(CNN) -- Kaka was controversially sent off as his Brazil team comfortably beat Ivory Coast 3-1 in Johannesburg on Sunday night to seal qualification to the last 16 of the World Cup finals.
Luis Fabiano scored twice and Elano added the other, but with two minutes left at Soccer City the Brazilians lost their talisman to a second yellow card.
In an off-the-ball incident, Ivory Coast's Kader Keita collided with Kaka and dramatically fell to the ground clutching his face, even though it had appeared the Brazilian had pushed him in the chest with his forearm.
With Real Madrid's Kaka protesting his innocence, referee Stephane Lannoy -- who appeared not to have seen the incident -- brandished a yellow card.
Having already been booked for a clumsy challenge on Yaya Toure, it meant marching orders for Kaka, who could face more than his automatic one-game ban if world governing body FIFA rules it was violent conduct.
Following an earlier 2-1 win over North Korea in Group G, this was a far more convincing performance from the five-time champions, sparked by Fabiano's superb 25th-minute opener.
Robinho and Kaka combined to leave the Sevilla striker with a shooting chance which he struck perfectly from the angle to leave goalkeeper Boubacar Barry flailing at thin air as it whistled into the roof of the net.
Fabiano's second, five minutes after the break, came after an audacious run, but television replays showed it should have been ruled out for a double handball.
Didier Drogba, who played with a cast on his fractured arm, came close to a quick response for the Africans as his header went narrowly wide with goalkeeper Julio Cesar beaten, but a third Brazilian goal was not long coming.
Kaka was sent away on the left and found space to cut the ball back for the unmarked Elano, who easily beat Barry on 63 minutes.
Elano was stretchered off shortly afterwards, caught on the shin by the studs of Cheik Tiote, to be replaced by Dani Alves.
Brazil were playing flowing football, but they were caught upfield by a quick break by Gervinho.
He was forced out, but the ball was played back in by Yaya Toure for Drogba to beat the offside trap and head his first goal of the finals for the Elephants.
The 79th-minute strike proved merely a consolation for Sven-Goran Eriksson's men, but may be important if goal difference decides the group's runner-up spot.
Portugal face North Korea on Monday.