Brazil looking to improve on debut

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Brazil is already thinking beyond its below-average World Cup debut against Croatia.

Updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Koenigstein, Germany:

Brazil is already thinking beyond its below-average World Cup debut against Croatia, hoping to improve in its last two group matches and the remainder of the competition. The defending champions remained confident of their chances of a record sixth world title despite having to work hard to beat the Croats 1-0 on Tuesday in Berlin. "It's everything under control,'' Ronaldinho told the Brazilian Soccer Confederation's Web site on Wednesday. "Considering it was a World Cup opener, when there's a lot of tension, we were certain it would be a complicated match. But we also are certain that we will improve, and a lot, in the next matches.'' Kaka's touch Brazil got the win - a record eighth consecutive in World Cups - with a goal by midfielder Kaka in the 44th minute. The Croats challenged throughout the match, however, and had several chances to come out with at least a draw. Coach Carlos Alberto Parreira called the result "exceptional,'' but admitted the team's performance wasn't ideal. "The national team needs to improve - and it can,'' he said. The coach had been saying since the beginning of Brazil's pre-World Cup preparation three weeks ago that he didn't expect Brazil to be 100 percent for the opener, and that the team would gradually improve. (AP)

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