Brazil 2 - Australia 0

There was to be no miracle in Munich with Australia going down 2-0 to the world champions in the third of the six matches to be held in that Bavarian capital. Goals to Adriano (49') and Fred (90') relegated Australia to 2nd in the group, though still two points clear of Japan and Croatia who had earlier today played a nil all draw.

The two teams last met 5 years ago in the co-federations cup in South Korea where an under strength Australian team defeated a then second string Brasil 1-0 Shaun Murphy grabbing the winner in that match. This match though was a different proposition - it was the world cup and both knew the winner gains qualification to the next round.

Australian Coach Guus Hiddink reverted back to an attacking 3-5-1-1 formation with Tim Cahill earning a starting place after his two goal haul in Kaiserslautern against Japan. Getting their first run in the world cup were Tony Popovic and Mile Sterjovski, making way for them were Luke Wilkshire, Marco Bresciano, and (as it was against Uruguay) Harry Kewell started on the bench. Brasil made no changes to the team that had a lackluster win over Croatia one nil in Berlin.

Australia, dressed in its all dark blue away strip, had the first win of the day when skipper Mark Viduka won the toss.

It was clear Australia was not going to just concede the match. Once underway Australia paid the world champions the respect they deserved getting back in maximum numbers in defensive situations especially every time Ronaldinho swept a free kick into the penalty area.

Early on Australia gave to much room to Kaka and Ronaldo a fact quickly noted by the coaching staff as the message went out to close down with more urgency but with room Ronaldo was afforded he made little use of it looking flat and uninterested early on as he did against Croatia.

German referee Markus Merk set an early standard in relation to fouls with several Australian's hearing the whistle. One adjudged foul by Australian midfielder Brett Emerton on Roberto Carlos saw him earn a caution in the 13th minute not for the foul but for his dissenting language after the whistle had sounded.

Cahill worked hard early and wasn't about to let this starting opportunity slip, though his caution from the Japan game would have been on his mind.

Australia were looking strong at the back not rushing in and any lapses were quickly dealt with by others.

Cahill made good run down the left hand side and it was only a foul tackle by Cafu that saw him enter the referee's notebook that could stop him.

Mile Sterjovski showed his inexperience playing in large stadiums in big matches when he was put through the defensive line but then gently ran the ball over the goal line for a goal kick claiming he had heard a whistle. It was a whistle - unfortunately for Australia it was a whistle from the crowd.

Mark Schwarzer had to be right on his game too, and was in the first half coming off his line well to often claim the ball on the edge of his area.

Tony Popovic had to be replaced in the 40th minute after going down with what looked to be a calf strain, coach Hiddink opting with midfielder Marco Bresciano as his replacement. This would not have featured in the plans for Hiddink and halftime was the time to reassure his charges that everything was still on track.

The teams went in to the break locked at 0-0 with Australia conceding 12 fouls - three times more then the world champions - but claiming 3 shots on goal to Brazil's nil, even though Australia had done a lot of defending throughout the half.

Interestingly the referee and his assistants decided to change shirt colour at half time from grey to red, the same colour worn by Schwarzer.

Carlos Alberto Parreira sent his team out from the half time break firing with it only taking 4 minutes for Adriano to score. Adriano took advantage of an Australian backline that seemed to stop dead, and ran 'one on one' with Schwarzer, firing home from 18 yards. It was a good strike that Schwarzer could do little about.

Marco Bresiacano on 55 minutes made a break after sloppy play in the Brasilian midfield set him free up field and he would have gone 'one on one' with Dida in the Brazilian goal had it not been for superb come-from-behind covering tackle by eventual man of the match Ze Roberto. 55 minutes also saw Guus Hiddink pull off Tim Cahill and replace him with Harry Kewell.

Cahill was playing well and doing a lot of work and the substitution may have had something to do with protecting his assets for the next crunch match against Croatia with Cahill carrying a caution into the match and coming off a knee injury.

Kewell's first touch very nearly ended in a goal to Australia. A rain maker was put up in the Brasilian penalty area and keeper Dida went up to take the ball as did Australian captain Mark Viduka, Dida came down with possession but came down with his arms on either side of Viduka essentially hugging him with the ball on the other side. Dida instinctively attempt to bring the ball to his chest but only managed to dislodge the ball on Viduka's body. The ball fell for Kewell and though Dida was diving now to try and reduce the angle, it was a ball that you would expect Kewell to bury - but he shot high.

Kewell's injection was obvious and must have had the Brasilian's slightly worried about their slender lead. Kewell and Viduka teamed up to again break free of the Brazilian defensive line but it was Ze Roberto who chased back and made the tackle that had to be made for Brazil coming away with the ball in the process.

Hiddink opted for even more attacking options for the final 21 minutes as he did against Japan with the substitution of Craig Moore replaced with the scorer of the third goal against Japan John Aloisi.

10 minutes from time Marco Bresicano thought he had done what Cahill had done against Japan and equalized, with less than ten minutes remaining, only to see his volley somehow kept out by the outstretched arm of Dida.

Australia had numerous opportunities to equalize through Viduka, Kewell and Bresciano but failed to convert any of the chances which would prove to be costly for the team. Fred made it 2 nil to the Brazilians when Schwarzer couldn't stop shot which hit the upright and bounced back across goal for him to tap into an open goal.

2-0 was the final result and the Australians were far from disgraced, while the Brasilians are starting to find their feet after the disappointing game against Croatia. By the end of the match Australia had conceded 25 fouls to Brasil's 9, a statistic that displays exactly how much defensive work the Australian's had to do (Ed. as well as the referees contribution).

Australian coach Guus Hiddink said after the match he thought it was a good match to watch as a spectator, though he (as the Australian coach) was not happy with the result. "The team just lacked the last killer pass", he said.

written by Trent Dickeson