23 Feb. 2000  Rajmangkala National Stadium                                         PHOTO GALLERY

Scorers: Rivaldo 12, 38, Ronaldinho 44, Emerson Ferreira 49, 85, Roque Junior 74, Jardel 79  

Halftime: 0-3


12 SHOTS 27
6 FOULS 10
1 Yellow Cards 0
0 Red Cards 0
3 Free Kicks 2
2 Corner Kicks 10

Brazil Line up: 1. Dida, 14. Cafu, 4. Roque Junior, 3. Claudio Cacapa, 17. Emerson, 12 Roberto Carlos, 9. Ronaldinho, 8. Juninho, 10. Elber, 13. Rivaldo, 18. Ze R.oberto

On the Bench: 2. Marcos, 15. Evanilson, 16. Fabio Bilica, 5. Athirson, 6. Marcos Paulo, 17. Edu, 11. Jardel, 7. Babiano.

Thailand Line up: 1. Virat,  4. Pattanapong, 5. Chukiat, 6 Choktavee, 16. Thongchai, 12. Dusit,  14. Nirut, 13. Anurak, 19. Nared,  24. Seksan, 13. Kiatisuk

On the Bench: 3. Panurat, 2. Narong, 17. Jatupong, 18. Terdsak, 10. Natee, 9. Thanongsak, 7. Panuwat, 11. Nuttavut, 15. Kovit, 23. Sutee, 21 Theved, 22. Vimol.

Classy Brazils too good for Thais

IT was like lambs to the slaughter as bloodhungry Brazil showed little respite in trouncing hosts Thailand 70 in the historical match of the 31st King’s Cup fournation tournament yesterday at the Rajamangala National Stadium.

Much was expected from Thailand, fielding a mixture of young and experienced players. The stadium was packed with 50,000 diehard fans egging on their home team to give the Brazilians a run for their money. Sadly, it was not to be as Brazil dazzled, both in offence and defence, leaving their hapless opponents exasperated and clueless.

A disappointed Peter Withe, Thailand’s English national coach, tried to provide the solace. “Although we lost 70, I’m proud of my players and the Kingdom should be proud of them too,” said Withe. “We lost to a team that is regarded as the best in the world since I was a child,” he added.

However, Withe found the sevengoal rout a little bit hard to digest. “I have absolutely no doubts about Brazil’s prowess but the result should have been 72 or 73.”

Asked what separated the two teams, Withe simply said, “Professionalism,” before adding, “They make their living by playing football. And their players have been playing since they were kids. In comparison the Thais have to think about study and work.”

Team manager Wirach Chanpanich had a different answer. “They had 11 chances, seven of which were successfully converted while we had 6 or 7 missed opportunities,” he said. Brazil’s national coach Wanderley Luxemburgo declined to comment on the opponents at first, saying, “It is not good to talk about our opponents.” However, he did mention a Thai forward as a good player. Luxemburgo could not remember either the player’s name or his number but the player was believed to be Sakesan Piturat, who showed good form yesterday.

“We had a good time here and want to come back again. Unfortunately, it won’t be in the near future, as we have to encamp for the World Cup qualifying tournament from March.

“I’m satisfied with the result. It’s a good tuneup match for us,” added Luxemburgo.

Rivaldo, Fifa’s player of the year and Barcelona’s spearhead, and Real Madrid’s Roberto Carlos played for a major part of the game and showed the fans why they are the scourge of rival teams. Rivaldo left the fans spellbound as he netted a brace, while Carlos’ mastery over getting the better of the Thai defenders was world class.

The match did have an exciting beginning. Though the Thailand players held the Brazilians in high respect, they showed the home crowd they were not intimidated by their illustrious opponents.

Only five minutes into the game, Kiatisak Senamuang, who flew back from England for the match, tested keeper Dida with his longrange shot. But Dida was equally agile to the task as he dived to tap the ball out.

Four minutes later, defender Dusit Chalermsaen seemed on his way to make history as he spun a free kick curling towards the Brazil goal. However, his attempt was too wayward. The Brazilians, having measured their opponents well by this time, took control of the game and never looked back.

