June 27, 2006

Brazil too good for Ghana in 3-0 win

By Mitch Phillips

DORTMUND (Reuters) - A moment of Ronaldo class and a
disputed Adriano goal helped give Brazil a 3-0 win over Ghana
on Tuesday but their path to the World Cup quarter-finals was
far from smooth.

Ronaldo struck after five minutes but Ghana piled on the
pressure and exposed the world champions' defense on several
occasions before Adriano broke their hearts, if not their
spirits, in first-half injury time.

Midfielder Ze Roberto added the third in the 84th minute
when he slipped the Ghanaian offside trap once more.

Ghana ended the match with 10 men after striker Asamoah
Gyan sent off in the 81st minute for diving, his second yellow

Brazil, seeking a fourth successive final appearance and a
sixth triumph, now face Spain or France, who meet in the last
remaining second round game later on Tuesday.

Brazil got the ideal start when Kaka sprung the offside
trap with a pass into the path of Ronaldo and the striker
bamboozled Ghana goalkeeper Richard Kingston with a quickstep
dummy before tucking in his 15th World Cup goal, overhauling
the record he shared with Germany's Gerd Mueller.

"It's a great satisfaction to make this record, but let's
not forget our main objective is to reach the final. The
players are very confident and our team is meeting our goals,"
Ronaldo said.

Ghana, without suspended midfield inspiration Michael
Essien, looked in disarray in the first 20 minutes but
gradually settled to attack the shaky heart of the Brazilian
defense and create a series of chances that had the world
champions rattled.

They almost equalized in the 42nd minute when John Mensah
then met a corner with a perfect downward header that Brazil
keeper Dida somehow kept out with his foot.


Ghana were then stunned on the break with a controversial
goal as Kaka fed the overlapping Cafu, making a Brazilian
record 19th World Cup finals appearance.

Adriano was well offside at that point but play continued
as he had not collected the ball but he was certainly involved,
and probably still marginally offside, as he drove into the
six-yard box to nudge home his captain's low cross.

The Ghana players protested to no avail as did their
Serbian coach Ratomir Dujkovic, who was sent to the stands at
halftime for his troubles.

The goal set Brazil on course for their 11th successive
victory at finals, extending their own record.

Coach Dujkovic paid tribute to his team, playing at the
finals for the first time.

"I'm very proud of our players, they fought from the first
minute of the first match to the last minute today," he said.

"We missed some important chances, they scored three goals.
They are a fantastic team and if you give them a fraction of a
second they will finish you."