Kamis, 26 Juli 2007

Saudis down defending champions

Saudis down defending champions

HANOI - Malek Maaz helped end Japan hopes of a hat-trick of AFC Asian Cups with the livewire striker bagging a double as Saudi Arabia defeated the defending champions 3-2 in a see-saw semi-final at the My Dinh Stadium on Wednesday.The Al Ahli forward scored the decisive goal in the 57th minute after the Saudis had twice squandered the lead. Yuji Nakazawa cancelled out Yasser Al Qahtani opener and Yuki Abe acrobatically drew Japan level after his defensive lapse allowed Malek Maaz to regain the Gulf side's advantage.Japan and Saudi Arabia, both looking to win the competition for a fourth time, stuck with the same starting 11 that began their respective quarter-final victories over Australia and Uzbekistan and it was the defending champions who created the first chance of the match.Yasuhito Endo and Shunsuke Nakamura exchanged passes at an eighth minute corner before the latter swung the ball into the six-yard area but the Celtic midfielder's cross was punched clear by Yaser Al Mosailem before it could reach the head of Yuji Nakazawa.The Saudi keeper was called into action again seven minutes later when he blocked at the feet of Seiichiro Maki after Keita Suzuki had threaded the ball through to the JEF United striker.Saudi Arabia, who had been distinctly second best in the opening exchanges, soon settled and in the 25th minute a shot from skipper Yasser Al Qahtani almost looped in after deflecting off the out-stretched leg of Nakazawa before Japan keeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi palmed away the resulting corner from Abdulrahman Al Qahtani.The Al Qahtanis were both involved as the Saudis took a 35th minute lead, with Taiseer Al Jassamknocking down Abdulrahman free-kick in to the path of Yasser, who hooked the ball past Kawaguchi.The Saudis had barely finished celebrating the sniper's fourth goal of the tournament when Japan levelled two minutes later as Nakazawa charged in front of Al Mosailem to head home an Endo corner.Japan almost stole a second going into the break when Al Mosailem flapped at a Nakamura free-kick but the ball bounced just past the Al Ahli keeper right hand post.Just two minutes into the second half the Saudis went ahead when Malek Maaz ghosted in between Nakazawa and Yuki Abe to nod in Ahmed Al Bahari pinpoint cross from the right.But for a second time Japan hit back soon after and for a second time the equaliser came from an Endo corner. The Gamba Osaka midfielder's 53rd minute flag kick was headed back across the penalty area by Seiichiro Maki and dispatched past Al Mosailem via an acrobatic scissors kick from Abe.Abe had appeared to atone for his earlier defensive lapse but the Urawa Reds midfielder and Nakazawa were again culpable as the Saudis made it 3-2 four minutes later.Malek Maaz took possession on the left side of the penalty box and easily skipped past the Japanese duo before unleashing a powerful drive beyond Kawaguchi.Japan struggled to break down the Saudis but came within a lick of paint to drawing level with nine minutes left to play as substitute Naotake Hanyu, a 75th minute replacement for Endo, sending a thunderous long range drive crashing off the cross bar.The victory helped the Saudis avenge their 1-0 defeat to the Japanese in the 1992 and 2000 Asian Cup finals and set-up a showdown in Jakarta with Iraq after Jorvan Vieira's side defeated Korea Republic 4-3 on penalties following their goalless draw in the other semi-final played earlier in Kuala Lumpur. (dre.mhs&m07)

