Brazil's players celebrate after their men's Group C football match against Egypt at the London 2012 Olympic Games in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff July 26, 2012 (Photo : . REUTERS/Francois Lenoir)
Brazil came out like the squad everyone expected them to before almost imploding in their match against Egypt.
The South Americans looked like a team on a mission in the early going as they dominated possession against a nervous and tentative Egyptian squad. In the 15th minute Rafael blasted a low shot into the corner to give the 'Selecao' a 1-0 lead.
Like Us on Facebook
10 minutes later, the Samba Kings added another when a lob passed through a sleepy Egyptian defense and found a breaking Oscar. He rounded Egyptian keeper Ahmed El Shenawi and crossed to Leandro Damiao who scored into an empty goal. Then hyped superstar Neyamr added a third when he raced down the field, eluded a few defenders and passed it over to Hulk. Neymar then headed in a perfect cross to give Brazil a 3-0 lead.
The Selecao would leave the first half looking like the most dominant team in the tournament and making the Egyptians look like an embarrassment.
But the Baby Pharaohs had different plans and exposed the overconfident Brazilians in the second half. During a wild scramble in front of the South American net, Mohammed Aboutrika blasted the ball at the net. It caromed off the post and gave Egypt its first goal. Just 24 minutes later, at the 76th minute Egypt brought themselves within one goal when Mohamed Salah scored off a left foot blast.
Brazil would reawaken in the final moments of the game but was unable to turn their otherwise sloppy play into any defining moment.
Neymar was disappointing in this match despite scoring the defining goal. He tried to take the play on himself and did not seem to be willing to distribute as much as he should have. Brazil's sloppiness in the second half is more attributable to an Egyptian team that looked determined and upped their level of play a few notches. It will be interesting to see if Egypt can maintain this level of tenacity on Sunday against New Zealand and which Brazil is the real Brazil against Belarus.