JOHANNESBURG, June 16 – Brazil coach Dunga said there was room for improvement after his side's 2-1 win over North Korea, but was pleased to take three points with the Ivory Coast and Portugal yet to come.Five-time World Cup winners Brazil opened their campaign in Group G with a workmanlike win over the Asian minnows at Ellis Park on Tuesday.
Despite an attacking lineup boasting Kaka and Robinho, the South Americans had to work hard in the face of some dogged defending from the tireless North Koreans.
After a resilient first half, the North Korean defence finally cracked as Maicon scored from the tightest of angles before Galatasaray’s Elano made sure of victory with the second goal.
"I believe the first match is always trying, there was a lot of nervousness and anxiety out there," said the 46-year-old Dunga, who won the 1994 World Cup with Brazil as captain.
"We all want to score and not concede any goals. I am not entirely happy with the result, we weren’t passing as quickly as I would have liked. But the spirit of these players is strong and they are willing to learn."
Dunga was not impressed that his side leaked a late goal as North Korea’s Ji Yun Nam scored a consolation effort in the 89th minute.
He also said both Germany and his side have produced the best performances of the tournament so far.
"I think all the teams which are here have to be efficient and have to defend well, without it they won’t have success," he said.
"Germany played well in their first game, but we also played well in the second-half.
"We did not put in good enough passes in the first half, but that changed after the break."
Dunga said he was reluctant to give Kaka too much game time as he works his way back from injury and the attacking midfielder was brought off with 12 minutes left.
"We anticiapted Kaka would come off, he wouldn’t play the full 90 0minutes, he hasn’t played a full game for five months," said Dunga.
"We decided to take him off after the second goal, we wanted to use (Barcelona’s Dani) Alves for his long-range shooting."
The best goal of the game was undoubtedly Maicon’s 55th-minute effort which looked like a cross, but dipped around the near post at the last second on the tightest of angles to earn him the man-of-the-match award.
Maicon dedicated the goal to his wife and admitted it was an emotional moment as he choked back tears.
"I was just thinking about everything I had to go through to get here," he said.
"It was my first match in a World Cup and I had scored a goal. I was pretty emotional, I didn’t cry, but I kissed my wedding ring to thank my wife for everything she has done to help me get here."
Jabulani, the official World Cup ball, has come in for fierce criticism at this tournament, but Maicon was full of praise.
"I think the ball is fantastic, it is nice and light and allowed me to score the goal," beamed the Brazilian.
The South American giants last won the World Cup in 2002, but the 29-year-old said his side’s goal is to see captain Lucio lift the trophy after winning the final at Soccer City.
"It is important for us to get the win, but our objective is to keep playing well and we want to be in the final on July 11."
Brazil will next face Ivory Coast, who drew 0-0 with Portugal in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, at Johannesburg’s Soccer City on Sunday.