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World Club Championship Thursday, 6 January, 2000, 01:34 GMT
Corinthians benefit from controversy
Edilson is challenged by Moroccan defender Hicham Misbah
Corinthians 2-0 Raja Casablanca

Sao Paolo's Corinthians were handed a two-goal cushion in this game by Italian referee Stefano Braschi.

The official gave a goal when the ball clearly did not cross the line in the 64th minute, to the clear anger of the Moroccan players.

It followed striker Luizao's 49th-minute opener, but the Brazilians were not as convincing as their massed home fans would have liked in Sao Paolo.

World Club Championship
This was a game between the flamboyant all-attack entertainers of Brazilian football, and a side who conceded just twice in eight African Champions League matches last year.

Not surprisingly the game began with an immediate attack from Corinthians, urged on by their fans into attacking rather than defending.

It was a good job they did, because they looked far from comfortable at times in their own half, while producing some fine football further forward.

Match facts
First half chances fail to match approach work
49 mins: Luizao slides home
64 mins: Unlucky Raja as Corinthians handed goal
Corinthians easily shaded the first half on possession but the African team showed their defensive strengths, while occasionally threatening on the break.

Neither team could find the decisive final ball, and it was Brazilian national goalkeeper Dida who was forced into the only save of the first half, when he comfortably gathered Youssef Safri's swerving long range effort.

Corinthians' clearest first half chance came to Edilson, who should have hit the target from eight yards, but sliced his first-time volley wide.

The same player also produced a clever backheel to set up Marcelinho to shoot wide from the left-hand side of the area.

But as half-time approached there was more defensive uncertainty from the Brazilians, although Raja failed to make use of a promising break.

Edilson goes down under another challenge
They were made to pay just four minutes after half time after another promising Moroccan attack failed, and Marcelinho broke down the Corinthians' right.

He produced a looping cross into the heart of the Casablanca defence, and Luizao stretched to neatly slide the ball into the back of the net.

The home fans, who began the game with noisy backing for their team but became subdued during the first half, reacted with a full volume celebration.

But the goal, and the fans' firecrackers, did not ignite the Brazilians into taking complete control of the match.

And when they did double their lead it was because of an awful decision from Italian referee Braschi.

A free kick was floated in from just outside the area on the Brazilians' right, and Fabio Luciano headed straight at Moroccan keeper Mustapha Chadli.

Match stats (Corinthians first)
Corners 4-6
Fouls 11-15
Shots on target 8-4
Shots off target 9-12
Yellow cards 0-3
Red cards 0-0
The rebound fell to Luciano, but his shot hit the underside of the bar and bounced down six inches clear of the goal.

It was cleared by Hicham Misbah, but the Italian official pointed to the centre circle.

It was an incident reminiscent of the famous 1966 World Cup final goal by Geoff Hurst - although one which was much easier to make a decision upon.

Chadli and Misbah lead a large group of Raja players, who complained at the clear injustice, with both booked for their persistent and understandable arguing.

After that the game became stretched as Casablanca looked for a goal to get back into it, but the Brazilians always got just enough back to close the door.

Meanwhile Corinthians were unable to make use of a series of opportunities, although one did strike the post while an effort from Kleber looped onto the roof of the net.

Teams:

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

Raja Casablanca: Chadli, El Haimeur, El Karkouri, Misbah, Safri, Jrindou, Moustaoudia, Kharbouch, Nejjary, Aboub, Ereyahi. Subs: Bouabdellaoui, Sarraj, Daakali, Khoubbache, Armounen, El Moubarki, Hafid, Miki, Achami, Kherazi, Nater, Rizki.

Referee: Stefano Braschi (Italy)

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Ron Jones
Corinthians were surprised by a well-organised Casablanca
See also:

05 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
24 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
05 Jan 00 | Football
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
05 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
05 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
20 Dec 99 | World Club Championship
04 Jan 00 | World Club Championship
05 Jan 00 | Americas
Links to more World Club Championship stories are at the foot of the page.


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