Brazil strive to get the balance right
The hosts filled the stadium again at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2005, but failed to truly sparkle in a 4-1 win over Spain. The result means they top Group A and will face Argentina in the quarter-finals.
"I'm happy with the performance because nowadays there are no weak teams at this level," said Brazilian coach Jorge Ferreira Alves after the game. "Many other teams have very strong defences and it becomes like a chess game. You need to move your pieces around for check-mate. Because of that not every game can be a spectacle. I want my players to be organised but also to play with a smile."
Brazil started with three out-and-out flair players in Benjamin, Jorginho and Romario - just Junior Negao could be relied upon to protect Robertinho. For Spain Robert, Busti, Nico, Samu and Amarelle were prepared for the predicted onslaught.
As so often with teams overloaded with attackers it didn't quite come off for the Auriverde. Despite the vociferous home support they seemed a little out of sorts - perhaps trying too hard to score the perfect goal. In fact they got off to the worst possible start - Amarelle's left-foot again doing the damage in the first minute. The hosts hit back twice in the first period, Benjamin took Romario's pass and drove it into the corner, then Junior Negao blasted home from the edge of the area.
But these were the last goals Brazil would score from open play - their third and fourth goals were both from the penalty spot. In the second period Jorginho slipped the ball through to Nenem who went round Samu in the area but was brought down. He smashed in the spot-kick. The dose was repeated in the third period after Juninho's overhead kick had leapt off the sand and struck Nico on the arm. Sadly for Spain, they could not match Brazil's prowess from 9m out. When the score was still at 2-1, Nenem fouled Amarelle in the area but Robertinho dived to his right to push the Spanish captain's shot onto the post.
"it was a pleasure to play against Brazil," said a positive Spain coach Joaquin Alonso afterwards. "We got to the final last year, and I'd like to think we could do so again and perhaps even avenge this defeat against Brazil next Sunday."
Referees: Jose Luiz Rosa (URU), Christian Hauben (BEL) and Lakhdar Benchabane (FRA).