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Monday, 17 June, 2002, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Brazil edge past brave Belgium
Rivaldo puts Brazil ahead against Belgium
Rivaldo has scored in all four of Brazil's games
Brazil 2-0 Belgium

Second-half goals from Rivaldo and Ronaldo set up Brazil for a World Cup quarter-final against England with a narrow victory over a battling Belgium side.

They followed the USA into the last eight, after the Americans produced yet another upset earlier on Monday, with a 2-0 win over Mexico.

GRAPHIC ANALYSIS

Rivaldo struck his fourth goal in four games via a deflection midway through the second half.

And Ronaldo eased Brazilian nerves by pouncing on the break three minutes from full-time as Belgium chased the game.

But the England players watching from the Kobe stands will have been encouraged by what they saw.

Belgium stifled Brazil for long periods, controlled the midfield and created enough chances to have taken something from the game.

The European side had a goal disallowed and forced half a dozen saves from the favourites' goalkeeper Marcos.

MATCH FACTS
36 mins: Wilmots' goal disallowed for a push
64: Rivaldo's deflected shot puts Brazil ahead
87: Ronaldo grabs Brazil's second

Brazil had gone into the match as the competition's form team, but it was Belgium who made the more explosive start.

Inside the first minute, striker Mbo Mpenza forced Marcos to tip over his chip from the right edge of the penalty box.

And the Belgians were unlucky not to go into the break ahead after Marc Wilmots had a 36th minute header harshly ruled out for a push on Roque Junior.

But chances, of course, came Brazil's way too.

Open Quote
I think this Brazilian defence can be beaten
Close Quote
Robert Waseige
Belgium coach

Belgium's packed midfield was successful in containing the South Americans for long stretches of the opening half.

But the busier goalmouth was still the one patrolled by Red Devils keeper Geert de Vlieger.

The Netherlands-based number one produced a fine save at the feet of Ronaldo only a minute after Wilmots' effort had been ruled out.

And he witnessed a string of near misses as Ronaldo twice, Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and Juninho all fired narrowly wide.

Brazil were stifled for long periods
Brazil were stifled for long periods

Heartened by their opening show, Belgium emerged from the break to carry the game to Brazil in the opening stages of the second half.

Their domination of the first 10 minutes culminated in a long passing movement that ended with Wilmots turning Edmilson and firing in a low shot that Marcos had to turn round his left-hand post.

The Brazilian keeper rescued his side again just two minutes later when he had to be quick off his line to deny Mpenza a chance.

And Marcos completed a hat-trick of second-half saves just after the hour when he thwarted Wilmots again, this time leaping to his right to claw out a left-foot curler from just inside the box.

But Brazil, typically, hit back with a killer blow inside five minutes.

Ronaldinho found Rivaldo on the edge of the box in enough space to turn and fire off a shot that flew in via a slight deflection of the boot of Daniel van Buyten.

Belgium refused to buckle and continued to pile on the pressure to such an extent that Ronaldo became an increasingly isolated spectator in the Brazilian attack.

Mpenza fired wide from a promising position and Bart Goor was centimetres from connecting with a dangerous cross.

But Brazil were always likely to threaten on the break and ultimately Ronaldo sealed their right to face England in Shizuoka on Friday with a cool finish from 12 yards.



Brazil: Marcos, Cafu, Lucio, Roque Junior, Edmilson, Carlos, Gilberto, Juninho Paulista (Denilson 57), Rivaldo (Ricardinho 90), Ronaldinho (Kleberson 81), Ronaldo.
Subs Not Used: Belleti, Ceni, Dida, Edilson, Junior, Kaka, Luizao, Polga, Vampeta.
Booked: Carlos.
Goals: Rivaldo 67, Ronaldo 88.

Belgium: De Vlieger, Van Kerckhoven, Van Buyten, Peeters (Sonck 73), Simons, Wilmots, Goor, Verheyen, Vanderhaeghe, Walem, Mpenza.
Subs Not Used: Boffin, De Boeck, Deflandre, Englebert, Herpoel, Strupar, Thijs, Van Der Heyden, Van Meir, Vandendriessche, Vermant.
Booked: Vanderhaeghe.

Att: 40,440

Ref: P Prendergast (Jamaica)


OFFICIAL MATCH STATS
  Brazil Belgium
Goals 2 0
Shots on goal 14 13
Shots on target 4 5
Fouls committed 14 17
Corner kicks 6 7
Penalty kicks 0 0
Caught offside 3 2
Own goals 0 0
Yellow cards 1 1
Red cards 0 0
Ball possession (%) 54 46
ACTUAL PLAYING TIME
First half - 29 mins Second half - 25 mins


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 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Alan Green
"Belgium could not provide a shock"
Brazil midfielder Juninho
"England have more quality than Belgium"
Belgium's Gert Verheyen
"We deserved more"
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