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Saturday, 8 January, 2000, 01:42 GMT
Real rue Anelka's greed

Anelka: Scored two but turned to villain with his penalty miss

Real Madrid 2-2 Corinthians

Nicolas Anelka missed a late penalty as Real Madrid were held to a draw by Brazilian favourites Corinthians in a scintillating clash at the World Club Championships.

Anelka and Brazilian striker Edilson scored two goals apiece in a fiercely contested match which leaves Real facing an uphill task to qualify for the final.

The former Arsenal player's insistence on taking an 81st minute penalty in an attempt to complete his hat-trick back-fired miserably.

With the scores level and nine minutes remaining, Real had the chance to snatch victory - but Anelka's poor spot-kick was easily saved.

Anelka is the tournament's top scorer
Corinthians' supporters are known as 'the faithful' because of their fanatical support, and they made their feelings about the Brazilian members of Real Madrid side clear from the kick off.

Left-back Roberto Carlos and striker Savio received the lion's share of abuse although virtually every touch by a Real player was booed by the 25,000-strong crowd.

But Carlos responded with a firecracker of a long-range freekick which appeared to be fizzing harmlessly wide until Anelka applied a cheeky back-heel to steer it into the net.

Match facts
15 mins: Anelka deflects a Carlos free-kick for Real's opener
29 mins: Edilson equalises for Corinthians
65 mins: Edilson's superb solo goal gives the Brazilians the lead
72 mins: Anelka's show his own flash of skill to level the scores
81 mins: Anelka blows Real's chance to win the game
Corinthians should have been back on level terms within two minutes when Joao Carlos rose to head the ball past Real keeper Casillas.

Although the defender failed to connect as intended, the ball caught his heel and richocheted into the net.

But Costa Rican referee William Vega ruled Casillas had been fouled even though he made the most futile of efforts to claim the ball.

The cross which caused such confusion was supplied by Marcelinho and it was he, alongside fellow frontman Edilson playing just behind lone striker Luizao, who gave the Corinthians an exciting fluency.

World Club Championship
Marcelinho set up the equaliser just short of the half-hour when he capitalised on a slip by Michel Salgado.

He held the ball up before slipping a short pass wide to Edilson who smashed it with the outside of his right foot past the helpless Casillas.

Edilson was apparently worth 5m before the kick-off but if his first goal did not significantly increase his price tag, his second must have done.

With the game evenly poised, the 29-year-old produced a magnificent piece of skill to put Corinthians ahead.

There seemed to be little danger as he picked the ball up on the right flank, but he drove towards the box, nutmegged Christian Karembeu, who had a shocking match, before rifling another right-footer goalbound.

Edilson: Scored Corinthians' first half goal
Real's stand-in manager Vicente del Bosque immediately made changes - Guti and Geremi making way for the more potent Fernando Morientes and Steve McManaman.

Within a minute Real were level as Anelka grabbed his second.

The former Arsenal man sprung a shoddy-looking offside trap, stepped over the ball to send the keeper the wrong way and stroked the ball into the empty net.

It was his third goal in the tournament but the first which justified his 23m price tag.

Savio: His pace earnt Real their lat epenalty chance

It could have been enough to finally erase the doubts raised since his summer arrival at the Bernabeu, had it not been for a moment of greed nine minutes from time.

Real were awarded a penalty after Savio was cut down in the box and despite the protests of at least two Real players, Anelka - with an eye on his hat-trick - barged his way forward to take the kick.

His shot was too weak, too high and too close to Dida - the Brazilian No 1 who has saved four of the last penalties he has faced in a national jersey - and it was easily saved.

The scores stayed level and the result leaves Real, who now play Raja Casablanca, with a hard task to beat Corinthians, who face the lesser-known Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr, to a place in the final.

Real Madrid: Casillas, Salgado, Carlos, Hierro, Redondo, Raul, Savio, Guti, Anelka, Geremi, Karembeu. Subs: Bizarri, Oliver, Sanchis, McManaman, Morientes, Manu, Campo, Helguera, Karanka, Ognjenovic, Eto'o, Dorado.

Corinthians: Dida, Indio, Carlos, Vampeta, Kleber, Marcelinho, Rincon, Luizao, Edilson, Ricardinho, Luciano. Subs: Mauricio, Costa, Baiano, Dinei, Yamada, Adilson, Daniel, Augusto, Edu, Senna, Mario, Gilmar.

Referee: William Mattus Vega (Costa Rica)

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See also:
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Anelka finally opens account
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Corinthians benefit from controversy
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Vasco take control of group
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Corinthians: Rewarding the faithful
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Madrid: A Real sense of history
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