Brazil 1, South Africa 0

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The Samba Kings are through to the final, where they will take on the surprise American side.

Brazil hardly looked like a Brazil side today against the Bafana Bafana, leaving the heroics for Dani Alves in the 88th minute. The Brazilians played fairly uninspired football, constantly getting outworked by the gritty South African players.

Brazil meets the USA on Sunday in the final at 1:20pm (central) on ESPN.

South Africa heads to the 3rd place game, where they will take on Spain.

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7 Responses

  1. Brazil still scares me. The USA of the past 2 games has been in completely better form than the side that met Brazil; however, the ease with which Brazil broke down our D was scary.

    What do you think about that match up?

  2. I’d like to see us do some of what South Africa did today, which is take the game at Brazil from the start. They possessed the ball well and their quick midfielders were very difficult for the Brazilians to get a hold of. Seemed like South Africa put Brazil on their heels and never looked back. With Bradley out I imagine Feilhaber might get a start and I’d like to see some of that fancy footwork putting some pressure on the Brazilians.

  3. Bryce:

    I agree. We cannot play another game of “hope we score the first goal then bunker back for the rest of the game.” It’s too difficult to maintain game in, game out.

    You make a point I find myself preaching a lot of under Bradley’s tenure: offensive pressure is the first line of defense. You stretch the opponent and don’t allow them to set up offense and/or counter quickly. Approaching the game with offense secondary to defense (I feel Bradley does this often) is not the way to succeed. We set the pace of the game vs. Spain when we came out aggressive. And, despite the awesome outcome, I thought we should have maintained more possession and passing in the middle of the field after the first 30 minutes or so – Spain had a ton of chances.

    M Bradley’s absence is tough because I think he’s great at busting things up in the mid with his tackles, etc but hopefully we will be able to place a mid that maintains form in the middle of the field and is capable of dropping back on D while providing sophisticated attacking service (e.g., passes to feet, not long balls) to our strikers. Feilhaber – IMO – has greater on the ball technique than MB.

  4. CSC:

    Absolutely. Sitting back on defense against technically gifted offensive teams like Spain and Brazil is just begging for them to pick apart your defense. We definitely threw Spain back on their heels with our energy, we should try the same against Brazil. I think we’ll miss Bradley’s tackling and poise in the middle but if Feilhaber is his replacement it won’t be too bad of a trade off with Feilhaber’s skills on the ball. Hopefully Rico Clark can have another game like he had against Spain but he might struggle without Bradley to pick up his slack.

  5. You guys hit it spot on. We need to approach this game just as we did Spain: attack the crap out of them early, and set and bait traps for them (i.e. letting Sergio Ramos come forward with ease, then countering and exposing that side of the field as a weakness). Hopefully Bradley won’t do anything stupid like start Beasley or Kljestan in his son’s place. Then I would definitely start calling for his head again.

  6. Starting Kljestan or Beasley would be a disaster. We need a skilled midfielder like Feilhaber or Torres.

  7. Exactly. Someone needs to inform Bobo of this.

    Because the way we play, Donovan and Dempsey are pretty much withdrawn strikers (since Dempsey won’t defend and sine LD goes forward so much). So we essentially play a 4-2-2-2, and there is no one to create and feed it up to the four attacking guys when Bradley or Feilhaber isn’t on the field (I know Bradley is limited in this regard and probably qualifies as a defensive/holding MF, but he is usually the one who provides the service for the guys up front. He starts a good percentage of our counter attacks).

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