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Brazil overpower New Zealand in final warm-up

Written by: Staff

GENEVA, June 4: Brazil forwards Ronaldo and Adriano shrugged off their disappointing club form by scoring to set the world champions on their way to a 4-0 win over New Zealand in their final World Cup warm-up match today.

Ronaldo, who has suffered a frustrating series of minor injuries with Real Madrid, opened the scoring two minutes before halftime.

Adriano, also under scrutiny after failing to find his scoring touch with Inter Milan, thumped home the second shortly after halftime.

Kaka added the third with a breakaway goal in the 85th minute and Juninho Pernambucano made it 4-0 in injury time as Brazil completed their 10th match without defeat.

An excellent performance by New Zealand goalkeeper Glen Moss, currently without a club, prevented the world champions adding to their score.

Brazil, whose last defeat was against Mexico in last year's Confederations Cup, open their World Cup campaign against Croatia in Berlin on June 13. They also face Australia and Japan in Group F.

Roberto Carlos was close to scoring in the third minute with a vicious inswinging shot that Moss did well to tip round the post.

Apart from that chance Brazil took time to get going but then created a flurry of chances in the 20 minutes before the break.

Cafu had a shot blocked by Moss and then fired over after Kaka escaped down the left and sent a pass across the area.

Moss also denied Adriano after Ronaldo and Ze Roberto combined to slice through the New Zealand defence. Kaka then shot wide from the edge of the area.

Ronaldo missed an easy chance when he headed over unmarked from six metres after being picked out by Cafu but atoned by opening the scoring from close range after Kaka slipped past two markers on the byline.

Two minutes later Kaka sent Ronaldo clear of the defence with a diagonal pass and although the striker beat Moss with a flicked shot his effort bounced back off the post.

New Zealand, playing the fourth match of a European tour that has produced a loss to Hungary, draw with Estonia and win over Georgia, troubled Brazil with some aerial attacks but failed to seriously test Dida in the first half.

The Kiwis gave Brazil a fright immediately after the restart as Vaughan Coveny's shot was cleared off the line by Lucio after Dida was caught off his line.

But Brazil doubled their lead in the 51st minute as Robinho, who replaced Ronaldo at halftime, ran at the heart of the New Zealand defence and slipped the ball to Adriano, who rifled in a left-foot shot from 25 metres.

The South Americans continued to pour forward but Moss thwarted Adriano, Roberto Carlos, Robinho and Cicinho with excellent saves.

However, the keeper was powerless when Kaka picked up the ball on the halfway line, outpaced his marker and slotted home the third goal in the 85th minute.

Substitute Juninho Pernambucano completed an easy victory with a goal in the third minute of injury time.


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