Brazil progressed to the knockout stages of the World Cup with an efficient rather than effervescent performance against a subdued Ivory Coast.
The scoreline may suggest otherwise but the South Americans lacked the vintage Brazilian sparkle - although they produced moments of brilliance during an incident-packed second-half.
Luis Fabiano scored twice - a fine first-half strike, then a second goal with a dubious hint of handball - and Elano slotted in ahead of Didier Drogba's headed consolation.
But it was a mixed evening for Brazil's playmaker Kaka, who was harshly sent off late in the game after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession.
Kaka saw yellow in the 85th minute for pushing Yaya Toure and a minute later was sent from the field when Abdelkader Keita collapsed holding his face after an innocuous collision between the players which did not warrant a booking.
Prior to that, Kaka - who in the build-up had been the focus of much speculation regarding his lack of form - showed glimpses of the player who was named World Footballer of the Year back in 2007.
He put Luis Fabiano through for the striker's beautifully-taken opening goal and played a role in Elano's second-half strike which sealed Brazil's victory.
Drogba, a mere 16 days after breaking his elbow, started for the Ivory Coast to spearhead an attacking 4-3-3 formation, but the Africans added little oomph to the proceedings.
The Elephants manager Sven-Goran Eriksson had predicted his team would "create a surprise", yet there was little hope of that as they defended deep and allowed Brazil to play at their own pace.
There had been signs over the last few days that the World Cup had moved up a gear, but this game started with the tentativeness which had marred previous matches.
Luis Fabiano's goal thankfully lit up the first half. The Sevilla striker's back-heel to Kaka sparked a nice one-two which finished with a venomous shot into the roof of the net from an acute angle.
Ivory Coast changed their formation after the break with Drogba playing on his own in front of a five-man midfield, but they soon had a mountain to climb as Luis Fabiano struck again.
The striker flicked the ball over one defender, jinked beyond another to clinically finish with a left-footed shot from close range. There was suspicion of handball in his final movement but there were little complaints from Ivory Coast.
Brazil upped the tempo on the hour and Kaka should have finished the best move of the match with a goal but instead he shot straight at Boubacar Copa.
He made amends moments later as he shimmied past a couple of defenders and passed across goal for Elano to side-foot home for his second goal of the tournament.
Ten minutes before the end, Yaya Toure's ball over the top found Drogba who headed home into the corner for a goal which could prove to be significant to Ivory Coast's hopes of qualifying.
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
Projected table based on current scores
|Group A teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group B teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group C teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group D teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group E teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group F teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|
|Group G teams||P||W||D||L||F||A||GD||PTS|