JOHANNESBURG, June 21- Brazil qualified for the last 16 of the World Cup with a 3-1 win against Ivory Coast in their 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 the Ivorian wildly exaggerated the impact of the shove by falling to the ground clutching his head.
Brazil coach Dunga was left almost speechless by the sending off.
"It was a totally unjustified dismissal of Kaka, he was fouled and yet he was punished. The player who commits the foul escapes the yellow card, I have to congratulate him for that.
"We are left a bit in doubt, what do we have to do in order not to receive these yellow cards?"
Sevilla forward Luis Fabiano showed Brazilian flair for both his goals which takes the South American giants into the knockout phase with their final group game against Portugal still to come.
Ivory Coast coach Sven-Goran Eriksson felt the second yellow card against Kaka was warranted and said the Brazilians should not complain after there was more than a hint of handball in Luis Fabiano’s second goal.
"I heard Brazil complain a lot, but I don’t think they should, it is extra difficult when Fabiano is allowed to use his hands. It was not just once, it was twice," said the Swede.
But Eriksson feels Brazil have the mark of potential world champions.
"I think the Brazil team can go all the way, they have quality especially in defence," he said.
"You need to be almost perfect to beat Brazil. In every way they are good, they are very good."
Midfielder Elano compounded Ivory Coast’s misery with a well-taken shot on 62 minutes after some great work on the left wing from Kaka before Didier Drogba scored a late consolation goal on 79 minutes.
But Elano was later stretchered off the field with what appeared to be a nasty shin injury.
Chelsea striker Drogba started for the Ivory Coast despite his broken arm, but he was largely overshadowed as Dunga’s side lived up to their mantra Joga Bonito – play beautifully – with some Brazilian magic.
The Brazilians opened the scoring when Kaka slotted a pass between two defenders for Luis Fabiano to blast his shot high into the net past Elephants’ goalkeeper Boubacar Barry on 25 minutes.
The Elephants finished the half on the attack with Portsmouth forward Aruna Dindane testing Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar, but it stayed 1-0 at the break.
Luis Fabiano again showed his class as his three touches – with a suspicion of handball – saw him beat three defenders before rifling his shot past Barry who could only get a glove to the ball on 52 minutes.
Elano, who also scored in Brazil’s 2-1 win over North Korea in their opening game, then got in on the act when Kaka squared the ball from the left wing for the Galatasaray midfielder to score after an hour.
But within minutes he had to leave the field after a lunging studs-up challenge from an Ivorian.
The match ended in a controversial fashion, with Kaita picking up a yellow card for a dangerous tackle which clipped the ankle of Michel Bastos on 75 minutes.
Drogba got on the score sheet when he beat Brazil’s offside trap for an unmarked header which rolled past goalkeeper Julio Cesar with 11 minutes left.
Kaka picked up a yellow card for a push on Yaya Toure on 85 minutes and it turned into a red three minutes later when Keita ran into the Brazilian who was looking the other way, and then crumpled to the floor, clutching his face.
The referee reached for the cards and a disbelieving Kaka was dismissed.
Brazil face Portugal in their final group match on Friday in Durban, while the Ivory Coast face North Korea in Nelspruit at the same time.