into the side netting of the far side of goal.

Fifteen minutes later, midfielder Elano was also played through the left side of the North Korean defense, but shooting from eight yards out, Elano calmly, conventionally finished Brazil’s second goal, making it 2-0.

Brazil looked in complete control until North Korea pulled back a goal against the run of play, with Jong Tae-Se sending Ji Yun-Nam on goal to the right of Julio Cesar, the left back pulling North Korea within one with two minutes of regulation time remaining.

North Korea launched two counter-attacks in stoppage time, one resulting in a long Jong shot, but were unable to threaten an equalizer, giving the five-time champions a 2-1 win in their opening match.

Brazil will play the Ivory Coast in their next match on Sunday while North Korea awaits Portugal.

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Brazil Vs. North Korea, World Cup 2010: Ji Yun-Nam Provides Late Drama, Goal

A ball played for Jong Tae-Se found it’s way to Ji Tun-Nam to the right of Julio Cesar, with the North Korean beating the Brazilian `keeper near post to pull North Korean within one in the 87th minute.

Moments later, a long shot from Jong went over the crossbar, with another North Korean counter broken-up before the underdogs had a chance at the tying goal.

Brazil had dominated the second half, scoring both their goals and coming close to a third before Ji’s goal that made it 2-1.

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Brazil vs. North Korea, World Cup 2010: Elano Goal Puts Selecão 2-0 In 71th Minute

Brazil midfielder Elano calmly put a shot from eight yards out past Ri Young-Guk to put Brazil up 2-0 in the second half against North Korean.

Elano was played in to the left of the goalkeeper by Robinho. He opened up his right foot onto the rolling ball and smoothly beat the goalie to the far post, making it 2-0.

Immediately after the goal, Elano was substituted off, with Dani Alves coming on.

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Brazil vs. North Korea, World Cup 2010: The Leader Accepts Your First Half Commitment, Teams Drawn 0-0

For the eighth time in 14 matches this tournament, a game has gone scoreless through 45 minutes, though when the two teams are North Korea and Brazil, the 0-0 is more remarkable than part of a pattern.

North Korea has played their five man back line to perfection, keeping the Brazilians at distance throughout the first half, with the Selecão failing to threaten for a goal. The few times Brazil established possession in the penalty area led to weak shots, with North Korea marking each attacker making runs into the area.

Brazil’s most active player has been Robinho, who has shown a willingness (with limited success) to try and take on his defenders. Luis Fabiano has made some good runs into the box but has ultimately been left with bad-angle shots on goal.

North Korea has been able to get out on a few counter attacks, through they have failed to threaten Julio Cesar.

Brazil is ranked first in the world, while North Korea is ranked 105th.

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