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.