Iraq through to final

Iraq through to final

KUALA LUMPUR – Iraq claimed a place in the AFC Asian Cup final for the first time ever after outlasting Korea Republic 4-3 in a penalty shootout at Bukit Jalil National Stadium on Wednesday evening.After a physical encounter which finished goalless, the Middle Eastern side prevailed in the spot kick lottery as goalkeeper Noor Sabri tipped aside Yeom Ki-hun’s spot kick and Kim Jung-woo hit the post with his side’s final attempt.The Iraqis will face either Japan or Saudi Arabia in the final in Jakarta on Sunday, while the Koreans will be left to rue yet another missed opportunity as their title drought of 47 years continues.Korea coach Pim Verbeek made two changes from his side’s quarter-final win against Iran with Cho Jae-jin replacing Lee Dong-gook at centre forward and Choi Sung-kuk coming in for Kim Jung-woo on the left of midfield, while Iraq coach Jorvan Vieira made only one alteration from the 2-0 win over Vietnam as Qusai Munir replaced Haitham Kadhim in midfield.The heavy conditions caused by incessant rain didn’t make for good football in a scrappy and goalless first half.The first real chance fell to the Iraqis on 16 minutes as the ball broke in the Korean box to Younis Mahmoud, who arrived late yard box and fired a half-volley into the side netting.The Koreans should have been awarded a free kick on the edge of the Iraq box midway through the half after Jassim Mohammed pulled down Lee Chun-soo but Kuwaiti referee Saad Al Fadhli allowed play to go on and Cho Jae-jin fired in a weak shot that gave goalkeeper Noor Sabri no problemsIraq then went close when Haidar Abdul Amer’s cross from the right on 28 minutes flew just in front of a completely unmarked Karrar Jassim.Mahmoud then had another chance to increase his tally for the tournament in the 39th minute when he controlled Hawar Mohammed’s through pass on the turn and fired a left-footed shot across the body of goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae, just wide of the far post.Two minutes before the break, Choi Sung-kuk’s free-kick from the right of the Iraq box was punched away by Sabri just in front of a flying Cho Jae-jin.The action picked up after the break with the best of the early chances falling to Lee Chun-soo whose shot on the turn in the 48th minute flew just wideBasem Abbas was shown the game’s first yellow card in the 59th minute for a sliding challenge on Yeom Ki-hun and from the resulting free-kick, taken by Yeom, Kim Jin-kyu headed over.The Iraqis received a gilt-edge opportunity on 62 minutes when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Korean box after Karrar Jassim tumbled over under a challenge from Kim Jung-woo. Nashat Akram fired in a low shot that ricocheted off the foot of Hawar Mohammed but flew straight into the grateful arms of Lee Woon-jae.Yeom’s left-footed free kick on 66 minutes forced Sabri to scramble the ball off his goalline, and the left winger’s corner kick two minutes later was met by Kim Jin-kyu, whose goal-bound header was deflected wide.At the other end, Mahdi Karim’s low shot from the right of the Korean box crept between the legs of Younis Mahmoud and rolled just wide of the far post.As both teams continued to create chances, Lee Chun-soo fired a volley wide while Hawar Mohammed rose in the Korean box to send a header just off target.Deep into stoppage time, the Koreans were awarded a free-kick 30 metres from goal but with everyone anticipating a shot by Lee Chun-soo, it was Yeom Ki-hun instead who fired the ball into the wall before putting the rebound straight at Noor Sabri.Extra time was called for Once again at Bukit Jalil and after a cagey opening, the Koreans nearly broke the deadlock in the 95th minute when Lee Dong-gook’s flick on released Lee Chun-soo who rifled in a low shot from 20 metres which forced a good diving save out of Sabri.Only the width of the post prevented the Iraqis from going ahead near the end of the first extra period of extra time as Mahdi Karim’s cross from the right was misjudged by Lee Woon-jae and was met by Hawar Mohammed whose shot hit the left upright before being hacked off the line by Kim Jin-kyu.In the second period of extra time, Lee Chun-soo sent a free kick from the right edge of the box just over the crossbar while Hawar Mohammed fired a shot across the face of goal with the Korean defence standing and watching.As penalties loomed, a header off a Mahdi Karim corner flew straight at Lee Woon-jae before Lee Dong-gook squandered the final attempt of the game, firing high over the crossbar from 20 metres.The first six penalties of the shootout were converted before Sabri tipped Yeom’s poorly-taken attempt around the post.Ahmed Mnajed then converted before Kim Jung-woo’s final attempt for the Koreans hit the right post, sending the Iraqis through to their first ever Asian Cup final. (dre.mhs&m07

