Brazil turn focus to qualifiers
Brazil have already turned their attention to winning the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ after defending the FIFA Confederations Cup, with coach Dunga saying his players are capable of anything.
The five-time world champions came from behind to crush underdogs USA 3-2 at Ellis Park on Sunday for their seventh win in 20 days - five at the tournament and two FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
They looked out for the count after Clint Dempsey and Landon Donovan put the Americans two up at half-time but bounced back with a Luis Fabiano brace drawing them level with 16 minutes left. It set the scene for an exciting finale and captain Lucio made it a memorable day with a powerful header from an Elano corner with six minutes remaining.
Brazil are not yet certain of being at the 2010 FIFA World Cup but top South American qualifying and hope to get over the line after their next two games, with Dunga already fighting to play down their early favourites tag. He said the key was not to get carried away with their victory on Sunday, having also clinched the FIFA Confederations Cup four years ago in Germany and then failing to translate their form at the FIFA World Cup a year later.
"The dangers are always there," said Dunga, the FIFA World Cup winning captain from 1994, in looking ahead to September's qualifiers. "I have to find players in form this coming year and deal with this issue of being a favourite team.
"What's important is that we carry on working in a calm way and learn from our past mistakes and also from what went well. Any squad approaching the 2010 World Cup has a lot of interest in it but the national squad must be focused and not be distracted."
Sunday's victory was Brazil's third FIFA Confederations Cup crown following triumphs in 1997 and 2005 - something no other team has achieved. But they did it the hard way. "All the players were very concentrated on what needed to be done. I told them at half-time that we needed an early goal and to play the game we play. We wanted to win. We were very determined," said Dunga.
"It is difficult to overcome a 2-0 deficit but if you have committed players who always want to win then it is possible. If we can win this we can do much more in the future. I believe in these players."
Dunga has a young and hugely talented squad, epitomised by Real Madrid's new recruit Kaka who was voted man-of-the-match in the final and player of the tournament. He said the team was overjoyed at winning on Sunday but said they knew it was just a step on the long road to the bigger prize next year back in South Africa.
"We have to qualify first. We have four games left," said Kaka. "We must avoid any euphoria because that sort of thing hindered our preparations at the last World Cup. So here we are trying to be calm. But we hope our favouritism will be justified."