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25.06.2006 Football News

Brazil v Ghana

By Reuters
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(Reuters) - Brazil meet Ghana in Dortmund on Tuesday in the second round of the World Cup.

Brazil finished top of Group F with maximum points, though their performances against Croatia and Australia were below par.

Coach Parreira made five changes for the final group match against Japan, when qualification was already assured, and was rewarded with a 4-1 win and their best performance so far.

Ghana, making their World Cup debut, say they are under no pressure and are looking forward to playing the holders.

Having opened their campaign with a disappointing 2-0 defeat by Italy, they have since brushed aside the highly-rated Czech Republic and United States and will not be easy to beat.

Suspended: None for Brazil. The West Africans have to play without powerhouse midfielder Michael Essien who is banned. However, they welcome back striker Asamoah Gyan and midfielder Sulley Muntari who were suspended for the U.S. match.

Injured: Brazil's squad are all fit while Ghana's Razak Pimpong bruised his ribs against the U.S. but should be fit enough to come off the bench at some stage.

Key quotes:

Brazil coach Parreira: "Ghana have been a beautiful surprise and they deserved to qualify. They have good technique and play with great speed."

Midfielder Juninho Pernambucano: "It will be a very dangerous game and we have to take care."

Ghana coach Dujkovic: "It's very difficult to stop them. If you stop Ronaldhino, there is Ronaldo. If you stop Ronaldo there is Roberto Carlos. If you stop (him) there is Cafu so it will be very difficult, very tough.

"They have excellent individuality. But as a team they are not playing so well as before."

Key Stats:

Brazil are unbeaten in 13 internationals, their last defeat coming against Mexico at last year's Confederations Cup.

Brazil have won a record 10 successive matches at World Cup finals going back to a 2-1 win over Turkey in their opening match at the 2002 finals. Their last defeat was 3-0 against France in the 1998 final.

They have a 100 percent record and have yet to concede a goal against African opposition at the World Cup. They have beaten Zaire (1974), Algeria (1986), Cameroon (1994) and Morocco (1998).

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