Rabu, 25 Juli 2007

success in Europe

Saudi players would be a success in Europe, says coach

Saudi Arabia`s star forward pairing Yasser Al Qahtani and Malek Maaz could play anywhere in the world, according to their Brazilian coach Helio Dos Anjos.
The dynamic strike duo shot down tournament favourites Japan 3-2 in the Asian Cup semi-finals on Wednesday to further bolster their burgeoning reputations in the region.
Dos Anjos gushed over the pair afterwards, claiming they could play for any team in Europe, although he did complain that the oil-rich kingdom was suffering from not having players plying their trade on foreign shores.
"The big advantage that Australia, Japan and South Korea have over Saudi Arabia is that we don`t have any players playing outside of their own country," said Dos Anjos.
"That brings some problems for our team, especially in terms of competitiveness. Even Iraq have some players playing in other Gulf leagues.
"But these are two players (Maaz and Al Qahtani) who would have no problems playing in any team in Japan or in Europe, and some of our other players too, and I hope this will happen in the future."
Maaz scored twice, including a brilliant individual winner, and Al Qahtani bagged his fourth goal of the tournament as Japan`s defenders failed to deal with the Saudis` rapier counter-attacks.
The approach also proved successful against Uzbekistan in the previous round.
In fact Saudi Arabia have been largely dominated by both their opponents in the knock-out stages but each time could have come away with bigger victories than the 2-1 score against Uzbekistan and Wednesday`s 3-2 success over the reigning double champions.
Their players attack with speed, skill and a willingness to charge forward and take on all comers, confident in the knowledge they have the ability to beat players one-on-one.
It has made Saudi Arabia one of the most dangerous teams in Asia, although Dos Anjos denied that they play deliberately on the counter-attack.
"My team can play offensively but the characteristics of the Japanese team made it easier to play on the counter-attack," he was quoted by AFP as saying.
"We play this way because we have two very good strikers who could play in the big teams in Europe.
"But it is not that we want to play with a catenaccio style, the Japanese made us play this way."
The run to the final is just reward for Dos Anjos and the perfect riposte to those that have claimed the Green Falcons have been flying on luck.
"One thing that I have heard throughout this tournament is that we have been lucky," said the Brazilian, who is one match away from leading the Saudis to their fourth Asian Cup success.
"Luck might happen in one game but not in every game and we have answered the people that have said we have been lucky." (dre.mhs&m07)

Senin, 23 Juli 2007

Jepang vs Arab Saudi

Semifinal I: Jepang vs Arab Saudi
Adu Kecerdikan

Kemenangan Jepang atas Australia di perempatfinal Piala Asia, Sabtu (21/7), disambut gegap-gempita seantero Negeri Sakura. Maklum, kesuksesan tersebut merupakan pelampiasan dendam atas kekalahan dari Socceroos di Deutschland 2006, tepat 13 bulan silam.

Akan tetapi, kemenangan lewat drama adu tendangan penalti itu disambut dingin oleh media lokal. Bahkan mayoritas di antara mereka menganggapnya sebagai kebodohan pelatih Ivica Osim. Apa pasal? Menurut pers, Naohiro Takahara cs. seharusnya bisa menang dalam 90 menit saja.

Osim dianggap bersalah karena tak menambah intensitas serangan saat Vincent Grella diusir wasit pada menit ke-75. Bukannya memasukkan pemain-pemain dengan tipe ofensif, Osim malah mengganti Akira Kaji dengan Yasuyuki Konno, yang cenderung defensif.

Celakanya lagi, pergantian tersebut dilakukan hanya semenit menjelang berakhirnya waktu normal. Padahal, para pemain Aussie jelas terlihat sudah sangat kelelahan. Selain karena tekanan nonstop Nippon, juga akibat kelembapan udara tinggi serta suhu yang mencapai 36 derajat celcius.

