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Stunned Brazil break Korean resolve

BRAZIL (2) vs NORTH KOREA (1)

THEY may be in the so-called ‘Group of Death’, but North Korea are far from dead yet as they gave five-time winners Brazil the fright of their lives in Johannesburg last night.

The Koreans defended resiliently to keep their goal in check at the break, only for the top seeds, inspired by Manchester City reject Robinho, to launch a second half assault.

Finally, Inter Milan right back Maicon broke the resistance of the world’s 105th-ranked team in the 55th minute with a stunning cross-cum-shot from an impossible angle.

This seemed to settle the Samba Boys down and they soon doubled their advantage 17 minutes later with a goal straight from Eastlands – Robinho threading the ball through for another City outcast, Elano, to coolly slot home into the corner.

But the North Koreans battled away and with a minute remaining, Ji Yun-Nam carved his name in folklore when latching onto Jong Tae-Se’s flick-on to rifle home a famous goal.

So, as expected, it’s Dunga’s men who lead the way in the dreaded Group G, but anyone who still sees North Korea as whipping boys on this evidence, need think again.