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96° Good Afternoon

Scoring could open up in World Cup

For fans who want to see more scoring in soccer, Friday might be the time to tune in.

Brazil plays the Netherlands in the World Cup quarterfinals, and both teams are capable of filling the net.

The five-time champion Brazilians have Luis Fabiano, Robinho and Kaka, as dangerous a trio as any in the tournament. The Dutch can counter with Arjen Robben, Wesley Sneijder and Robin van Persie.

It could make for some tantalizing soccer at Port Elizbaeth (10 a.m. EDT).. "We have a very good connection, especially because of the time we played together for Sao Paulo. One look is enough to know what we are going to do," Kaka said of teaming with Luis Fabiano, who has three goals in the World Cup.

The respect is mutual.

"We have a perfect connection," Luis Fabiano said. "We understand each other. I just have to get in position and I know he will get the ball to me.". Robinho got his first goal of the tournament in a 3-0 victory over Chile in the round of 16.

"The tendency now is to get better," Robinho said. "After that first goal, it usually gets easier to score more."

The Dutch have proven dangerous. Robben returned to the lineup in the final group game after a hamstring injury and scored the first goal in a 2-1 win over Slovakia.

"We want to play beautifully, but it doesn't always work," midfielder Mark van Bommel said. "But the bottom line is we qualified for the quarterfinals. We know what we're doing."

Today's other quarterfinal has two relative surprises, Uruguay against Ghana. Uruguay's success has been emblematic of South America's dominance in the tournament. All five of the continent's teams advanced, and four remain - Argentina plays Germany and Paraguay plays Spain Saturday.

Uruguay's defense has been almost impenetrable, allowing only one goal, to South Korea in the second round. The last team to qualify for the tournament - it had to beat Costa Rica in a playoff - Uruguay has a dangerous scoring duo in Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan to go with its stingy defense.

Ghana beat the United States 2-1 in extra time in the round of 16, the second straight World Cup in which it has knocked out the Americans. Asamoah Gyan has three goals, including the winner against the U.S. He also is nursing an ankle injury.

As the last African team standing in the first tournament to be hosted on the continent, Ghana has become a fan favorite. The squad could also become Africa's first team to make the semifinals.

"We are not thinking about the pressure. We played very well at the African [Cup of] Nations so we have already proved that we are a team that knows how to compete," said Ghana's Serbian coach, Milovan Rajevache. "We have no obligation but still we want to use this opportunity to do our best and to make history."


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