Brazil crush Ivory Coast and hurtle towards sixth World Cup win
Brazil have fired a warning shot to their World Cup rivals after powering past Ivory Coast 3-1 to secure a spot in the round of 16.
Dunga’s men were fluid in attack and defensively formidable as they made light work of an Ivorian side boosted by the return of captain Didier Drogba.
Having won their first two matches and qualified for the second round with a game to spare, Brazil are now 7/2 favourites to win the World Cup.
Luis Fabiano opened his World Cup account with a brilliant, if controversial, brace of goals. His first strike was so ferociously struck that it almost ripped a hole in the roof of the net, while his second seemed to include two handballs.
Fabiano is now 4/1 to be the top tournament goalscorer, and if his team-mates continue to supply him with such excellent service, the Sevilla striker could be worth backing to win the Golden Shoe.
Ivory Coast will be frustrated by Fabiano’s second goal, but they will have few complaints about the defeat, as they were outclassed in every department.
Brazil’s centre-back partnership of Lucio and Juan looked solid, as did the holding midfield pairing of Gilberto Silva and Felipe Melo.
And with the creative forces of Kaka and the rejuvenated Robinho, Dunga seems to have formulated a balanced side capable of defending or attacking their way to a sixth World Cup triumph.
Brazil’s arch South American rivals, Argentina, have caught the eye in Group B, but their erratic defending is a weakness that Maradona will have to address.
Dunga, however, has a team which prides itself on a solid core. With a steely foundation complemented by an irresistible attack, Brazil look at this stage to have the most complete side, and other World Cup contenders will have taken note of their imperious form.