reports from Goodison Park
Whatever a certain television channel might tell you, the Umbro Cup is not the World Cup. Nevertheless, Brazil purged some painful memories by making Japan their second victims in three days in the Goodison Park drizzle last night.
Returning to the ground where their global crown was removed by fair means and foul in 1966, the world champions thrilled the biggest crowd of the tournament, nearly 30,000, with an exhilarating attacking display. Roberto Carlos gave them the lead, to which Zinho added twice, and even allowing for the moderate opposition there was much to concern Terry Venables' representatives in advance of Sunday's game at Wembley.
Bryan Robson and Ted Buxton left 10 minutes before the end, by which time Brazil were indulging in party pieces and some characteristically cavalier defending. Japan, an enterprising outfit whose finishing did not carry the conviction of their passing, were unable to capitalise, though it must be said that England have so far revealed little to suggest they will fare any better.
From as early as the sixth minute, it was clear that the '95 fusion of samba and Mersey beat would be more fruitful than its predecessor. Pursuing his own chip into the penalty area, Roberto Carlos benefited from a miskick by the covering defender, Kazuaki Tasaka, before dispatching a fierce diagonal drive across the keeper.
Japan had their moments, notably when Zetti had to leave his line to smother Masashi Nakayama's 17th-minute effort and again as Motorhiro Yamaguchi's shot clipped a post.
By then, Brazil were out of range. In the 51st minute, Masami Ihara's headed clearance was returned, with interest, by Zinho's left-footed volley from 25 yards. Shortly after the hour, the same player beat Nobuyuki Kojima on his near post from six yards following a cross-field move involving Edmundo and Jorginho.
Edmundo, who had fired against the underside of the bar just before the break, almost scored one of the great solo goals late on after Kojima had lost the ball on a Grobbelaar-style excursion to the wing. He was eventually crowded out after weaving past five players, but the warning signs were there for England.
BRAZIL (4-4-2): Zetti (Sao Paulo); Jorginho (Kashima Antlers), Aldair (Roma), Doriva (XV de Piracicaba), Marcio Santos (Fiorentina); Edmundo (Palmeiras), Dunga (VfB Stuttgart), Zinho (Yokahama Flugels), Roberto Carlos, (Palmeiras); Juninho (Sao Paulo), Ronaldo (PSV Eindhoven). Substitutes: Leonardo (Kashima Antlers) for Juninho, 61; Rivaldo (Palmeiras) for Zinho, 73.
JAPAN (1-4-3-2): Kojima (Bellmare Hiratsuka); Ihara (Yokahama Marinos); Narahashi (Bellmare Hiratsuka), Omura (Yokahama Marinos), Tasaka (Bellmare Hiratsuka), Soma (Kashima Antlers); Kitazawa (Verdy Kawasaki), Yamaguchi (Yokahama Flugels), Morishima (Cerezo Osaka); Nakayama (Jubilo Iwata), Miura (Genoa). Substitutes: Fukuda (Urawa Red Diamonds) for Nakayam, h- t; Korasaki (Kashima Antlers) for Morishima, 67; Moriyasu (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) for Kasaka, 80.
Referee: J McCluskey (Scotland).Reuse content