Robinho's second-half strike lifted Brazil to a 3-2 victory over Canada on Saturday in a friendly tune-up for their upcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ qualifiers. The Real Madrid ace scored in the 63rd minute to break a 2-2 deadlock.
With the score knotted at 2-2, Canadian midfielder Julian De Guzman tried pass the ball back from just short of midfield, but his attempt sailed behind his intended target. Robinho took it from there, collecting the ball, dribbling past goalkeeper Pat Onstad and drilling the ball into the back of the net.
De Guzman's 56th-minute goal had evened the match at 2-2. Diego had opened the scoring for Brazil in the fourth minute, and Canada's Rob Friend equalized in the 11th. Luis Fabiano had put Brazil back in front in the 45th minute.
Despite De Guzman's one miscue, Canada coach Dale Mitchell had praise for the player. "I thought he had an excellent game," Mitchell said. "He does a lot of work in midfield, he can distribute the ball, scored a good goal, perhaps could have had another one in the first half on his left foot.
"A mistake like that can happen to anybody, but, in general, another excellent performance from Julian De Guzman."
Brazilian coach Dunga credited both clubs for a tightly-contested match. "It was a tough game," he said. "We knew Canada is a very disciplined team. They have two or three plays that they repeat to perfection. It was a difficult game and a good test. Good preparation for Brazil."
The victory was a triumphant start for Brazil in their brief US tour, which will include a match against Venezuela in Foxboro, Massachusetts, on 6 June. It was also the first victory for Brazil against Canada in three meetings between the two countries.