Newly installed Brazil coach Dunga picked up his first win at the helm of the Auriverde when his side dished out a comprehensive 3-0 defeat to arch-rivals Argentina in a friendly played in London, England. The Verdeamarelos' goals came from an Elano brace and Kaka, the AC Milan forward capping a galloping solo run with a deft finish for the third goal. That late strike put the icing on the cake after a disciplined and clinical performance from the 2002 world champions.

Despite the absence of big-name stars such as Adriano and Ronaldo for Brazil or Argentine duo Roberto Ayala and Hernan Crespo, this eagerly anticipated clash had all the makings of a real South American clásico. For the Albiceleste, it was their first match since the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany™ and the first outing for coach Alfio Basile's since starting his second spell in Argentina's top job. For former Brazil captain Dunga, the game would be his first real test in the Seleção hotseat after kicking off his tenure with a 1-1 draw against Norway in Oslo. 

Racing out of the blocks
The game began at a frenetic pace with Brazil struggling to escape the confines of their own half in the face of severe pressure from the Argentine midfield. However, as the Albiceleste threw men forward looking for a breakthrough, it was the Brazilians who found the net with their very first attack. In a sign of things to come, Robinho was the architect, producing a sublime piece of skill to spin past his marker and carve open the Argentine back-line. The Real Madrid forward slipped an inch-perfect pass into the path of Elano, who nipped in behind Daniel Bilos before planting a shot between goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri and his left-hand post, the ball taking a slight deflection off Bilos' trailing leg (2': 0-1).

After the goal came the opportunity to take a closer look at the two teams' tactical set-up. Dunga sent his side out with an orthodox 4-4-2 formation with Kaka on the bench and Ronaldinho out injured, and the system clearly suited Brazil. With defensive midfielders Edmilson and Gilberto Silva providing a solid base in the centre of the park, Ricardo Carvalho and Elano were able to forage to good effect down the flanks. Up front, Robinho was given licence to roam, even dropping into midfield on occasion to link up play - further complicating matters for the overworked Javier Mascherano in the Argentine engine room.

Basile, meanwhile, sent his troops out in an attacking 4-3-1-2 line-up, despite having had the benefit of just three training sessions with his new side. Creative duties were once again the responsibility of Villarreal's mercurial Juan Roman Riquelme, and up front the former Boca Juniors coach opted for speed and agility instead of height in his pairing of Lionel Messi and Carlos Tevez. In a bid to add width, Bilos and Clemente Rodriguez were deployed down the left with Mariano Zabaleta and Luis Gonzalez working the right. As it turned out, that system was undermined somewhat by the lack of a more imposing physical presence in the opposition box.

Making the most of their superior wing play, the Canarinhos went close to adding to their lead on a number of occasions in the first half. Abbondanzieri kept his side in the hunt early on, saving from Elano on 18 minutes before denying Robinho in a one-on-one situation. Cicinho then spurned a glorious chance after a lighting-fast counter-attack, the full-back firing wide from a great position. Argentina, for their part, had only a well-saved header from Tevez to show for their early efforts. 

Brazil punish Argentine profligacy
Argentina coach Basile decided to reinforce the left side of his defence and the centre of the midfield after the restart, bringing on Walter Samuel and Leandro Somoza. The move saw Argentina dominate possession for the first 20 minutes of the second period, but neither Tévez nor Messi could make any headway against Brazil's solid central-defensive pairing of Lucio and Juan. The Albiceleste did create two opportunities to get back on level terms, Bilos and Messi combining only for Gomes to deny the Barcelona forward. On came Argentina again, a wonderfully improvised pass from Messi finding the unmarked Zabaleta on the edge of the six-yard box, but the marauding full-back drove his shot across the face of goal and past the far post.

Meanwhile the Brazilians, with Kaka now on the field, were obliged to sit back and wait for an opportunity to hit their opponents on the break. When the chance arrived, Dunga's new-look Auriverde took it with aplomb. In a near-carbon copy of the first goal, Lyon striker Fred combined with Kaka who laid a magical pass into the path of Elano. The right-sided midfielder timed his run to perfection, finding himself clear of the defence once more before planting a right-footed drive between Abbondanzieri's flailing limbs (66': 0-2).

In a bid to drag his team back into the game, Basile introduced young striking prodigy Sergio Aguero and attacking midfielder Federico Insua, the latter missing a gilt-edged chance to reduce the deficit with only the keeper to beat. Insua was left to rue that miss just minutes later when Kaka sealed the rout after a storming 50-metre solo run (88': 0-3).

As the final whistle blew on an intriguing encounter, Brazil chalked up a deserved win in a game between two teams seeking fresh hope after the disappointment of Germany 2006. While the margin of victory perhaps does not reflect the difference between the two South American giants, both Dunga and Basile will have learned valuable lessons from Sunday's high-profile match. This may only be the beginning, but Brazil fans will be delighted at how their new Seleção is shaping up.