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SOCCER : Brazil Beats Uruguay for 15th Cup Berth

September 20, 1993|From Associated Press

Romario scored twice during the second half as Brazil, which has qualified for every World Cup, beat Uruguay, 2-0, on Sunday to clinch its 15th berth in soccer's world championship.

Romario, recalled last weekend from Barcelona in the Spanish League, gave Brazil the lead in the 72nd minute, bouncing the ball into the goal with a header after Bebeto sent a high cross from the right side before 103,000 in Rio de Janeiro.

Romario scored again 10 minutes later, dribbling past two defenders and tapping the ball over the head of Uruguay's goalkeeper, Roberto Siboldi.

"Romario's a killer," said Brazil's coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira. "He came at just the right time . . . God sent him."

Said Romario, playing in his first World Cup qualifier since 1989: "Everything comes at the right time. I was out of shape before, and Parreira called on me at the right moment.

"This was one of the most memorable weeks in my career. . . . Today, I proved that there's a spot on the Brazilian squad for me."

Brazil (5-1-2) won South America Group B with 12 points. Uruguay (4-2-2), despite four forwards from the high-powered Italian League, finished third with 10 points and failed to make the World Cup field for the first time since 1982.

Brazil, which put its World Cup berth in danger by opening qualifying with a tie at Ecuador and a loss at Bolivia--its first-ever loss in qualifying--opened the game at a torrid pace, getting seven shots at goal in the first 20 minutes.

A Romario shot struck a goal post eight minutes in. Peruvian referee Alberto Tejada chose not to call a penalty kick in the 16th minute when a Uruguay defender pulled Romario down by his shirt a few feet from the goal.


Bolivia qualified for the World Cup field for the first time since 1950, gaining a 1-1 tie with Ecuador at Guayaquil on William Ramallo's goal shortly before halftime.

The tie sparked celebrating by hundreds of thousands in La Paz, Bolivia's capital.

After beginning its qualifying with five consecutive victories, Bolivia lost its previous two matches, putting its berth to the 24-team World Cup field in danger.

Bolivia entered the game tied for the South American Group B with Brazil and Uruguay, but because of goal differential needed only a tie to qualify.

Ramallo scored for Bolivia (5-1-2) when he ran down the left side into the penalty area, cut inside and made a falling shot from about 12 yards into the near high side of the net.

Raul Noriega scored off of a goal-mouth scramble with five minutes remaining.

In La Paz, firecrackers and dynamite caps exploded as Bolivians celebrated, waving flags and banners, honking horns and shouting "Long live Bolivia!"

"This marks the resurgence of a country that sees its future with optimism," President Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada said.

The main street of La Paz was closed to traffic and celebrations were expected to continue through the night.

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