Dalam masa perpanjangan waktu pun demikian. Osim lagi-lagi baru memanfaatkan pergantian kedua pada menit ke-103 alias dua menit menjelang istirahat extra-time. Pergantian ketiga sami mawon. Osim memanggil substitute terakhirnya empat menit menuju tos-tosan.

Beruntung bagi Osim, yang tak berani menyaksikan adu penalti secara langsung dan memilih menontonnya dari layar televisi karena Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi tampil prima di bawah mistar. Begitu pula para algojo yang disiapkan untuk mengeksekusi sepakan 11 meter.

Kolektivitas dan Dos Anjos

Jika tidak, bisa dipastikan Osim akan kehilangan kursinya. Dalam konferensi pers seusai laga, Osim mengakui bahwa dirinya telah berbuat alpa. Maksudnya, secara jujur pria Bosnia ini membenarkan bahwa seharusnya ia lebih cepat mengantisipasi situasi.

Rabu (25/7) di Hanoi, Jepang akan bersua Arab Saudi, yang menembus semifinal setelah mengalahkan Uzbekistan 2-1 di Jakarta. Secara kualitas individu, pasukan Helio Cesar dos Anjos ini kalah kelas dari Australia. Akan tetapi dalam hal kolektivitas, Singa Padang Pasir jauh lebih solid.

Selain itu, Abdulrahman Al Qahtani dkk. juga memiliki pengalaman jauh lebih tinggi di level Benua Kuning. Tiga gelar juara yang direbut Arab Saudi pada 1984, 1988, dan 1996 adalah buktinya. So, hal nonteknis seperti cuaca dan atmosfer stadion tak lagi memihak Nippon secara mutlak.

Jangan lupakan pula faktor dendam atas kekalahan di final 2000 serta kejelian Dos Anjos dalam melakoni pergantian pemain. Dua pemain pengganti dalam laga versus Indonesia, juga Uzbekistan, terbukti menjadi pilihan tepat Dos Anjos karena keduanya berhasil masuk dalam score-sheet.

Saad Al Harthi sukses menciptakan gol kemenangan ke gawang Jendry Pitoy. Sementara itu, Ahmed Al Mousa berhasil menjebol gawang Uzbekistan untuk memberi keunggulan 2-0 sebelum akhirnya pecahan Uni Soviet itu memperkecil skor menjadi 2-1.

Biasa Tertinggal

“Saya melihat faktor pelatih sebagai sosok yang bisa membaca situasi. Ia (Dos Anjos) selalu berada selangkah di depan kami dalam menentukan siapa yang pantas tampil sebagai starter dan siapa yang harus diganti. Saya pikir inilah salah satu kekuatan Arab Saudi,” papar Al Qahtani.

Aspek Dos Anjos wajib diwaspadai Osim. Soalnya bentrokan di My Dinh National Stadium diyakini bakal berjalan alot sejak start hingga finis. Dengan kekuatan yang bisa dibilang sama kualitasnya, strategi pelatih mutlak memegang kunci. Untuk yang satu ini, Osim mungkin kalah cerdik.

Namun, kita juga pantas menyoroti sisi individual personel Nippon yang seperti terlahir untuk keluar dari tekanan. Bobol lebih dulu terbukti tak terlalu merisaukan mereka. Ini terjadi dua kali saat bertemu Vietnam dan Australia. Di kedua laga ini Jepang tertinggal, tapi sukses membalikkan skor akhir. Dre.mhs&m/juli2007

Minggu, 22 Juli 2007


Suporter Indonesia Realize ASSI

all representatives of Indonesia klub suporter gathering in Denpasar, Bali, for the event of Copa Dji Sam Soe Jamboree of Suporter Indonesia 2007 emphasizing the importance of forming a place of together by, from, and to they. " We feel important to be formed Association of Suporter Football Indonesia ( ASSI) which can unite all suporter in Indonesia so that possibility minimization the happening of dispute between suporter," Chief Association word of Suporter Kalimantan East, Tommy Hermanto in Denpasar, Thursday. Fight between suporter between klub in Indonesia is true enter in hard enough ketegori and many klub the frequentness hit sanction effect of act of their suporter.

