Fernandinho hopes to have played himself into World Cup place

JOHANNESBURG Thu Mar 6, 2014 5:55am GMT

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JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Just days after walking up the steps at Wembley to collect a League Cup winners' medal, Fernandinho hopes to have played himself into a World Cup place with a commanding performance for Brazil on Wednesday.

A last gasp opportunity to convince Luiz Felipe Scolari of his worth was capped by a striking goal, blasted home from some 25 metres out as Brazil beat South Africa 5-0 in Johannesburg in a World Cup warm-up international.

Fernandinho - along with right back Rafinha -- will still have an agonising wait until May 7 before finding out whether he did enough to make the squad for the 2014 finals after Scolari refused to commit himself after the easy win.

"I enjoyed their performances, I found them interesting but my selection for the World Cup is not yet 100 percent fixed," said the coach.

It was Fernandinho's first appearance in the side for two years, and first under Scolari after a surprise call-up on the back of performances at Manchester City.

"I was very happy with the performance. I tried to do everything that Scolari asked. It's been a wonderful night," the 28-year-old said after the match.

"Now it's back to England and looking to continue to playing at the same level for the May 7 announcement when I hope my name will be on the final list."

Fernandinho, who helped his club win the League Cup in a come-from-behind 3-1 triumph over Sunderland on Sunday, turned in a strong midfield performance, winning possession and distributing the ball with efficiency as the World Cup hosts dispensed easily with their opponents.

Scolari also gave a 90 minute run out to Rafinha on the right side of defence in a debut for the 28-year-old full back.

"Rafinha played simply, with balance. He got stuck in and knew how to impose himself. Fernandinho played well too, he made a great goal," Scolari added.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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