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Last Updated: Tuesday, 5 September 2006, 20:44 GMT 21:44 UK
Brazil 2-0 Wales
Wales midfielder Simon Davies closes down Brazil's Ronaldinho
Wales midfielder Simon Davies closes down Brazil's Ronaldinho
Wales' plucky resistance was ended by two second-half goals in a compelling friendly at White Hart Lane.

Brazil took the lead on the hour when left-back Junior Marcelo found the bottom corner with a 25-yard cracker.

Striker Vagner Love added a second on 74 minutes when he headed home from Cicinho's perfect right-wing cross.

Rob Earnshaw had Wales' best chance when he forced a fine save from Gomes, and the goalkeeper was again at full stretch to deny Craig Bellamy late on.

Wales showed three changes, and one positional, from the side that started against the Czech Republic on Saturday, as manager John Toshack stuck with a 3-5-2 formation.

Gareth Bale came in at left wing-back to win just his second cap instead of Sam Ricketts, and the 17-year-old made an immediate mark with a crunching tackle on Maicon after 30 seconds which was harshly judged as a foul.

Richard Duffy replaced the injured Mark Delaney as the other wing-back, with Earnshaw partnering Bellamy up front as Ryan Giggs slotted back into midfield instead of Carl Fletcher.

Brazil's Junior Marcelo (left) celebrates his goal with Ronaldinho
Brazil debutant Junior Marcelo celebrates his goal with Ronaldinho

Brazil coach Dunga rung the changes after Sunday's 3-0 win over Argentina, with Ronaldinho, Kaka and Julio Baptista among those coming into the starting line-up.

And it was Ronaldinho's corners which caused Wales most problems in an open first half.

First Cearense flashed a near-post header just over the bar after just two minutes, and then goalkeeper Paul Jones made a fine point-blank save to deny Alex moments later.

As expected, Brazil dominated possession and slowly began to create shooting opportunities outside the penalty area.

Edmilson fired a shot just wide and then Jones saved well from Baptista and Kaka, whose volley ended a typically stylish one-touch build-up.

But it was Wales who perhaps enjoyed the clearest openings of the first half.

Giggs created the first with a sublime back-heel pass which released Earnshaw inside the box, and the Norwich striker forced a fine save from Gomes.

Slick link-up play down the right flank then created space for Duffy and then Bellamy inside the Brazil penalty area, but the robust Brazilian defenders recover to clear.

Brazil had the ball in the back of the net seconds before the interval, but Love's celebrations were cut short by an offside flag.

The second-half started in controversial style as Brazil centre-back Alex seemed to elbow Duffy in the face, but English referee Mike Riley did not brandish even a yellow card.

A Brazilian defensive mix-up almost gifted Bellamy a golden opportunity on goal but goalkeeper Gomes just stuck a leg out in time as the Liverpool striker tried to nick the ball past him.

Wales striker Rob Earnshaw rues a narrow miss
Earnshaw shows his frustration after going close for Wales

Bellamy came even closer moments later when he fired just over from Davies' right-wing cross.

But then out of nothing, Brazil took the lead as 18-year-old left-back Marcelo emulated his predecessor Roberto Carlos by unleashing a stunning left-foot drive which flew into the bottom corner.

Ronaldinho was replaced by Robinho on 67 minutes, just after the Barcelona star had forced Jones into action from a free-kick and then flashed a curler just wide of the far post.

With Giggs and Bale substituted at half-time, Wales made further changes by bringing on Rob Edwards and David Vaughan.

The substitutions unsettled Wales' formation, and Brazil made the most of the uncertainty to score a second.

Robinho showed some silky skills in the build-up, before Cicinho's perfect right-wing cross was headed home by Love.

Wales kept plugging away until the end as Bellamy's pace continued to cause the Brazilians problems.

His run down the left set-up Sam Ricketts, but the Hull defender lacked the necessary composure and shot wide from just inside the box.

Another Bellamy run down the left again opened the Brazil defence and this time he decided to take the shot himself, but Gomes parried to deny Wales a consolation.


Wales: Jones, Duffy (Edwards 64), Bale (Ricketts 46), Gabbidon, Collins, Nyatanga, Bellamy, Earnshaw (Cotterill 77), Robinson (Fletcher 53), Davies (Vaughan 68), Giggs (Ledley 46).
Subs Not Used: Brown.

Brazil: Gomes, Maicon (Cicinho 59), Luisao, Alex, Edmilson (Silva 46), Marcelo (Gilberto 74), Cearense, Kaka (Elano 72), Vagner Love, Ronaldinho (Robinho 67), Julio Baptista (Rafael Sobis 78).
Subs Not Used: Fabio, Lucio, Juan, Daniel Carvalho, Fred.

Goals: Marcelo 61, Vagner Love 74.

Att: 22,008.

Ref: M Riley (W Yorkshire).



SEE ALSO
Bellamy rues wasted goal chances
03 Sep 06 |  Internationals
Czech Republic 2-1 Wales
02 Sep 06 |  Internationals
Brazil 3-0 Argentina
03 Sep 06 |  Internationals


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