Fabiano and Kaka burst into life

JOHANNESBURG - Brazil pair Luis Fabiano and Kaka burst into life as the five-times world champions produced a greatly-improved performance in their 3-1 win over Ivory Coast on Sunday.

Not even suspicions of handball over Luis Fabiano's second goal and a harsh red card for Kaka could take the shine of their performances in a win which steered Brazil into the second round with a game to spare.

Luis Fabiano needed only two sniffs of goal to put Brazil 2-0 ahead, producing the sort of lethal finishing which has brought him the impressive ratio of 26 goals in 40 matches and allowed him to inherit the number nine shirt which belonged to Ronaldo in the previous three World Cups

He began in the 25th minute when he was set free by Kaka and smashed an unstoppable shot past Boubacar Barry.

He enjoyed a large slice of luck for the second goal early in the second half as he twice appeared to handle the ball as he flicked it over a defender before crashing it into the net.

Luis Fabiano admitted afterwards that the ball touched his arm but said it was unintentional.

The goals ended a six-match goal drought stretching back to last September which had the Brazilian media questioning his suitability for the role, although Dunga said he had never doubted the capabilities of the Sevilla player.

"All the players have confidence in Luis Fabiano," Dunga said afterwards.

"He has always given a positive response, it's normal when a forward is two or three games without scoring becomes impatient. So, we had to transmit confidence for him because we knew his moment would come."

Voted man of the match, Luis Fabiano admitted the goals had taken a weight of his mind.

"Although I was always calm and was patient, this was a very important game from me, this counted a lot for me to score goals again. It all worked well.

Kaka went into the game under an even bigger shadow.

He is still regaining match fitness after a series of nagging injuries which hampered his first season with Real Madrid and produced a shaky performance in the 2-1 win over North Korea.

This time, he looked far closer to his former self, setting up the first goal for Luis Fabiano with an incisive pass and the third for Elano with a run to the byline and perfectly delivered ball into the penalty area.

The team's performance had the hallmarks of their coach Dunga.

It was ruthlessly efficicent, Brazil converting their first three shots on goal, but rarely attractive, with only isolated outbreaks of inspiration rather than the fluid passing which the other South American teams have shown at the World Cup.

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