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Alan Green reports for the BBC
"Two errors and one moment of brilliance defeated United"
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Man Utd goalkeeper Mark Bosnich
"We gave ourselves a mountain to climb"
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Saturday, 8 January, 2000, 22:37 GMT
Man Utd's world title bid demolished

Edmundo roasts Silvestre for Vasco's stunning third goal


Man Utd 1-3 Vasco da Gama

Manchester United's attempt to win the inaugural World Club Championships came to an abrupt halt as defensive mistakes contributed to a 3-1 mauling at the hands of Brazilian side Vasco da Gama.

The result leaves Vasco almost certain to reach the final, while the best United can hope for is a third place play-off spot - although even that is hanging in the balance.


Match facts
24 mins: Neville's poor pass allows Romaria to open the scoring
26 mins: Another weak Neville back passback presents Romaria with his second
43 mins: Edmundo outwits Silvestre and adds a third
82 mins: Butt pulls one back for United
The European Cup holders were undone by a horrendous first-half spell in which they conceded three goals.

And though Nicky Butt pulled a goal back for United in a spirited second-half comeback, for once this was a test too far.

Having become the first British team to be crowned world champions after winning the Inter-continental Cup in Japan, United's 39-day reign was brought to an end in the heat of Brazil.


United have not made themselves popular in Rio
The chief culprit was right-back Gary Neville.

Two elementary errors in the space of two minutes allowed Brazilian striker Romario to give his side a 2-0 lead inside half an hour.

Fellow marksman Edmundo added a third two minutes before the interval to give Manchester United a second-half mountain to climb.

In contrast to the opening twenty minutes in their controversial draw against Necaxa, United had begun in far more attacking mind.

But the crowds at the Maracana Stadium, who were beginning to become frustrated by their side's indifferent start, erupted into life on 24 minutes.


Beckham: Banned and confined to the bench
Neville's weak and poorly directed passback was snapped up by Edmundo who held the ball up until Romario arrived at his shoulder to sidefoot home the simplest of goals.

Two minutes later, the misery of Neville - and United - was compounded.

Unaware of that Romario lurked behind, Neville cut out a high ball and attempted to chest it back to keeper Mark Bosnich.

Vasco's 33-year-old striker could barely contain his glee as he took the ball in his stride, rounded Bosnich and added a second.

World Club Championship
Two minutes before half time it was centre-back Silvestre who was the villain.

With his back to goal, Edmundo left Silvestre in a heap on the floor as he flicked the ball backwards and spun onto it before chipping Bosnich.

United made the comeback a trademark of their treble winning year and they set about their three-goal quest with hunger and promise.


Goalscorer Butt finds no way past Ramon
Substitute Teddy Sheringham, who replaced the disappointing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, almost pulled one back for United with within seconds of the restart but his clever chip drifted fractionally wide.

Sheringham believed he had scored five minutes later as he pounced on a cross-shot from Ryan Giggs but referee Saad Kameel Mane ruled keeper Helton had the ball in his grasp.

The 33-year-old also saw his well-struck free-kick punched away by Helton as Vasco seemed happy to launch only fleeting counter-attacks.

At 3-0 up and a place in the final virtually assured, they would have been far fewer had the impatient Rio crowd not demanded more.


Yorke: Had an off day
United were not helped by the wastefulness of their most talented stars - Giggs blasting high from 12 yards and Yorke screwing his close-range shot wide.

Ferguson, watching in the stands because of a touchline ban imposed for his bad behaviour against Necaxa, brought on Jordi Cruyff and Quentin Fortune for Giggs and Jaap Stam as time began to run out.

The breakthrough came with eight minutes remaining.

Skipper Roy Keane did well to keep a lofted free-kick in play and his squared ball was clattered in by Nicky Butt.

But it was too late, even for United, and they were left to rue what might have been had it not been for Neville's errors - and Beckham's dismissal in their opening game.

Teams:

Man Utd: Bosnich, G. Neville, Irwin, Silvestre, Stam, Butt, Giggs, P. Neville, Keane, Yorke, Solskjaer.
Subs: Rachubka, Van Der Gouw, Higginbottom, Cole, Sheringham, Cruyff, Greening, Wilson, Berg, Wallwork, Fortune.

Vasco de Gama: Helton, Jorginho, Galvao, Amaral, Felipe, Juninho, Ramon, Edmundo, Romario, Gilberto, Junior Baiano.
Subs: Germano, Marcio, Odvan, Donizete, Torres, Miranda, Pedrinho, Valber, Viola, Oliveira, Nasa, Alex.
Referee: Saad Kameel Mane (Kuwait)

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See also:
09 Jan 00 |  Manchester United
No regrets for Ferguson
08 Jan 00 |  Talking Point
Man Utd in Brazil - a waste of time?
07 Jan 00 |  Football
Beckham banned
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
Vasco da Gama: Football's democrats
07 Jan 00 |  Football
Man Utd's flawed genius?
08 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
Real rue Anelka's greed
05 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
World Club Championship results
20 Dec 99 |  World Club Championship
World Club Championship schedule
05 Jan 00 |  World Club Championship
World Club Championship tables

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