Monday, June 17th
Brazil vs Belgium in Kobe (2:0)
Svengali and the England team were in the stands to study the
three Rs - Ronaldo, Rivaldo and Ronaldinho.
Within 40 seconds though, the first chance fell to Belgium; Marcos
tipping Mbo Mpenza's shot away for a corner.
Belgium weren't giving the four times World Champions the space they
needed and started very positively.
With fifteen minutes gone, it looked like Brazil definitely had a
fight on their hands; even Roberto Carlos had to give more than 100% and Ronaldinho was
working in defence - to head the ball back to his goalkeeper.
But take your eye off the Brazilian forwards for a second and they can
tear you apart, as Ronaldo proved by crossing into Rivaldo - who might have scored if he
didn't try to perform the spectacular.
A minute later and Marc Wilmots tried to emulate Edmílson's classic
goal against Costa Rica.
Whatever the result in this game, the watching England team would be
pleased that both sides were pushing the other to their physical limits.
A 35th minute header, by Wilmots, was dubiously disallowed and Brazil
could breathe again.
Then two minutes later, Ronaldo dashed through Jacky Peeters and
Daniel Van Buyten, only to be thwarted by Geert De Vlieger's face.
The Belgian goalkeeper soon recovered, although the reserve keeper
continued with his warm-up routine.
Five minutes before the break, Ronaldinho sent Rivaldo down the left
and Ronaldo's volley, with the outside of his outstretched foot, wasn't far over.
Half-time: Brazil 0 - Belgium 0
Seven minutes after the re-start, Marc Wilmots almost caught Marcos
unsighted; when the Belgian turned and shot low, through the Brazilian defence.
Belgium continued to apply the pressure as Mpenza almost slipped in at
the far post; only brave goalkeeping, from Marcos, kept the ball out.
On the next attack, Mpenza looked back as he chased the ball down the
right, towards the corner-flag, and noticed his captain on the edge of the area.... Marcos
did well again; to keep out the rising shot from Marc Wilmots.
Rivaldo finally opened the scoring for Brazil, in the 67th minute, when he took
Ronaldinho's right wing chip on his chest..... flicked the ball on the turn and
half-volleyed past Geert De Vlieger.
Only when Belgium went a goal down did Wesley Sonck come on (for Jacky
Peeters).... and he almost scored a few minutes later.
Brazil tried to slow the pace down in the last ten minutes but Belgium
continued to fight on bravely and gave Brazil the space to seal the game.
Ronaldo's fifth goal of the tournament, three minutes from the end, ended any hopes
Belgium had of making it into extra-time.
If anything, Belgium and Turkey
have proved that Brazil can be flustered;. and with a little bit of luck, even beaten.
That should please England - when they meet
the France 98 finalists, in the quarter-final.
Brazil 2 - Belgium 0
Man of the Match:
Marc Wilmots - Unfortunate to have his goal disallowed and came close to scoring again.
Apart from that, he marshaled his team marvelously and encouraged them to take the game to
Brazil for well over an hour.
Yves Vanderhaeghe (24 mins)
Roberto Carlos (28 mins)
1 Marcos; 2 Cafu, 5 Edmílson, 3 Lúcio, 6 Roberto Carlos, 4 Roque Junior; 8 Gilberto
Silva, 19 Juninho Paulista (17 Denilson - 57 mins), 10 Rivaldo, 11 Ronaldinho (15
Kléberson - 81 mins); 9 Ronaldo.
1 Geert De Vlieger; 15 Jacky Peeters (9 Wesley Sonck - 73 mins), 16 Daniel Van Buyten, 5
Nico Van Kerckhoven; 8 Bart Goor, 6 Timmy Simons, 18 Yves Vanderhaeghe, 11 Gert Verheyen,
10 Johan Walem; 22 Mbo Mpenza, 7 Marc Wilmots.
Referee: Peter Prendergast
Denmark, France, Senegal, Uruguay.
Paraguay, Slovenia, Spain,
Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Turkey.
South Korea, United States.
Korea First Round Matches.
Cameroon, Germany, Republic of Ireland,
Argentina, England, Nigeria, Sweden.
Croatia, Ecuador, Italy, Mexico.
Belgium, Japan, Russia, Tunisia.
Japan First Round Matches.
2002 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
Group Tables - Leading Goalscorers.
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