Jambore Suporter

Suporter Indonesia Wujudkan ASSI

Para perwakilan suporter klub Indonesia yang berkumpul di Denpasar, Bali, untuk acara Copa Dji Sam Soe Jambore Suporter Indonesia 2007 menekankan perlunya pembentukan sebuah wadah bersama oleh, dari, dan untuk mereka.

"Kami merasa perlu dibentuk Asosiasi Suporter Sepak Bola Indonesia (ASSI) yang bisa menyatukan seluruh suporter di Indonesia sehingga meminimalkan kemungkinan terjadinya perselisihan antar suporter," kata Ketua Asosiasi Suporter Kalimantan Timur, Tommy Hermanto di Denpasar, Kamis.

Perang antar suporter antar klub di Indonesia memang masuk dalam ketegori cukup parah dan banyak klub yang kerap terkena sanksi akibat ulah suporter mereka.

"Kerusuhan mungkin tidak bisa dihilangkan tetapi jika ada wadah bersama maka bisa sama-sama dicari jalan keluar untuk mendamaikan mereka yang berselisih," ujar Tommy.

"Selain itu organisasi bersama para suporter itu bisa meningkatkan posisi tawar kami saat berhadapan dengan klub maupun PSSI," sambungnya.

Pemikiran yang sama juga disampaikan Ketua Harian Benteng Viola --kelompok suporter Persita Tangerang--, Adam Baedawi.

Menurut Adam, banyak hal positif yang bisa dicapai melalui organisasi tersebut, seperti mendidik suporter agar tidak berangasan dan saling membantu saat membutuhkan tiket pertandingan.

"Kami akan segera sosialisasikan isu ini kepada para anggota di daerah masing-masing sehingga bisa segera diwujudkan," kata Adam.

Acara Jambore Suporter itu sendiri merupakan yang keduakalinya setelah event yang sama diadakan untuk pertamakalinya tahun lalu di Puncak, Bogor.

Namun usai pertemuan para suporter tahun lalu, kerusuhan antar penonton tetap ada dalam sepak bola Indonesia. Padahal salah satu tema pertemuan tahun lalu adalah perdamaian dan menghentikan tindakan anarkis.dre mhs&m/juli 2007


Celebratory gunfire kills three after Iraq football win

Three people were killed and 25 wounded by stray bullets on Saturday as Iraqis marked the victory of their football team over Vietnam with a barrage of celebratory gunfire.
Iraq made their way to the Asian Cup semi-final with a 2-0 victory over Vietnam in Bangkok, in a match televised live for millions of Iraqi fans.
As the war-torn country's team emerged victorious, a massive eruption of gunfire reverberated across Baghdad and several other towns as hundreds of rounds were fired skywards into the evening sky.Interior and defence ministry officials told AFP that at least three people were killed and 25 wounded from falling bullets.
The progress of Iraq's team in the Asian Games is a rare source of shared joy in a country wracked by political divisions, murderous sectarian violence and a brutal insurgency.
Such victories are traditionally followed by gunfire as security forces, militia fighters, insurgent guerrillas and the country's heavily-armed citizenry put aside their differences and fire into the air.
Dre mhs & m/2007

Irak Menang

Irak Hentikan Vietnam 2-0

Irak menundukkan Vietnam, 2-0, dalam laga di perempatfinal Piala Asia 2007, Sabtu (21/7) malam, di Stadion Rajamangala, Bangkok, Thailand. Kapten kesebelasan Irak, Younis Mahmoud, menjadi pahlawan dengan mencetak kedua gol ke gawang Vietnam. Younis Mahmoud menjadi pahlawan penentu kemenangan Irak atas Vietnam dalam laga di babak perempatfinal Piala Asia 2007. Kapten kesebelasan Irak itu memborong dua gol buat membawa timnya menang 2-0 atas Vietnam, Sabtu (21/7) malam, di Stadion Rajamangala, Bangkok, Thailand.

