Vagner Love scored in the first half to give Brazil
a 1-0 win over Ghana on Tuesday in a friendly rematch of last year's
second-round World Cup game.
put Brazil ahead in the 17th minute, after a Ronaldinho corner from the right
side was headed on by Kaka, giving the CSKA Moscow striker an empty net from the
left side of the box.
Brazil, playing with four strikers for most of
the game, had plenty of chances to extend its lead but failed to finish them in
the chilly Rasunda stadium in Stockholm, the site of its first World Cup title
"We leave the field happy because of the victory,
but we know we could've performed much better," Ronaldinho said. "Their team
played hard and the playing field didn't help, so it was good to get the victory."
Ghana, looking eager to avenge last year's 3-0
loss in Germany, started quickly and nearly led in the 14th minute when a header
from Eric Addo forced a diving save from Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Brazil then took over, creating several chances
including one midway through the half where Ronaldinho intercepted the ball at
midfield and initiated a three-on-one counter with Robinho, who shot high.
Ronaldinho showed flashes of his famous flair,
floating a lob pass into the box to Vagner Love, who chipped it back across the
middle to Kaka with one touch. The AC Milan striker launched a volley from just
outside the box, but the shot was off target.
Ghana's Laryea Kingston had a good chance to
equalize five minutes after the second-half kickoff, settling a cross in the
middle of the box with time and space. But Brazil keeper Julio Cesar dived to
knock the ball wide for a corner.
"Ghana came playing hard and marking well. Their
squad was set up nicely," Brazil coach Dunga said. "We should have moved the
ball around more often, waiting for the right opportunity. ... Once we scored,
we just tried to control the game."
Ghana played the last 11 minutes a man down
after Haminu Draman was ejected with a second yellow card for pulling down
Daniel Alves outside the box.
Ghana's coach Claude Le Roy said he was
satisfied with his team's performance.
"We produced good quality football, and that is
very important for the future," he said. "I think we deserved a draw to be
Dunga chose to play with four forwards for a
second straight game, putting Ronaldinho, Robinho Kaka and Vagner Love in the
starting lineup. It was his ninth game as Brazil's coach, and Dunga said he is
still experimenting with the lineups ahead of the Copa America tournament this
Brazil also played a friendly against Chile in
Goteborg on Saturday, winning 4-0 on two goals by Ronaldinho. It was the first
time he scored in international play in nearly two years.
Julio Cesar went down clutching his hand after
colliding with Ghana's Alex Tachie-Mensah midway through the first half, but
remained in the game.