Eurosport - Sun, 20 Jun 22:30:00 2010
Luis Fabiano scored twice and Kaka was controversially sent off as Brazil became the second side to qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup with a comfortable 3-1 win over Ivory Coast in Group G.
Kaka supplied Fabiano to hammer in the opener from an acute angle on 25 minutes in Johannesburg. The Sevilla striker made it two on 50 minutes with a volley from the edge of the box after eluding three opposing players.
Fabiano was fortunate to avoid being penalised for handling before he scored, but there was no doubt about the quality of the finish.
Few question marks surrounded the third goal as Kaka supplied Elano with an inviting pass to score with an exquisite effort in the box on 62 minutes.
Didier Drogba scored for Sven-Goran Eriksson's side, but it was of minor consolation.
Elano was carted off two minutes after he scored. A horrid late tackle by Cheik Tiote should have produced a straight red card from French referee Stephane Lannoy. The Ivory Coast man clearly used his studs in a stamping motion on the Brazilian's shin.
All hell seemed to break loose in the death throes of a match witnessed by over 80,000 fans inside Soccer City.
Kaka, booked minutes earlier for pushing Galatasaray midfielder Kader Keita, was red-carded on 87 minutes after another minor collision with Keita.
The Ivory Coast player evoked memories of Rivaldo's notorious piece of theatre during the 2002 finals in Japan and South Korea when the former Brazil player was guilty of a similar piece of animation.
Keita feigned injury and collapsed holding his face when the Real Madrid player only brushed his chest with an elbow. Kaka became the first Brazilian player to be sent off at the finals since Ronaldinho suffered a similar fate against England in 2002.
There is every chance Brazil will appeal the decision before their final group match against Portugal on Friday.
Drogba's deft 79th-minute header from Yaya Toure's cross proved to be a futile gesture from an outclassed Ivory Coast, who must beat North Korea in their final group match to retain any interest in the finals.
Brazil had never lost at the World Cup finals to a side outside of Europe or South America and they were never under genuine threat during a fairly unappealing first half.
After a feverish rendition of the respective national anthems, the opening 45 minutes was notable only for its lack of genuine flair.
Robinho managed to uncork the first shot on goal after only two minutes when he hammered the ball in from 25 yards, but it dipped narrowly over.
Despite failing to gain real control of the match, Brazil managed to move ahead with their best, and perhaps only real attacking move of note in the opening period.
Kaka managed to evade the Ivory Coast defence to play in Fabiano. He wasted little time in looking up before smashing the ball high into the net with the Ivory Coast keeper Boubacar Barry grasping at fresh air.
His goals ended a run of six consecutive appearances for Brazil without scoring. It was a brilliant finish from such an acute angle, but the match continued to struggle onwards.
Ivory Coast tried to restore parity, but they failed to gain any real momentum with Drogba struggling to make any impact before his late goal boosted Ivory Coast's goal difference if nothing else.
Brazil v Ivory Coast
1st Half Goals 1-0
Shots on Target 6-3
Shots off Target 5-4
Blocked Shots 1-1
Yellow Cards 0-3
Red Cards 1-0
Passing Success 85.2%-82.9%
Tackles Success 82.9%-77.8%
Territorial Advantage 41.3%-58.7%