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Argentina Grabbing a First Ticket from South America to 2002 World Cup

Argentina Grabbing a First Ticket from South America to 2002 World Cup

Posted August. 17, 2001 09:01,   


While the preliminary games of the 2002 World Cup are held in each continent, Argentina, `Pride of South America` is being mentioned as the first candidate to win because there are excellent players, such as Veron and Crespo.

Brazil, `Automobilerier of World Soccer` has been struggling in the preliminary games but she is still considered as one of the top candidates to win the 2002 World Cup because she has extraordinary soccer players in her team, like Honaudu and Hibaudu.

While Argentina already grabbed a ticket to the final games of the 2002 World Cup in South America, Brazil is now in a stable condition to win a ticket, suppressing the tornado of Paraguay and escaping a crisis.

In the preliminary games in South America held in Kito, Ecuador elevated at 2850 m above sea level on August 16, Argentina beat Ecuador, who were cheered by 40,000 home spectators unilaterally, by 2-0 with the help of Veron, `genius playmaker’ and Crespo, `born goal-getter`. Argentina, who won the World Cup in 1978 and 1986, confirmed the final selection with 35 winning points (11 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss), regardless of the results of the remaining 4 games. It is the 12th qualifications in a row and 14th participation to the final games of World Cup.

For the final selection group of 32 countries, Argentina was the 9th country that was determined to enter the final games. It is the 6th country to finalized the ticket to the final games through preliminary games, following Cameron, South Africa, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Senegal in Africa.

Thus, Argentina, with Gabriel Batistuta (`Score machine`), Ariel Ortega and Javier Saviola (`2nd Maradona`), needs to prepare to win the World Cup comfortably.

Although the game was on the road held in the elevated region, a mid-range shooting of Veron from Argentina determined the game. At 19 minutes in the first half of the game, he invaded the half-line in the right, shooting 27 m diagonal goal into the net of Ecuador. Argentina, who led the game through Veron`s goal early, had another goal by Crespo, which was obtained from a penalty kick at 34 minutes of the first half.

Ecuador, whose consecutive wins had to be stopped at 5 games, still holds a good score of 8 wins, 1 draw and 5 losses with 25 winning points (3rd in South America), though her home game scores (6 wins, 1 draw) were broken in the preliminary games for 2002 World Cup.

Meanwhile, Brazil won her home game with `Samba rhythm` on the same day. It was held in Portualegre, Brazil against Paraguay, in which Paraiba and Hibaudu earned goals respectively. As a result, Brazil beat Paraguay by 2-0. Brazil, who is the fourth in the preliminary games with 24 winning points (7 wins, 3 draws, 4 losses), is now relieved because Uruguay, who is the fifth (wining point 21), lost to Venezuela. Brazil has not won any game ever since the win against Columbia by 1-0 last November.

Brazil held the lead of the game by the early goal, in which Paraiba headed a cross-pass of Beleti into the net at 4 minutes in the first half. Then at 24 minutes in the second half, Hidaudu headed a goal, which was precisely passed by Deniuson from the left side, into the net.

Yang Jong-Koo yjongk@donga.com