PORTO ALEGRE, Brazil - Playmaker Kaka is set to make a much-needed return for Brazil when they face table-propping Peru in a World Cup qualifier on Wednesday. The AC Milan player missed Sunday's 1-1 draw in Ecuador when Brazil, devoid of any midfield creativity, were hopelessly outplayed and needed a world-class performance from goalkeeper Julio Cesar to avoid a heavy defeat. Kaka has been troubled by a foot injury at Milan for more than a month and insinuated that he was not happy with the treatment at the Italian club. "In the last five weeks, I haven't improved as much as I have here in one week," he told reporters. "I can see that I'm in a condition to play, although I don't know for how long. I'd like to play from the start." Brazil, who have drawn six of their 11 matches in the 10-team South American qualifying group, have dropped to fourth with 18 points, the lowest position in which they could finish and qualify directly for South Africa 2010. A fifth-place finish would mean a two-leg play off against the fourth CONCACAF team. Brazil's consolation is that they face demoralised opponents. A 3-1 home defeat by bitter rivals Chile on Sunday was the low point for Peru in a campaign which has already seen them lose 6-0 in Uruguay, 5-1 in Ecuador and 3-0 in Bolivia. Coach Jose del Solar, who has controversially declined to pick German-based strikers Jefferson Farfan and Claudio Pizarro because of an alleged act of indiscipline 18 months ago, has said that he will consider his future after Wednesday's game at the Beira-Rio. Brazil coach Dunga has complained of logistical problems throughout the World Cup qualifiers and the return journey from Sunday's match in Quito was no exception. Media reports said that Brazil's chartered plane left one-and-a-half hours late and then stopped in Guayaquil to refuel. After an overnight flight, the plane was unable to land in Porto Alegre because of bad weather and was diverted to Florianopolis where it had to wait to refuel again. When Porto Alegre airport re-opened, Brazil finally arrived at their hotel after a journey of 15 hours. Teams: Brazil: Julio Cesar; Daniel Alves, Lucio, Luisao, Marcelo; Gilberto Silva, Anderson, Kaka, Ronaldinho; Robinho, Luis Fabiano Peru: Leao Butron; Amilton Prado, Carlos Zambrano, Alberto Rodriguez, Walter Vilchez; Rainer Torres, Miguel Torres, Nolberto Solano, Daniel Chavez; Johan Fano, Luis Ramirez Referee: Sergio Pezzota (Argentina)
31 March 2009
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