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Shorthanded Brazil whips Wales

CARDIFF (May 23, 2000 7:09 p.m. EDT http://www.sportserver.com) - FIFA's world No. 1 Brazil thumped Wales 3-0 in a friendly match at the Millennium Stadium Tuesday despite coach Wanderley Luxemburgo having to field an understrength side.

Vasco da Gama scoring threat Romario was ruled out with a thigh strain while defender Roberto Carlos was preparing for Wednesday's Champions League final against Valencia in Paris.

Other notable absentees for the South Americans were rising stars Alex, Ronaldinho Gaucho and Athirson, all failing to make the tour due to their busy club schedule.

Second half goals from Bayern Munich striker Giovane Elber, Roma defender Cafu and Barcelona playmaker Rivaldo did the damage with the home side offering little in attack.

Wales suffered a major blow just before kickoff when pacy winger Ryan Giggs, an English Premiership winner with Manchester United, was ruled out an hour before kickoff.

Elber put Brazil ahead after 63 minutes with a close-range effort and Cafu increased their lead seven minutes later with a thunderous drive.

Rivaldo struck a third with a flashing header after 73 minutes to round off a comfortable night for the South Americans.

The closest Wales got to scoring was when Charlton midfielder John Robinson hit the inside of the post three minutes after the Brazilians had taken the lead.

Giggs had been expected to play but failed even to make the bench due to a thigh injury.

It meant Norwich striker Iwan Roberts got a rare chance to play alongside Dean Saunders, making his 73rd appearance for his country to equal the Welsh record for an outfield player.

Roger Freestone, the Swansea keeper whose club record 22 clean sheets was a massive help toward a Third Division championship, made his debut. He was chosen ahead of Mark Crossley, who has not played first-team soccer at Nottingham Forest since January.

Brazil had two players making their debuts, Arsenal's Silvinho and Sao Paulo striker Franca. Eight of their side were European based, including Rivaldo and the hugely experienced Roma trio of Cafu - a 1994 World Cup winner winning his 93rd cap - Antonio Carlos and Aldair.

It took the visitors only four minutes to show off their attacking potential. Aston Villa defender Mark Delaney had to slide in with a last-ditch tackle to deny Bayer Leverkusen striker Ze Roberto after a thrilling four-man move had ripped the Welsh defense apart.

Rivaldo then went close with a low drive four minutes later with Wales keeper Freestone at full stretch, but thankfully for the home side the ball flew inches wide.

The Barcelona star, who was starting to find plenty of space in midfield, then struck a fearsome free kick after 27 minutes which the Welsh wall did well to block.

Welsh coach Mark Hughes had ordered the pitch to be narrowed to deny the South Americans space to attack - but this also worked against the hosts who were hustled out of their stride by the four-time world champions.

Newcastle midfielder Gary Speed had the home crowd on its feet after 42 minutes when Brazil keeper Dida failed to hold the Welshman's stinging free kick.

A minute later Cesar Sampaio was left unmarked in the Welsh penalty area but his header went straight into the arms of Freestone to conclude an uninspiring first half.

Brazil started the second period the livelier of the two sides and Elber was unfortunate to see his cross slide across the home area with nobody running in to capitalize.

The visitors almost took the lead after 59 minutes when Rivaldo played a delightful one-two with Silvinho before drilling the ball inches past the post.

Wales did not heed the warning and four minutes later the passionate home crowd were silenced as Brazil went in front.

Freestone did brilliantly to first deny Rivaldo and then Franca with a splendid double save but the ball spilled to Elber who gratefully slotted the ball home.

The goal lifted Wales briefly and John Robinson came close to tying the scores after 66 minutes but his right-foot strike from outside the penalty box rattled the post with Dida helpless.

But any thoughts of a Wales comeback were dashed on 70 minutes when Cafu struck a stunning drive from out on the right that flashed past Freestone into the bottom corner.

Two minutes later substitute Denilson worked his magic on the left wing before crossing for Rivaldo who crashed a spectacular near-post header past Freestone for the third.
 

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My Villa baby Delaney played well which made me happy! :)

Ze, what was up with Dida?? He looked a little like a dodgy keeper...James-when-at-Liverpool style!
 

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I was at the game and to say that Brazil slaughtered Wales is just not true. I was at the game and watched with baited breath as we held you for the first 45 minutes.
I'll be honest I was gutted that Romario was not at the game. Saying that though I did get to see the best right back in the world. Cafu was absolutely superb in the second half. He looked lively and his goal was sublime.
Talking about Dida and goalkeepers what did you guys think of Roger Freestone (our kepper). i thought he had an excellent game and his handling at crosses was superb. He's 31 and plays for the Swans.

Here's may ratings of the Welshy team:

Freestone 8
Dellany 8
Roberts 7
Page 8
Mellville 6
Speed 6
Jones 7
Savage 6
Robinson 8
Saunders 8
Roberts 8.

Saunder was was absolutely superb in the first half and Roberts dominated in the second half but in the end Brazil were too good.

One thing that really annoys me is that Wales are 101st in the world. How stupid is that, I mean the Congo and Vietnam are above us according to FIFA. :(

p.s. Antonio Carlos played awful
 

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I liked the rating you gave to Delaney Pool! :)
And I thought that the Swans keeper did well!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
dida has been terrible for brazil for a long time now. against ecuador, he was a disaster. he did not even move when ecuador scored their two goals.
 

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tell me about the brazilian lineup!!!
jardel played and he played really good but who else played?
 
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