samba boys find rhythm

BRAZIL, the Samba Boys, danced circles around the US at Loftus Stadium yesterday, winning a one-sided Group B Confederations Cup match 3-0.

Lest anybody had doubted their sheer pedigree, the South Americans were on a mission to re-acquaint the doubters with their class, as the onslaught on the North Americans began very early on.

Their first foray into goalkeeper Tim Howard's area yielded a goal - Felipe Melo rising to meet Maicon's shot off a free kick in the seventh minute.

The Brazilians dominated the entire field, and right- back Maicon in particular was the initiator of most of their forays up front.

But the moment that will hurt most for Bob Bradley's men probably came in the 20th minute. The USA had just launched a rare move into the Brazilian half and earned a corner. However, a mistake by left-wing DeMarcus Beasley saw Ramires collect the ball, fly though the middle of the park and then neatly lay it on for Robinho, who coolly placed it past Howard.

Sadly for the Americans, the most telling sign of how little resistance they offered was reflected by the fact that they did not take a single shot at Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar's goal in the first half.

In the second half the Selação took up where they left off in the first as though the likes of Kaka had discovered a new thoroughfare to the US goals.

To compound their problems, Sacha Kljestan got himself sent off after a careless tackle on Ramires. Maicon then capped a splendid performance with a goal in the 62nd minute.