English dream over
Brazil through to semis on Ronaldinho strikePosted: Friday June 21, 2002 2:11 AM
Updated: Friday June 21, 2002 9:59 AM
SHIZUOKA, Japan (Reuters) -- Ronaldinho made one goal and scored a stunning second before being controversially sent off as Brazil came from behind to beat England 2-1 and reach the World Cup semifinals Friday.
The result establishes Brazil as a firm favorite to win the World Cup final in Yokohama on June 30. The four-time champion now plays either Senegal or Turkey who meet Saturday.
In an eagerly-awaited replay of their 1970 World Cup classic which Brazil won 1-0, England took a 23rd minute lead through Michael Owen after a mistake by Lucio.
Rivaldo equalized in first-half injury time -- his fifth goal in five games -- and Ronaldinho curled a fantastic free-kick over goalkeeper David Seaman from 35 meters in the 50th minute.
Seven minutes after his goal, the Brazilian forward was sent off for fouling Danny Mills, a harsh decision for what was generally a clean game.
Every time it has played England in the World Cup previously -- in 1958, 1962 and 1970 -- Brazil has gone on to win the tournament.
Brazil, which has come back from a goal down to win more matches than any other team in World Cup history, fully deserved to do it for the 13th time after showing more attacking flair and silencing critics who said it could not defend. (Pragmatic Brazil wins midfield battle)
"I feel a job has been well done. I have a personal feeling of satisfaction and that we fulfilled the faith that the Brazilian people put in us. (Brazilians samba until sunrise)
"The only thing I had in my mind was to stay alive in the competition -- and not to die," said Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Asked about Ronaldinho's red card which keeps him out of the semifinal, he said: "He was kicked by the English player -- I definitely didn't agree with the decision."
"I hoped we would have done a little bit better when we played 11 against 10 but it was too late and we were tired. We didn't use our advantage very much.
"We were chasing, chasing -- I don't think we had one shot on goal when 11 on 10. The boys tried very hard.
"Brazil were very good at keeping the ball. We could maybe have done better today. It was a great pity.
"They are better than us at keeping the ball. I think that's the difference.
"We made a small mistake at the end of the first half and maybe another at the beginning of the second.
"But, no regrets. We had a great opportunity to reach the semifinal and we didn't take it. We did very well in the first half until injury time. (We were never in danger, says Brazil)
On the final whistle, Seaman, who clearly blamed himself for Brazil's second, burst into tears and had to be consoled by Beckham. (England grieves as hopes crushed)
It is the second time in his career that a long-range shot has beaten Seaman in an important match. In the 1995 European Cup Winners' Cup final, Nayim scored a last minute winner for Real Zaragoza against Arsenal from close to the halfway line.
"My main thing is that I just want to say sorry to the fans," Seaman told reporters.
Asked about the response from his England teammates after the final whistle of the 2-1 loss, Seaman said: "They've just been encouraging, they've been fantastic.
"They've just been saying 'just forget it' -- 'you kept us in this tournament,' things like that."
England captain David Beckham said it would be a disgrace if Seaman was blamed for his side's defeat.
"If anyone tries to make a scapegoat out of David Seaman I think it would be an absolute disgrace because I think he's been the best goalkeeper in this tournament," said Beckham, who was blamed for England's second round exit at the 1998 World Cup after being red-carded against Argentina.
"The goal wasn't his fault. It was a fluke goal that was a cross that ended up being a goal."
But Beckham conceded England had not made the most of Ronaldinho's 57th minute red card for a challenge on Danny Mills.
"We didn't take advantage of the situation as we should have done," Beckham said.
"But that's the way things go. We're all proud of ourselves and as a captain I'm proud of the team. This is a very young team and it's come a long way in a short space of time."
Denying there was a skills gap between the two sides, Beckham said: "Technically, Brazilians have always been brilliant -- that's been proved over so many years.
"But I feel every player in this team is comfortable on the ball just like every one of their players.
