Brasil have a funny way of playing just well enough to win before the final and then performing at a high level and appearing to have a lot of fun in the process. They have shown few signs of weakness in their four games so far in this tournament, the most being against a weak South African side in their semifinal game. Brasil’s passing was uncharacteristically sloppy, and that completely disrupted their usual jogo bonito. It’s unclear if any blame should go to the poor field conditions in these stadia, but something is affecting the Brasilian golden touch.
In contrast, the USA’s defense are playing at a very high level. They made few if no mistakes in their stellar win against Spain. Credit goes to their organization and the willingness of the entire team to play solid defense. However, the offense was looking as sloppy as usual, and if it weren’t for a Spanish mistake and a rather lucky bounce, perhaps the semifinal would have been settled in a tense overtime rather than in the original 90′.
The Brasilian defense has been known to have holes in the past. If this happens, and it just might, then the US have to take advantage and strike. Unfortunately, this is their greatest weakness as well, and the US will have to repeat their nearly perfect defensive performance in order to stave off the Brasilian attack. Kaka almost struck on several occasions against South Africa, which could have made the game a blowout. USA may not have the ability to shut him down, so it will take a combination of luck and perfection to make him a non-factor.
In one possible scenario, the USA will win on a brilliant Clint Dempsey strike from deep. Kaka will get his goal, but the USA defense will remain solid throughout and eventually prevail.
USA 2 :: 1 Brasil