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Alan Green reports from Brazil
"Such a poor first final for what will become a major tournament"
 real 28k

Saturday, 15 January, 2000, 01:36 GMT
Corinthians crowned world champions

Dida saves Gilberto's penalty as Corinthians claim victory


Corinthians 0-0 Vasco da Gama
AET - Corinthians won 4-3 on penalties.

Corinthians won the first ever World Club Championship with victory over fellow Brazilians Vasco de Gama in a penalty shoot-out in the final in Rio de Janeiro.

World Club Championship
But it was an inauspicious climax to Fifa's flagship competition - particularly following the bizarre drama of some of the earlier matches - as the teams played out a terrible goalless draw in the Maracana Stadium.

Neither side ever looked like scoring in two hours of open play, as the match always looked destined for penalties.

And when Vasco captain Edmundo - one of the stars of the tournament - missed his spot-kick, the title belonged to Corinthians.


Penalty shoot-out key moments
Gilberto's spot-kick is saved by Dida to put Corinthians 3-2 up
Helton saves from Marcelinho to give Vasco hope
Edmundo blazes high and wide to hand Corinthians victory
It was the second match of the night to finish on penalties, after Necaxa beat Real Madrid in the third-place play-off.

With two supposedly flamboyant Brazilian sides in the final, expectations were high that a packed Maracana would be treated to a festival of football.

But the teams totally failed to grace the event with a spectacle to match the thrilling atmosphere in the famous ground.

Vasco, with the impressive Felipe pulling the strings in midfield, dominated possession and looked to release their big-name front pairing of Romario and Edmundo at every opportunity - but the Corinthians defence was equal to the task.


Filepe finds no way through the Corinthians ranks
The match was full of moments of skill, but goalmouth incident was at a premium, with action restricted to hopeful long-range pot-shots.

When Ramon did finally break clear for Vasco and slotted the ball home, the strike was ruled out for a clear off-side.

But for all Vasco's pressure, the best chance of the first half fell to Corinthians striker Luizao, whose deflected shot was scrambled around the post by keeper Helton.

Drab display

Adilson flashed a shot across the face of the goal as Corinthians at last discovered their attacking instincts at the start of the second half.


Supporters of Corinthians samba in the stands
A sweet chip from Filepe then opened up the Corinthians defence - but Gilberto could not make the most of the chance and volleyed past the post.

Vasco should have gone ahead on the hour following the best move the match.

With Corinthians stretched on the left, Juninho burst onto the ball in the area and found himself with just keeper Dida to beat. But rather than shoot, he tried to square the ball for Edmundo, who was surrounded by defenders - and Corinthians cleared the danger with ease.

The standard of shooting was generally poor - and the closest the game came to a goal was when Helton was forced to athletically palm away a Marcelinho corner that was curling directly towards the back of his net.

As time ticked towards extra time, Freddy Rincon and Marcelhino both came close for Corinthians - but the story of the match was one of top players failing to hit the target.

Golden flop

If anything, the standard of football managed to deteriorate in extra time, as the threat of the "golden goal" weighed heavy on both teams.

The only highlight in 30 minutes of extra play came when Vasco substitute Alex Oliveira forced Dida into a rare save with a fierce free-kick that was turned around the post.


The match was dominated by midfield tussles
The inevitable penalty shoot-out followed predictable lines, with the first five kicks all netted.

Vasco's Gilberto then saw his penalty saved by Dida to hand the advantage to Corinthians, but when Marcelhino was denied by Helton it was one miss apiece.

Edmundo, normally a superb striker of the ball, was set to take the shoot-out to sudden death - but the Vasco skipper missed the target altogether and the trophy belonged to Corinthians.

Teams:

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

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

Referee: Dick Jol (Holland)

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Links to other World Club Championship stories are at the foot of the page.


Links to more World Club Championship stories