Brazil underlined their status as pre-tournament favourites by carrying out a clinical demolition job on Costa Rica in Port Said. The five-goal margin of victory might have flattered Rogerio Lourenco's side, but there was much to admire nonetheless in a slick showing that sent them shooting to the top of Group E.
A near-capacity crowd had packed into the newly-refurbished Port Said Stadium anticipating a thriller, and they were not to be disappointed. Indeed, with both sides wholeheartedly committed to attack, chances were in plentiful supply throughout as these continental champions served up the most open and end-to-end match of Egypt 2009 thus far.
Brazil enjoyed marginally the better of some entertaining opening exchanges, with the lively Alex Texeira earning a free-kick from which Souza curled just wide from a distance of 25 yards. Costa Rica were not overawed, however, and twice went close to shocking their illustrious opponents in the minutes that followed. First, Allen Guevara cut incisively in from the right before drilling a left-foot shot narrowly wide and then, just short of the quarter-hour mark, left-back Bryan Oviedo drove forward and sent in a curling shot that looked to be heading for the top right-hand corner before it veered off course.
Such was the nature of the game at this stage that play flowed straight to the other end, where the influential Giulano found space to crack in a low right-foot shot that rebounded to safety off the base of the far post. If Costa Rica had luck to thank on that occasion, they were toasting some outstanding goalkeeping eight minutes later, when Alan Kardec's goal-bound header was somehow clawed away by Esteban Alvarado. Kardec was not to be denied, however, and from the resulting corner, he rose above the flat-footed Tico defence to bullet the ball into the top left-hand corner.
Costa Rica were up against it now, and desperately needed to avoid any costly lapses if they were to retain any hope of a second half comeback. Unfortunately, the hitherto excelled Alvarado committed just such a mistake ten minutes before the interval, charging from his goal and losing out in a race with Giuliano, who executed a perfectly-weighted lob that sailed over the stranded keeper to nestle in the far corner of the net.
Los Ticos were still reeling from that blow when, with a minute of the first half remaining, the outcome was effectively put beyond doubt. Giuliano delivered an awkward free-kick into the heart of their penalty area and when the Costa Ricans botched their attempts to clear, Kardec reacted quickest to sweep the ball home and complete his brace. The striker's opportunism also succeeded in creating a scoreline that was exceptionally harsh on the Central Americans, although they refused to allow their heads to drop after the break.
David Guzman might have grabbed a consolation goal with a long-range drive that flashed just wide, while Bryan Oviedo also went close from distance. This was to be Brazil's day, however, and Alex Texeira increased their lead with 15 minutes remaining, tapping home from close range after Douglas' shot had been tipped on to the post.
There was even time for substitute Boquito to round off a superb win with a goal worthy of gracing any stage, lashing a 30-yard drive into the roof of the net as the final seconds ticked down.