International Football - Brazil overwhelm Ukraine

Mon, 11 Oct 21:22:00 2010

Goals from Daniel Alves and Alexandre Pato in either half were enough for Brazil to beat Ukraine 2-0 in a friendly in Derby.

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Both sides struck the woodwork in the match while Ukraine had a goal disallowed which might have brought them back into the game as half-time approached.

Mano Menezes continued his reign as Brazil coach with a youthful selection led by the ever-threatening Pato up front.

Ukraine, who play only friendlies until they co-host Euro 2012, set out their stall defensively and missed the experience of the injured Andriy Shevchenko up front.

At times Brazil played with panache to light up Pride Park: slick passing and incisive movement from their strike pairing, leaving their opponents chasing shadows.

It was underpinned by a determined Lucas, who continually made strong interceptions and drove his team-mates forward.

By contrast veteran Anatoliy Tymoschuk looked off the pace and made a couple of very rash challenges trying to keep the marauding Brazilians at bay.

And when Artem Fedetskiy gave away precious possession on the halfway line on 25 minutes, another fluid Brazil move provided the first goal.

Robinho's cross from the left was met by Alves and his volley took just enough of a deflection off Oleksandr Romanchuk to slip in at the far post.

A moment of genius from Pato to read Tymoschuk's backpass nearly produced the second, but after turning Vitaliy Mandzyuk he could only strike the left-hand post, and Carlos Eduardo swept the rebound over the crossbar.

Despite Brazil's dominance and Ukraine's defensive tendencies the South Americans had to twice ride their luck to end up with an advantage at the break.

Ramires, already booked for one crass tackle, was very lucky not to see red for what looked like a stamp on Fedetskiy.

And soon after what looked like a fair equaliser from Oleksandr Aliev was disallowed for an off-the-ball foul by Artem Milevskiy.

Ukraine were no more adventurous in the second half but went closest to scoring when Ruslan Rotan struck the outside of the post with a long-range effort on 50 minutes.

Brazil carried an air of superiority despite these warnings and put the game beyond their opponents midway through the second half when Eduardo of Rubin Kazan played a low ball across for Pato, who turned Mandzyuk expertly and buried his finish past Andriy Dikan.

The final quarter of the game was uneventful, stilted by substitutions from both sides. Tottenham's Sandro enjoyed a cameo, replacing the disappointing Ramires as soon as the second goal was struck.

When referee Martin Atkinson blew the final whistle the Brazilians were stroking the ball around confidently, as they had been for most of the match - unruffled and still unbeaten after three games of Menezes's reign.

Mark Patterson / Eurosport

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