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Women's World Cup / GROUP B

Brazil Blanks South Korea

September 22, 2003|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Having survived Isabel, the nation's capital Sunday was treated to Katia.

And also to Daniela, Maycon, Rosana, Marta, Formiga and the rest of the one-named but multitalented players on Brazil's team in the fourth FIFA Women's World Cup.

Call them the hurricane force, because together they tore South Korea apart, opening their world championship campaign with an emphatic 3-0 victory in front of what remained of an initial crowd of 34,144 at RFK Stadium.

The Brazilians started slowly but grew in confidence as the game went on and by the end were clearly the dominant team.

Katia scored twice, both of her goals coming in the second half, while Marta started the Koreans' downfall when she scored on a penalty kick in the 14th minute.

The youngest team in the tournament with an average age of just over 22, Brazil might have scored six or seven goals had it not been for the players' desire for individual glory.

Time and again Brazil's forwards broke through the porous Korean defense, and time and again the player with the ball opted to shoot rather than pass to a more favorably positioned or unmarked teammate.

South Korea played gamely, its players never giving up, but the South Americans were more technically skilled and quicker to the ball. As a result, they were able to keep possession and dictate the flow of the game.

It was a bright and positive display by the team that finished third at the 1999 tournament, but Coach Paulo Goncalves downplayed the performance.

"This was the first game and everybody was nervous," he said. "Fortunately, we got a good win, [but] we made a lot of mistakes out there that we want to correct."

Despite the one-sided game, Milene Domingues, better known as the wife of Real Madrid striker and Brazil 1994 and 2002 World Cup winner Ronaldo, was not used as a substitute.

South Korea Coach An Jong Goan blamed his midfielders for giving the Brazilians too much space and said his team would perform better in its next game against France. Brazil plays Norway next.

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