June 22, 2006
Brazil 4, Japan 1: The Fat Man Lives. The favorites shook off the effects of a stunning first half goal by Japan, then methodically took apart their opponents with three second half goals to clinch the group, and a second round match-up with Ghana. Ronaldo, who has been all but compared with Mo Vaughn and Vlad Guerrero in the bulk department, scored two goals, the first just before halftime to tie the score, and the second with eight minutes to play to assure the win, and thereby move into a tie with West German legend Gerd Muller for the most goals in World Cup play with 14. This was the team that everyone has been waiting to show up.