It had to be Rivaldo, who opened the tally for Brazil in the 12th minute. Gaining possession of the ball from the middle, he deftly slipped past two Thai midfielders, Thongchai Akkarapong and Anuruck Srikerd, before netting from 25 yards. The diminutive Ronaldinho, projected as another Ronaldo, had sent shivers down the Thai spine when he slammed in a volley from 12 yards only to be declared offside and the goal disallowed. In the 20th minute, Thailand again gave a sigh of relief when Ze Roberto’s stinging shot hit the upright and bounced back into play.

Thailand almost scored an equaliser in the 37th minute. An advancing Kiatisak found Sakesan Piturat with a neat cross. Sakesan’s shot beat keeper Dida all ends up but the bar saved the moment for Brazil.

A counter attack by Brazil, a minute later, fetched them a 20 lead as Rivaldo’s 30yard shot spectacularly curled in.

A minute from the break, Thai keeper Wirat Wangchan made a clumsy pass to Dusit. Juninho, lurking close by stole it and crossed it in from the right flank where Ronaldinho easily tapped in and made it 30.

After the breather, Brazil came out even more strongly. Only four minutes into the second half, Carlos crossed the ball in from the left and Emerson rushed in to net from 20 yards. Keeper Wirat was left stranded, watching the ball as it curled in.

The Thais had by now thrown in the towel which only enabled Roque Junior, Mario Jardel and Emerson again to strike in goals to complete a 70 thrashing.


A touch of class from the best in the world

Thais contribute to entertaining game

Roger Crutchley

Quite often top teams don't live up to their name when they play in what are basically exhibition matches in Thailand, but at the Rajamangala National Stadium yesterday Brazil didn't let anyone down as they displayed all the skills which make them the best team in the world.

Although the crowd was not quite the full capacity as had been hoped-it was a bit optimistic to expect football fans to fork out 2,000 baht-there was a tremendous atmosphere and Brazil rose to the occasion with a delightful blend of silky skills and attacking play.

The star turns didn't disappoint either. Barcelona's Rivaldo showed why he was international footballer of the year by scoring the opening two goals, the first being really his first contribution to the game.

Then, late in the first half he appeared to be upset at not being given a free-kick after being brought down when he had broken through. But within a minute he came up with a perfect riposte-a 40-yard screamer which keeper Wirat Wangchan never saw. It was the goal of the match and left the crowd gasping.

Also catching the eye was Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos. His telling runs down the wing and deft ball skills were a delight to watch as was the youthful exuberance of Ronaldinho.

Ironically, the high spot of the match was not a goal, but it deserved to be. A fine cross from the left by Rivaldo saw Ze Roberto with his back to the goal perform a classic bicycle kick. The ball flew off his boot like a rocket, but unfortunately for Roberto slammed against the bar. It was a champagne moment on a dizzy night.

Rivaldo and Roberto Carlos were substituted at the same time early in the second half, no doubt to keep their respective clubs happy. Barcelona take on Real Madrid in a vital Spanish League match on Sunday.

There was no disgrace in Thailand's defeat-when you are ranked 65th in the world and you play against number one, that's what's going to happen.

Urged on as ever by coach Peter Withe on the touchline, the Thai players made a full contribution to the game, but the difference in class was obvious, especially with the respective finishing. Although Thailand hit the bar a couple of times-Seksan Piturat was particularly unlucky with a fine effort-most of the shots were way off the mark.

Apart from one good first half shot, Thai star Kiatisak "Zico" Senamuang was not as effective as he would have hoped. Maybe he found the weather too hot after three months of shivering in Huddersfield. And when he missed Thailand's best chance of the night when he sliced his shot in front of goal, he must have hoped that Terriers manager Steve Bruce wasn't watching.

The second half came down to basically shooting practice for the Brazilians who were almost queuing up to score. If goalkeeper Wirat had not made several brave saves, the final score could have reached double figures.

It was a situation where coach Withe's strength and value to the Thai squad came clearly into evidence. Although his team were being outplayed he constantly urged them on, giving hearty "high-fives" to the players that were substituted. There was no hint of embarrassment at the runaway scoreline.

It is this sort of spirit that will work well for the Thai squad in the future.

The match was played in an excellent spirit and in the end everybody had a good time, players and spectators alike. The warm applause for the Brazilians as they trooped off at the end was evidence of that.

Match Report From Bangkok Post

Match Report From The Nation's Feb 24 edition