Football: Brown learns how to baffle Brazil

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The Independent Online
Craig Brown looked on as Brazil were held to a draw by Jamaica last night - but he is still convinced the South Americans are out of this world.

The Scotland manager flew to Florida to see at first hand the South American superstars, his team's first World Cup opponents in France this summer. Scotland face Brazil in their opening match of the finals on 10 June at the new Stade de France in St Denis.

The world champions had to settle for a 0-0 draw against the Jamaicans in Miami's Orange Bowl in their opening match of the Concacaf Gold Cup. Their frustration boiled over when Junior Baiano was dismissed in the final minute for a forearm smash on Theodore Whitmore.

The game only helped to enhance the Brazilians' reputation as being slow starters in major competitions. Brown said: "Brazil are still an outstanding side and could have had three or four goals against Jamaica. They are a very good team, no doubt about that. As far as I am concerned there were no surprises about their play.

"The plus points from my point of view was that Jamaica have the same shape as ourselves and I saw how they operated in that framework tonight," Brown added.

The addition of several English-based players has given the Caribbean side a definite edge and made them difficult opponents to break down. The Portsmouth pair, Fitzroy Simpson and Paul Hall, were included in the starting line-up against Brazil, as was Derby's Deon Burton. Frank Sinclair of Chelsea made his international debut, while Wimbledon's Marcus Gayle came on for the last 23 minutes.

Hall almost broke the deadlock in the 15th minute after a fine crossfield pass from Simpson only to see Brazil's goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel beat away his shot. Hall was also unlucky not to win a penalty in the 82nd minute when he appeared to be fouled by Goncalves.

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