INTRODUCTION: World cup soccer...and the mighty South American side Brazil had a vital match in?
INTRODUCTION: World cup soccer...and the mighty South American side Brazil had a vital match in Rio on Wednesday (9 March). About two weeks before, the former triple world champions were held to a goalless draw by Colombia in Bogota.. Paraguay, the third side in Brazil's qualifying group, have since beaten Colombia and some Brazilian sports commentators have been saying the side might not even qualify for next year's world cup finals in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The team's trainer Osvaldo Brandao resigned after the Bogota game, and Wednesday's return match with Colombia in Rio was the first game for new trainer Claudio Coutinho.
SYNOPSIS: Nearly 200,000 fans filled the Maracana stadium in Rio hoping to see their side avenge the goalless draw in Bogota. Brazil, in the white shorts playing from left to right, attacked from the start and after 15 minutes they broke down the Colombian defence, Roberto opening the scoring.
Brazil's legendary free-kick taking ability brought the second goal ten minutes later. Marinho's shot hit the post and Zico promptly fastened onto the rebound.
On their day Brazil are probably the most devastating international side in the world and the poor Colombians were starting to look outclassed. On the half-hour Roberto again found the furthest corner of Colombian goalkeeper Lopez' goal.
Colombia had magnificently in front of their own ground in Bogota two weeks before, but in the first half on Wednesday they seemed relieved to stop any Brazilian attack.
Brazil scored a fourth goal through Marinho before half time but at the start of the second half the Colombians-now playing from left to right-showed some fast approach work.
But the Colombians were stunned by this outrageous 35 yard free kick from Marinho.
The skill of the Brazilian forwards close passing and deadly finishing -- like this final goal from Rivelino -- completely overwhelmed the Colombians and delighted Brazil's new trainer Claudio Coutinho. They now seem certain to qualify, and on this showing a good bet for world champions.