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Updated: Thursday June 13, 2002 06:30 AM ET
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Brazil 5, Costa Rica 2
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SUWON, South Korea (Ticker) -- So far, Ronaldo has been a man of his word.

The two-time FIFA World Player of the Year scored for the third time in as many matches and Edmilson recorded his first international goal in spectacular fashion as Brazil strolled to a 5-2 rout of Costa Rica in Group C.

Costa Rica's three-goal defeat, coupled with Turkey's 3-0 victory over China, means "Los Ticos" are out of the World Cup by virtue of their inferior goal difference to the Turks.

Rivaldo and Junior tallied a goal and an assist apiece as Brazil won Group C and became the second team to earn maximum points in the opening round. Spain accomplished the feat in Group B.

"In the second phase, every game is difficult," Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said. "We have to keep our calm, understand our power and understand that we have to reach each game with our mind concentrated on the game itself."

Ronaldo vowed to score in every match at this World Cup and, after his apparent 10th-minute effort was ruled an own goal by defender Luis Marin, the star striker delivered three minutes later. He fought off four Costa Rican players to put home his 40th career goal for Brazil and make it 2-0.

Just seven minutes before the interval, Edmilson got hold of a deflected cross and fired a dazzling bicycle kick past Costa Rica goalkeeper Erick Lonnis.

Paulo Wanchope and Ronald Gomez found the net, reducing Costa Rica's deficit to 3-2. But "Los Ticos" were unable to capitalize on most of their 17 shots and failed to repeat their performance at the 1990 World Cup in Italy, where they reached the second round.

"In the three (first-round) games, we have been under pressure because when we had a certain difference in score (the lead), Brazil start playing slower and simply stop doing what we have been doing in practice," Scolari said. "Brazil are making mistakes and it gives opponents a chance. We know our mistakes, we're going to work on them."

Despite having qualified after its opening two victories, Brazil set out to beat Costa Rica and put on an exhibition of "the beautiful game" in the process.

In the 62nd minute, Junior fired a low cross from the right flank to Rivaldo. The 1999 FIFA World Player of the Year found the net with his his 12-yard shot, collected his third goal of the World Cup and restored the South Americans' two-goal advantage.

"I am glad I scored at 3-2 because Costa Rica was striving to draw at 3-3 and, had the score been 3-3, no one knows what the result might have been," Rivaldo said. "So I am very satisfied because I scored at an important time. Also, I am happy that I have been able to score consistently in each match so far."

Junior capped the scoring two minutes later, collecting a pass from substitute Ricardinho and beating Lonnis at the near post.

As is traditional with Brazilian sides, memorable moments were not confined to scoring plays alone. In fact, two came just before halftime.

Ronaldo's brilliant dribbling display on the left side of the area made room for a cross, which Rivaldo sent over the crossbar. Then in stoppage time, Rivaldo's curling free kick failed to clear just one obstacle, the left post.

But Costa Rica certainly had its opportunities. Mauricio Wright had a pair in the opening half-hour, but sent both headers over the crossbar.

"(I'm) sad for the result, yes, of course. But we are very proud, extremely happy of our style," Costa Rica coach Alexandre Guimaraes said. "We came here to the World Cup to show the improvement of the football in Costa Rica. So today we showed that against one of the important national teams, Brazil."

Wright finally helped "Los Ticos" finally get on the board five minutes before the break. Wanchope worked a give-and-go with the defender and scored via deflection from Brazil defender Lucio.

Ronald Gomez pulled Costa Rica within 3-2 in the 56th minute, when he finished off Walter Centeno's cross.

Gomez also had a shot stopped by Brazil goalkeeper Marcos, Junior has the left post to thank for not scoring a 71st-minute own goal and Costa Rica's Rolando Fonseca rocketed the ball just past that same post six minutes later.

Costa Rica was the first qualifier from the CONCACAF region to be defeated at the 2002 World Cup. "Los Ticos" have combined with the Mexicans and the Americans to post a 4-1-2 record thus far in the opening round.

On the day he improved his Brazil national team record by recording his 107th cap, Cafu was issued the match's lone yellow card, needlessly thwarting a Costa Rican player's progress with his arm in injury time of a very clean contest.

 


 
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