Thursday, 22nd June 2006
Ronaldo Equals Gerd Müller's Goalscoring Record
Japan vs Brazil
Of the seven previous encounters between Japan and Brazil, Japan have failed to win one of
them; although they drew the last two Confederations Cup meetings: (2:2) in Cologne, on
22nd June 2005; and (0:0) in Ibaraki, on 4th June 2001.
Japan started with some good possession and foraying runs into the Brazilian area. For
Brazil, Ronaldo almost looked sharp, when he forced Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi into a save at
the near post.
In the 10th minute, Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi parried a good shot from
Robinho; as Real Madrid's other Brazilian striker tried to make his mark on the game.
Then six minutes later, Robinho made Kawaguchi leap; as he shifted
balance from the right to the left, to lose the Japan defenders and unleash a left-fot
Ronaldo again, three minutes later; making Kawaguchi earn his wages.
Then Juninho powered a drive in to sting the Japanese keeper's fingers.
In the 24th minute, Japan managed to get around the back of Brazil; as
Gilberto Silva slid in to cut out Akira Kaji's low cross/shot. Dida probably had it
covered but the Arsenal player wasn't taking any chances.
Ronaldo almost looked back to his best when, with three defenders on
him, he did a blitz turn to whip in a low shot but there were still too many bodies in the
Then Japan took the lead, just after the half-hour, as Keiji Tamada
ran into an amazing hole in the Brazilian penalty area to latch onto the Brazilian-born,
Alessandro Santos' perfectly weighted through pass after an excellent crossfield pass had
Ronaldo scored his 13th World Cup Finals goal, to overtake Pele, when
he headed in Cicinho's cross-box header; from Ronldinho's cross-field cross, in the last
seconds of the first-half.
The often criticised Brazilian striker is now only one goal away from
Gerd Müller's all-time record of fourteen World Cup Finals goals.
He may be fatter but he still knows where the goal is and how to get
the ball in there, with the minimum of effort.
Five minutes after the re-start, Ronaldo was so close to equalling the
goalscoring record after a lovely back-heel from Ronaldinho set him up with a perfect
chance; Ronaldo's low shot just wide of the right post.
Then, just three minutes later, Kawaguchi made his first-half
performance count for nothing as everyone will remember this howler. The hero of the
first-half turned villain in a second as he seemed to be bending at the knees and let
Juninho's shot fly through his half-outstretched hands.
Then carnival time, as Gilberto ran into the area on the left and took
the ball alone, for Brazil's third goal; a goal that Roberto Carlos would be proud of.
Then just as it looked like Brazil were taking it easy, to save Zico's
team from humiliation, they changed the pace of the game again and Ronaldo equalled Gerd
Müller's record of 14 World Cup Finals goals.
Japan 1 - Brazil 4
1:0 Keiji Tamada (33)
1:1 Ronaldo (45)
1:2 Juninho Pernambucano (53)
1:3 Gilberto (59)
1:4 Ronaldo equals Gerd Müller's record. (81)
23 Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi; 14 Alessandro Santos, 19 Keisuke Tsuboi, 21 Akira Kaji, 22 Yuji
Nakazawa; 7 Hidetoshi Nakata, 8 Mitsuo Ogasawara, 10 Shunsuke Nakamura, 17 Junichi
Inamoto; 11 Seiichiro Maki, 20 Keiji Tamada.
1 Nelson Dida; 3 Ferreira Lucio, 4 Juan, 13 Cicinho, 16 Gilberto; 8 Kaká, 10 Ronaldinho,
17 Gilberto Silva, 19 Juninho Pernambucano; 9 Ronaldo, 23 Robinho.
Eric Poulat (France)
55 Mins (Japan) - 6 Koji Nakata on for 8 Mitsuo Ogasawara
60 Mins (Japan) - 9 Naohiro Takahara on for 11 Seiichiro Maki
66 Mins (Japan) - 16 Masashi Oguro on for 9 Naohiro Takahara
71 Mins (Brazil) - 11 Jose Ze Roberto on for 8 Kaká
71 Mins (Brazil) - 20 Luis Ricardinho on for 10 Ronaldinho
82 Mins (Brazil) - 12 Rogerio Ceni on for 1 Nelson Dida
40 Mins - Akira Kaji (Japan)
44Mins - Gilberto (Brazil)
Croatia vs Australia
2006 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.
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