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Brazil downplays dominance against Chile

28/06/2010 04:30:19 AM Comments (0)

Brazil is trying to forget about its dominant record over Chile ahead of the teams' second-round match at the World Cup on Monday.

History gives Brazil a significant edge for the match at Ellis Park, but the five-time champions are trying to leave the favourable numbers behind them.

Brazil has won seven straight matches against the Chileans, and hasn't lost to its South American rival since a 3-0 result in a qualifier for the 2002 World Cup. In its past 10 matches against Chile, Brazil has won eight, drawn one and lost only that qualifier.

"We have to forget what has happened in the past," Brazil midfielder Gilberto Silva said Sunday. "Now it's totally different. It's a knockout round. (Chile) has been playing well and we will have to be extra careful."

Brazil has also had the better of the Chileans both times the teams have met at World Cups - winning 4-1 in the second round of the 1998 tournament in France and 4-2 in a semifinal at the 1962 tournament in Chile.

Brazil coach Dunga played for Brazil in the 1998 match.

"History is in the past," Dunga said Sunday. "What really matters is how we play tomorrow."

Brazil also won both qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup: 3-0 in Chile in 2008 and 4-2 in Brazil last year.

"These numbers don't mean anything," Brazil striker Robinho said. "We won the other matches because we played well and deserved to win, and that's what we have to do again now. We need to respect all of our opponents and play like we always played - going for the victory."

While Brazil is trying to win its sixth world title, Chile's best performance was a semifinal appearance as host in 1962. It hasn't reached the quarterfinals since then. Brazil has played in all 19 World Cups, while Chile is making only its eighth appearance.

"Favouritism is not something that always reaches the field," Robinho said. "We need to respect the Chileans. It's not impossible we lose. We don't want to lose, but anything can happen."

Robinho has some favourable numbers himself, having scored six goals in the past five matches between the two nations.

"I've always been lucky against Chile," Robinho said. "I don't do anything different, but for some reason I end up scoring goals. I hope that's what happens again, so I can help Brazil win."

Brazil opened the World Cup with a 2-1 win over North Korea, then defeated Ivory Coast 3-1 and drew 0-0 with Portugal to win Group G. Chile beat Honduras 1-0, Switzerland by the same score and lost 2-1 to Spain to finish second in Group H.

"Now we can't make mistakes anymore," Gilberto Silva said. "Chile plays well on counterattacks and can be very dangerous."

Brazil will have the suspended Kaka and injured Elano returning, but coach Dunga may not select Felipe Melo because of the defensive midfielder's left ankle injury.

"Let's wait and see but he is confident," Gilberto Silva said of Felipe Melo. "Now it's time to make sacrifices so we can keep advancing."

Felipe Melo practiced with the team on Sunday but it remained unclear if he will be in the starting lineup against Chile.

Robinho also was rested against Portugal because of a minor left thigh problem, but is set to start.

The winner advances to the quarterfinals and will play either the Netherlands or Slovakia, which meet Monday in Durban.

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