Brazil beat Ivory Coast 3-1, reach last 16

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) - Brazil qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup with a 3-1 win against Ivory Coast in their World Cup Group G clash at Soccer City on Sunday, but had star midfielder Kaka controversially sent off.

Kaka was dismissed for a second yellow card in the final minutes for pushing Abdelkader Keita, but it appeared the Ivorian had wildly exaggerated the impact of the shove by falling to the ground clutching his head.

The Brazilians opened the scoring with typical flair when Kaka slotted a pass between two Ivory Coast defenders for Luis Fabiano who blasted his shot high into the net past the Elephants' goalkeeper Boubacar Barry on 25 minutes.

Luis Fabiano got his second goal when he battled through the Ivorian defence, chipped the ball over two defenders, and finished with a low left-foot shot, although there was a suspicion he brought the ball down with his arm.

Kaka was also the provider for the third goal when his low cross was neatly finished off by Elano after the hour-mark.

But minutes later Elano had to be stretchered off the pitch after what appeared to be a nasty shin injury.

Ivory Coast's coach Sven Goran Eriksson (L) embraces Brazil's midfielder Elano (R) before the match between the Ivory Coast and Brazil on June 20, 2010. AFP

Ivory Coast pulled a goal back through Chelsea star Didier Drogba - who started the game despite the broken right arm he suffered in a pre-World Cup friendly - who directed a header past Brazil 'keeper Julio Cesar with 79 minutes gone.

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