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Brazil Crushes Argentina, Prepares For Chile
Match to be played twenty years after infamous "Maracana Stadium Incident"
Marcelo Mackinnon (pelarco)     Print Article 
Published 2009-09-09 09:55 (KST)   
Despite Diego Maradona's best efforts, Brazil defeated Argentina 3-1 September 5, moving the Brazilian national team ahead to face Chile on Wednesday night in Salvador, the capital of the state of Bahia.

The Brazilian press is concerned that after its performance in Argentina, and having qualified for next year's World Cup in South Africa, the players will relax. They are eager to see Coach Dunga's team make its best effort against Chile, the second placed team in the South American qualifying tournament.

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The Chilean visitors only managed a 2-2 draw at home last Saturday against a weak Venezuelan team. However, not all omens are bleak for Chile since the Brazilian team will be without four of its top players: Kaka, Lucio, Ramires and Luis Fabiano (leading goalscorer in the tournament with nine goals).

Luis Fabiano had become a nightmare for Chile. Every time the striker played he had scored, including twice in the first round match where Brazil beat Chile by 3-0.

This match is also the twentieth anniversary of one of football쨈s most controversial episodes. In 1989, Brazil and Chile were competing for a place in the 1990 World Cup, and the ticket was decided in a two way tie. The first match ended in a 1-1 draw in Santiago (with Dunga playing for Brazil). Prior to the match, the players had threatened each other and the coaches of both teams. Even before the match began, a fight occurred on the pitch between Chilean players and Romario, the star of the Brazilian team. In the first minutes of the match, a Chilean defender made a violent foul on Branco, one of Brazil's best players, nearly breaking his leg. Moments later Romario tried to punch the Chilean player and ended up being sent off by the referee.

The violence escalated in the return match at Maracana Stadium on Sept 3, 1989. Brazil was winning 1-0 and appeared to be headed for a clear victory when a local fan threw a flare onto the pitch. The flare landed very near to Roberto Rojas, the Chilean goalkeeper, who immediately fell on the ground in apparent pain. Rojas was bleeding from a wound over his eye, and the Chilean players walked off the pitch.

In Santiago, angry fans threw stones at the Brazilian embassy in protest. FIFA ordered a full investigation into the incident, which discovered that Roberto Rojas had cut himself with a shaving blade that a member of the Chilean medical staff gave him as he went onto the pitch. As a result, FIFA awarded the victory to Brazil and banned Chile from the 1994 World Cup.

to appear in my blog samreality.blogspot.com
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Marcelo Mackinnon

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