Wednesday 29 March 2017

Game at a glance

David Kelly

David Kelly

Man of the match

On the basis that every time he touched the ball, a wail of besotted teenage screams assailed him, Kaka gets the nod. On a night where asceticism ruled supreme, Kaka's occasional artistry shone.

Magic moment

Brazil's second goal was a thing of simplistic beauty; an effortless one-two between Robinho and Grafite, a superb controlled finish and all predicated upon Kaka's back-heel.

Turning point

The goal on the verge of half-time upset what had been hitherto an effort of resolve and occasionally no little cunning by the Irish. Brazil were able to dictate the game thereafter.

Talking point

The introduction of technology -- or more to the point the refusal to even acknowledge the necessity of addressing the subject -- remains one of the sport's more pressing concerns.

Referee watch

Mike Dean struggled manfully to maintain decorum in a friendly which provided more than a surfeit of unfriendly tackles. He kept the disciplinary cautions to the minimum.

Manager watch

Giovanni Trapattoni was in relaxed form before the game, chatting with Irish fans and signing autographs. Would have had defensive reserve worries grimly upheld.

Crowd watch

A crowd of 40,082 turned out; a little below what organisers had hoped for. At times, the surfeit of Brazilian females rendered the atmosphere a screeching equivalent of an All-Ireland camogie final. At least the latter is held at Croke Park, though.

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