A tricky encounter on cards

  Dunga's Brazil have often looked at a loss when trying to break down packed defences and facing the mystery men from North Korea in their opening Group G game at Ellis Park on Tuesday could be their worst nightmare.

Brazil were held 0-0 at home by Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela in the World Cup qualifiers, each time struggling against ultra-defensive teams, and are set to face more of the same against North Korea, the lowest ranked of the 32 finalists.

Few teams can have prepared so long for a game as the side from the hermit state, who have spent more than four months together in a training marathon which has taken them to Sri Lanka, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Mexico and Venezuela.

The latter included a bizarre friendly with the Venezuelans, which lasted only 80 minutes after kicking off two hours late, the Koreans saying it was too hot at the original start time.

Their luggage was mislaid so they had to borrow Venezuela's all-white second strip.

Image: Luis Fabiano and Kaka during a practice session
Photographs: Reuters