Gol pertama Irak dibuat Mahmoud saat pertandingan baru berjalan dua menit. Ia meneruskan tendangan bebas Nashat Akram dengan sentuhan tipis kepala bagian belakang buat menaklukkan kiper Vietnam. Gol kedua ia buat di babak kedua, tepatnya di menit 65, lewat tendangan bebas cantik dari luar kotak penalti.

Sukses melibas Vietnam membawa Irak maju ke babak semi final. Mereka di babak 4 Besar nanti bakal menghadapi pemenang laga perempatfinal lain antara Korea Selatan vs Iran yang digelar Minggu (22/7) malam di Stadion Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Younis Mahmoud nyaris menciptakan hattrick ke gawang Vietnam jika saja tembakannya di menit 70 tidak melayang terlalu tinggi sedikit di atas mistar gawang Vietnam. Kemudian tiga menit kemudian, ia sempat lolos dari hadangan para pemain belakang lawan, sebelum melepaskan tembakan yang masih bisa diblok para pemain belakang Vietnam.

Lolos ke semi final menjadi kemajuan bagi Irak setelah dalam tiga penampilan di Piala Asia sebelumnya (1996, 2000, 2004) selalu kandas di babak perempatfinal. Kini Irak sudah membuktikan pantas menjadi salah satu favorit juara walau masih harus menjalani pertandingan semi final melawan Korsel atau Iran. Dre mhs & m/2007

Kamis, 19 Juli 2007

Indonesia fails

Indonesia fails to qualify for quaterfinals in Asian Cup

South Korea squeezed into the Asian Cup quarter-finals with a narrow 1-0 victory over Indonesia here on Wednesday, silencing 90,000 heartbroken fans in the heaving Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.

Korea took second place in group D behind Saudi Arabia, who thrashed Bahrain 4-0, and thus ended plucky Indonesia's dreams.

Korean coach Pim Verbeek was a relieved man having taken only one point from his first two games, in which his team twice squandered 1-0 leads.

"We spoke to the players before this game and told them that every game from now on would be a final," he said.

"We played well, we scored a good goal and created many chances. We're ready for the next match."

Indonesia's Bulgarian coach Ivan Kolev was not too dispirited by his side's failure to make it to the knock-out phase, saying his team did the nation proud.

"I feel disappointed because we did not qualify but I am also proud," he was quoted by AFP as saying.

"They fought to the death, until the end of the game. I'm proud of my players for what they did from the first to the third match.

"They played their best even though before the tournament we all knew that we had very tough opponents such as Saudi Arabia and South Korea."

As always with games involving the co-hosts it started at a frantic pace and Indonesia should have had a penalty after just three minutes.

Elie Aiboy won a race to the ball in the penalty box and he nicked it away from goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae, only to be brought down by a combination of
goalkeeper and covering defender.
dre. mhs & m/juli2007

Indonesia kalah

Meski Indonesia Kalah, Presiden Tetap Bangga.
Sabtu, 14 Juli 2007 | 22:30 WIB

Meski Indonesia kalah 2-1 dari Saudi Arabia, Presiden Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono tetap bangga dan puas terhadap pemain Indonesia.

"Presiden tetap bangga dengan semangat pemain Indonesia," ujar juru bicara kepresidenan Dino Pati Djalal usai menonton pertandingan sepakbola Piala Asia antara Indonesia-Arab Saudi di Stadion Gelora Bung Karno, Sabtu (14/7).

Presiden, kata Dino, juga berpesan agar pemain Indonesia tetap mempertahanakan semangat yang tinggi untuk pertandingan berikutnya. Perasaan Presiden ini, kata Dino, sama dengan perasaan semua orang yang menonton pertandingan ini.

