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Soccer News of Tuesday, 27 March 2007

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Ghana Suffer Narrow Defeat

Vagner Love scored in the first half to give Brazil a 1-0 win over Ghana on Tuesday in a friendly rematch of last year's second-round World Cup game.

Vagner Love put Brazil ahead in the 17th minute, after a Ronaldinho corner from the right side was headed on by Kaka, giving the CSKA Moscow striker an empty net from the left side of the box.

After the 4-0 thrashing of Chile, in Gothenburg, Brazil’s 'Holy Trinity' of Ronaldinho, Kaká and Robinho were expected to produce a similar scoreline against Ghana who were missing influential midfielders Michael Essien and Stephen Appiah.

However, the injury-hit black stars put up a spirited performance and could have even won the game had they taken their chances.

Ghana, looking eager to avenge last year's 3-0 loss in Germany, started quickly and nearly led in the 14th minute when a header from Eric Addo forced a diving save from Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Brazil then took over, creating several chances including one midway through the half where Ronaldinho intercepted the ball at midfield and initiated a three-on-one counter with Robinho, who shot high.

Ronaldinho showed flashes of his famous flair, floating a lob pass into the box to Vagner Love, who chipped it back across the middle to Kaka with one touch. The AC Milan striker launched a volley from just outside the box, but the shot was off target.

Laryea Kingston had a good chance to equalize five minutes after the second-half kickoff, settling a cross in the middle of the box with time and space. But Brazil keeper Julio Cesar dived to knock the ball wide for a corner.

Ghana played the last 11 minutes a man down after Haminu Draman was ejected with a second yellow card for pulling down Daniel Alves outside the box.

Ghana was doing everything fine until the red card to Draman: they were in charge in the middle of the field, was faster, but they lacked accuracy to score.

Ghana's coach Claude Le Roy said he was satisfied with his team's performance.

"We produced good quality football, and that is very important for the future," he said. "I think we deserved a draw to be honest.


Brazil - 1: Julio Cesar, Ilsinho (m.58, Daniel Alves, m. 81, Dudu Cearense), Lucio, Juan, Kleber, Gilberto Silva (m. 45 Josue), Mineiro, Kaka (m.69, Elano), Ronaldinho, Robinho (m. 76, Diego), Vagner Love (m.72, Ricardo Oliveira).
Coach: Dunga.

Ghana - 0: Kingson, Painstil, Sarpei (m.88, Bensor), Dickoh, Mensah, Addo (m.71, Boateng), Kingson (m.71, Kumordji), Annan (m.88, Arthur), Muntari, Asamoah Gyan (m.10, Tachie-Mensah), Draman.
Coach: Claude Le Roy.

Goal: 10’ Vagner Love.