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Friday, 7 January, 2000, 01:42 GMT
Vasco take control of group

Steve Panopuolis tries to catch Vasco scorer Felipe


Vasco da Gama 2-0 South Melbourne

It took the Rio side until the second half to score against the brave Australians in front of the Brazilian club's own fans.

But after Manchester United's earlier 1-1 draw with Necaxa, this result means Vasco take control of World Club Championship Group B.

World Club Championship
Manchester United will surely defeat the Australians in their final group game, but they will also have to beat Vasco on home territory this Saturday to make it to the final.

In this match a 35-yard strike from Felipe broke the deadlock at the Maracana after 53 minutes.

Controversial striker Edmundo sealed the points four minutes from time with a fierce cross-shot.

Underdogs Melbourne were clearly intent on damage limitation with a defensive strategy against a three-pronged Brazilian strikeforce.


Edmundo: Squeezed home second goal late on
Reunited former Brazilian international strikers Edmundo and Romario struggled in the first half to spark their much-talked about partnership.

The pair have fallen out with each other because a restaurant owned by Romario had an unflattering caricature of Edmundo on the toilet door.

In the 24th minute, the "Animal" Edmundo brought out a superb stop from South Melbourne goalkeeper Chris Jones.

Romario was a more anonymous figure and the two seemed to be playing as individuals rather than a unit.

They did combine when Romario was set up by a neat back-heel from Edmundo, but the former Barcelona star could only blast his shot high over the bar from eight yards out.

And Alex Oliveira wasted another glorious chance when chipping against the bar after being left one-on-one with the keeper.


Romario: Peripheral figure
The Australians occasionally threatened on the counter-attack and Robert Liparoti forced a brilliant save from Vasco goalkeeper Helton.

Michael Curcija also threatened to produce a shock equaliser on the hour mark but his looping header just lacked enough power to trouble the keeper.

By then the nervous home fans were reassured by Felipe's strike, the best the tournament so far.

Receiving the ball in space the 26-year-old let fly from 35 yards and watched his shot sail into the net.

Edmundo's goal was squeezed home in the closing stages to erase any doubts for the unimpressed home fans.

He burst into the South Melbourne area, chested down a beautifully flighted ball from Juninho and beat Jones with an angled drive.

Teams:

Vasco de Gama: Helton, Jorginho, Galvao, Amaral, Felipe, Juninho, Ramon, Edmundo, Romario, Gilberto, Junior Baiano. Subs: Marcio, Odvan, Donizete, Torres, Miranda, Pedrinho, Valber, Viola, Nasa, Oliveira, Alex.

South Melbourne: Jones, Iosifidis, De Amicis, Orlic, Blatsis, Clarkson, Panopoulos, Trimboli, Curcija, Lozanovski, Liparoti. Subs: Udvaracz, Roche, Coveny, Anastasiadis, Cuzzupe, Alagich, Goutzoulis, Tsekinis, Psonis, Mustafa, Culibrk.

Referee: Dick Jol (Holland)

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See also:
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Vasco da Gama: Football's democrats
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
South Melbourne: Raising the stakes
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Melbourne keep feet on the ground
24 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Brazil 2000: Football's new century begins
06 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Beckham off in Man Utd epic
06 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Ferguson defends Beckham
Links to other World Club Championship stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more World Club Championship stories