Dino sendiri merasa bangga sekaligus sedih dengan kekalahan Indonesia ini. "Indonesia kecolongan di menit-menit terakhir," ujar Dino yang menonton ditemani istrinya, Rosa Djalal. Tetapi Dino bangga dengan pemain Indonesia yang bisa mengimbangi lawan.

Sementara itu, ahli komunikasi Universitas Indonesia Effendi Gazali, yang ditemui usai pertandingan, menganggap permainan Indonesia kali ini luar biasa. Hanya saja, perubahan strategi untuk tetap bertahan membuat pemain Indonesia kehilangan konsentrasi.

Effendi pun optimistis Indonesia dapat menghadapi Korea Selatan di pertandingan berikutnya. "Minimal bisa seri menghadapi Korea Selatan, asal Indonesia memperhatikan fisik dan kejelian,"ujar Effendi.

Dre.mhs & m/juli 2007

Selasa, 17 Juli 2007

Brazil dominates

Brazil dominates Argentina to win Copa America crown

Even without some top stars, Brazil still won its second straight Copa America title.

Julio Baptista scored in the fourth minute, an own goal doubled the lead in the 40th and Daniel Alves got the final goal in the 69th as the Brazilians stunned favoured Argentina 3-0 Sunday to win South America's championship for the eighth time.

"Lots of people criticized our team, but we're the champions," said Brazil forward Robinho, the tournament's top scorer with six goals.

While Argentina brought its top players and appeared unstoppable throughout most of the tournament, Brazil was missing stars such as Ronaldinho and Kaka, who decided to skip the tournament after the long European club season. The Brazilians edged Uruguay 5-4 on
penalty kicks in the semifinals after a 2-2 tie.

"My players demonstrated they're capable of great things," Brazil coach Dunga said. "Argentina was the press and everyone's favourite, but the game is decided on the field over 90 minutes."

Brazil defeated Argentina 4-2 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie to win the 2004 final in Lima, Peru. The Brazilians have won four of the last five Copa titles — the exception was when Colombia won at home in 2001 — and eight in all. But in last year's World Cup, Brazil was eliminated by France in the quarter-finals. (dre-mhsm)

Brazil Kejutkan Argentina

Maracaibo, Venezuela,. Brasil secara mengejutkan berhasil memepertahankan gelar Piala Amerika setelah menang telak 3-0 atas favorit juara, Argentina, di final yang berlangsung di Maracaibo, Venezuela, Senin (16/7) WIB. Ini merupakan ulangan kemenangan mereka di final terakhir Piala Amerika di Peru, juga dengan menundukkan Argentina. Brasil telah memenangi empat dari lima kejuaran terakhir Piala Amerika.

Bermain tanpa pemain andalan Ronaldinho dan Kaka, sejak awal Brasil tampil kurang meyakinkan saat ditundukkan Meksiko 0-2. Dan secara keseluruhan tim ini memang tanpil kurang mengesankan.

Berbeda dengan Argentina yang berhasil memenangi semua pertandingan dalam perjalanannya menuju final, sehingga hampir tak mungkin mereka akan kalah dari Brasil di final.

Namun, di final pasukan Dunga bermain begitu kuat diawali dengan gol yang dibuat Julio Baptista di menit keempat membuat para pendukung Argentina terdiam, dan juga mengejutkan para pemain Argentina sendiri. Mereka mempertontonkan permainan yang efisien dan efektif.

Sebenarnya, Argentina memiliki kesempatan besar untuk menyamakan kedudukan tepat lima menit kemudian. Ketika bintang muda Lionel Messi mengoper bola secara menyilang dan Juan Sebastian Veron dengan pelan menyundul bola ke kaki Juan Roman Riquelme. Sayang tendangan kencang Riquelme berhasil ditahan oleh Doni. dre mhsm sportline//

Sabtu, 07 Juli 2007



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