Brazil beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in World Cup warm-up match

brazil_teamThe samba boys of Brazil (Pictured) beat Zimbabwe 3-0 in a friendly international played to a capacity crowd at the National Sports stadium in Harare on Wednesday.

Brazil led 2-nil at half time, because of goals from Michel Bastos and Robinho. Elano added the third, eleven minutes into the second half. The match was attended by Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Over 50,000 jubilant fans packed the stadium to watch five times world champions Brazil take on the Warriors. It was a warm-up match ahead of the World Cup in South Africa next week.

Brazil got a rapturous welcome when they arrived in Harare on Tuesday with local fans trying to catch a glimpse of the squad. Brazil, widely tipped to win the first finals hosted on the African continent, flew in from South Africa for Wednesday’s high-profile warm-up match. Brazilian officials said Zimbabwe, whose team stand a lowly 110th in the world, was chosen to host the top-ranked side because of its proximity to South Africa, the country’s southern neighbour which stages the month-long tournament from June 11.

Harare’s altitude, at nearly 1,500 metres above sea level, is similar to South Africa’s. Hundreds of cheering fans, beating drums, mobbed Brazil coach Dunga and his players, including former World Footballer of the year Kaka and Robinho, as they entered a Harare hotel under tight police guard. The ‘Samba Boys’ rarely play against African teams and Zimbabwe will became only the fifth to face them during the past 30 years after Cameroon, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa.

Brazil are with 2006 semi-finalists Portugal, Ivory Coast and tournament outsiders North Korea in Group G, labelled the ‘Group of Death’ following draw in December last year. Tanzania host Brazil in another warm-up on June 7th in Dar es Salaam – eight days before the South Americans kick off their World Cup campaign against North Korea in Johannesburg.

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