"It just wasn't to be our day."
"We learned a lot of course, many things and a lot of young players we have in the squad they will be better and better," said England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.
"Congratulations to Brazil, they have a very good football team and they play very good football." (Rivaldo goal was killer blow, says England)
England pushed hard for an equalizer against 10 men after Ronaldinho's 57th minute dismissal but failed to create any clearcut chances and was simply beaten by a better team.
Brazil had started out the more threatening with a deflected drive from Roberto Carlos and Ronaldo's neat one-two with Rivaldo setting up a low shot straight at David Seaman.
But the match burst into life when defender Lucio miscued his interception of Emile Heskey's ball upfield, Owen burst into the penalty area and hammered an unstoppable shot past Marcos.
England clung on until the second minute of injury time before a move which started with skipper David Beckham jumping over a two-man tackle.
Ronaldinho collected the pass and shrugged off Ashley Cole's challenge before flicking the ball wide to an unmarked Rivaldo, whose cross-shot gave Seaman no chance.
The strike maintained his record of scoring once in all five of games so far -- but it paled in comparison with Ronaldinho's stunning free-kick five minutes after the break.
Ronaldinho caught Seaman off his line and the backtracking England keeper could do nothing to prevent the ball sailing into the top left hand corner.
Seven minutes later, he was red carded for the lunge on Mills, the high tackle leaving the England defender writhing on the ground.
Despite England's exit, Beckham said there were still positive aspects of England's stay at the finals, having emerged from group F with a victory over Argentina and draws with Sweden and Nigeria, plus a resounding 3-0 second round win over Denmark.
"The plus points are that we were in a quarterfinal of a World Cup where people said we would go out in the first round -- that we wouldn't even get through the Group of Death.
"We're a young team. We'll come back from this. Of course, there's disappointment -- everyone of us is disappointed.
"But me as a captain and Mr. Eriksson as a manager, we're all proud of the whole 23 players -- not just the 11 who were out there.
"It's been a squad thing all the way through this tournament until the final whistle," said Beckham.
Kleberson beefs up Brazil midfield
Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari decided to beef up his midfield for Friday's World Cup quarterfinal against England by bringing in Kleberson for Juninho.
Kleberson, the only change to the team that started the 2-0 win over Belgium on Monday, is stronger in the tackle than Juninho and gives added bite to a midfield in which Gilberto Silva has often fought a lonely battle as the sole tackling specialist.
Kleberson had an impressive 20 minutes against Belgium after coming on as a substitute, setting up the second goal by charging down the right and playing a perfect ball into the path of striker Ronaldo.
England made no changes to the side that started their 3-0 second round win over Denmark.
Striker Michael Owen, who had been doubtful because of a groin strain, was included. But England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson said Owen might not last the full 90 minutes.
England 1 Brazil 2 - result
World Cup, quarterfinal
England - Michael Owen 23
Brazil - Rivaldo 45, Ronaldinho 50
Brazil - Ronaldinho 57
England - Paul Scholes 75, Rio Ferdinand 86
Halftime: 1-1; Attendance: 47,436
England: (4-4-2) 1-David Seaman; 2-Danny Mills, 5-Rio Ferdinand, 6-Sol Campbell, 3-Ashley Cole (17-Teddy Sheringham 80); 7-David Beckham, 8-Paul Scholes, 21-Nicky Butt, 4-Trevor Sinclair (23-Kieron Dyer 56); 11-Emile Heskey, 10-Michael Owen (20-Darius Vassell 79)
Brazil: (3-5-2) 1-Marcos; 3-Lucio, 5-Edmilson, 4-Roque Junior; 2-Cafu, 8-Gilberto Silva, 15-Kleberson, 11-Ronaldinho, 6-Roberto Carlos; 9-Ronaldo (20-Edilson 70), 10-Rivaldo
Referee: Felipe Ramos Rizo (Mexico)
Linesmen: Hector Vergara (Canada), Mohamed Saeed (Maldives)
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