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Page last updated at 06:49 GMT, Wednesday, 16 June 2010 07:49 UK

World Cup 2010: Dunga expects better from Brazil

Brazili's Maicon celebrates after beating North Korea

Brazil open their World Cup campaign with victory over North Korea

Brazil boss Dunga expects his team to improve considerably following their 2-1 win over North Korea in their opening Group G match in Johannesburg.

Second-half goals from Maicon and Elano gave Brazil a 2-0 lead before Ji Yun-nam's 88th-minute strike set up a nervous final few minutes.

"The start is the most difficult match, you have a long wait for this and the anxiety builds up," said Dunga.

"I'm not entirely happy but this is common in football."

The five-time world champions were frustrated by a resilient first-half defensive display by the unheralded North Koreans, 104 places below their opponents in Fifa's rankings.

Robinho posed a constant threat with the ball at his feet but, despite a number of promising attacking moves, Brazil could not penetrate North Korea's three central defenders until after the interval.

It wasn't our best match, but at least we got the win, that's what matters now


"When we come across a team that is also offensive it creates the necessary space but it is very difficult against some teams to develop a counter-attack," added Dunga.

"North Korea passed extremely well and defended extremely well but nevertheless Brazil were able to create a number of opportunities."

It took a moment of inspiration in the 50th minute from full-back Maicon to break the deadlock, firing a superb goal with the outside of his right boot from an acute angle to beat goalkeeper

"I thought of everything which I went through to get to this moment," reflected the Inter Milan defender.

"It was my first World Cup match, I didn't cry but I was very happy with the goal I scored.

"It is important to start with a victory and we did it. It was a good step toward our goal of being in the final on 11 July."

Maicon's goal at first seemed a touch fortuitous but Dunga insisted it was no fluke.

"We have training drills and I can tell you it's not the first goal that Maicon has scored in this fashion," stated Dunga.

"It's not so much an error by the goalkeeper but creativity on the part of Maicon. Yes, the goalkeeper could have stayed [on his line] but he anticipated that the ball was going to be crossed."


While Robinho impressed, Galatico Kaka was less influential and was replaced by Villarreal striker Nilmar in the 78th minute."

The Real Madrid star has been restricted by a series of injuries this season, although Dunga insisted his plan was to replace the midfielder during the second half.

"We had already anticipated that Kaka would be substituted - he wasn't going to play the full 90 minutes because he hasn't played a full game in five months," commented Dunga.

"We wanted to increase the rhythm and speed of our team so at 2-0 up we wanted to replace him."

Robinho is confident that the three points will allow his team to improve in their next two group matches against the Ivory Coast and Portugal.

"It wasn't our best match but at least we got the win, that's what matters now," he said.

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see also
North Korea buoyant despite loss
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team guide: Brazil
31 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
Brazilian Melo on naming son Lineker
15 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Kaka makes World Cup fitness vow
18 May 10 |  World Cup 2010

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