Brandon Sun (Newspaper) - June 25, 2002, Brandon, Manitoba
Brazilians chasing fifth Cup crown
By Nhil Davidson
A look at World Cup semifinal action Wednesday (all times CDT):
Brazil (No. 2) vs. Turkey (No. 22)
Where: Saitama, Japan. Saitama Stadium, capacity 63,700.
TV: CBC, 6:30 a.m; TSN, Thursday 2:30 a.m. delayed.
Storyline: Turks want revenge for controversial first-round loss to Brazil. South Americans on quest for fifth world title.
Brazil: Ronaldinho is suspended after being sent off against England. Jumnho and Denison are both possible replacements. Both are gifted offensively and Denilson, famous for his swivel-hips moves over the ball, is especially fun to watch. People may complain that
this Brazilian team is not as good as past squads, but it’s not bad when you can go to the bench for a $50-million Cdn reserve like Denilson. Goalkeeper Marcos took a knock on the thigh in training Monday but is expected to play. Ronaldo, sporting a new ’do, is expected to start after overcoming a thigh problem.
Turkey: Left back Hakan Unsal is extremely doubtful (knee injury). Ergun Penbe started in his place against Senegal. Will coach Senol Gunes stick with ice-cold veteran striker Hakan Sukur (two shots on goal in five games) up front or opt for Ilhan Mansiz, who scored the golden goal in Sukur’s place and led Turkey in scoring with 21 goals in 28 games for Besiktas. This is just the second World Cup finals appearance for the Turks, whose only other appearance was in 1934.
Players to watch: Brazil’s Rivaldo has scored in all five matches here. But his fine play has been tainted by his tendency towards poor sportsmanship — a toddler is steadier on his feet longer than Rivaldo. The Barcelona star was fined for “simulation” after being hit in the thigh in the opening game against the Turks. Cafu has been a marauding force down the right wing for Brazil. Turkish goalkeeper Rustu Recber has had a fine tournament. Unlike Rivaldo, he is also resilient. Three years ago, when his club side Fenerbahce lost to an amateur club team in the Turkish Cup, irate fans dragged him out of his car and beat him up. His Brazilian counterpart, Marcos, has also excelled. Turkish forward Hasan Sas (two goals, two assists) has been one of the stars of the tournament. Yaldiray Basturk is crafty in midfield.
What to Look For: After a slow
start, the Turks are coming into form. Defence is solid and no team has made more tackles at the tournament. Speed of the Turks may cause problems. Kleberson, playing alongside Gilberto Silva, added some steel to the Brazilian central midfield against England. Can Turks control Ronaldo?
Referee: Kim Milton Neilsen,
Denmark. Assistant referees are Maciej Wierzbowski, Poland, and Igor Sramka, Slovakia. Fourth official is Brian Hall, U.S.
Discipline: Star Brazilian wingback Roberto Carlos is on a yellow card and will miss the final or third-place playoff with another card. Turkey has five players on a yellow, including defender Alpay and forwards Sukur and Mansiz.
Turkish Note: Backup midfielder Muzzy Izzet is a Londoner. He qualifies for Turkey through his father. Mansiz,
the golden boy of Turkish soccer, was born in Germany and played for the German under-19 team before pledging allegiance to Turkey.
Canadian Note: Montreal’s Walter Sieber is FIFA’s general co-ordinator of Saitama Stadium, meaning he runs the show.
Skinny: Prior to the tournament, Pele said he feared the Turks could give Brazil a rough ride. Turks are an experienced side, whose players have been forged in the cauldron of European club competition. Still Brazil has talent and flair and showed real resolve in dispatching the English.
Odds: British bookmaker William Hill lists Brazil as the 8-15 favourite to win the tournament, compared to Turkey at 8-1.
WORLD CUP SOCCER
John Daly and Vijay Singh share a chuckle during yesterday’s round.
Singh tops money list after opening nine holes
By Sui Davidi
HUNTSVILLE, Ont. — Vijay Singh enjoyed clowning around but he wasn’t here just to have fun.
The defending champion picked up five skins worth $90,000 yesterday — including a par worth $60,000 on the ninth and final hole of the day — to take the lead after the first day of golf’s $360,000 Telus Skins Game.
The Fijian, who won nine skins for $180,000 last year, birdied six of the nine holes during an error-free round. He was the only member of the foursome not to find the foliage at the Grandview Golf Club.
“Surprisingly, everyone hit the ball all over the place except for me,” > lid Singh. “I hit the ball oft' the tee vt; well. When you hit the ball straight, you have a lot of chances to attack the flag.”
Mike Weir of Bright’s Grove, Ont., had a chance to tie Singh on the par-4 ninth hole, but his putt for par lipped out.
“I didn’t think I could win the last hole with a birdie,” said Singh.
John Daly was second with $60,000 after eagling the fourth hole during an erratic and joke-filled round.
“I hate to see Vijay get a skin with a par — come on,” he complained before challenging Singh to all-or-nothing hole today.
“I don’t think that would be good for you,” Singh joked.
Weir and Spaniard Sergio Garcia were shut out before a capacity crowd of 4,000 on a sunny, pleasant day.
“I hit a couple of hooks I didn’t like today,” said Weir.
The foursome plays the back nine Tuesday (TSN, 1:30 p.m. EDT), when $210,000 will be up for grabs at the 6,905-yard, par-72 Mark O’Meara course.
Daly spent most of the day cracking jokes and trading barbs with his opponents, riding Garcia particularly hard. The usually stoic Singh also got in on the laughs, but said later he was all business on the tee.
“It makes the game fun when you’re playing with guys you know and play around with,” said the 39-year-old. “Everyone knows we joke around before taking a shot but you concentrate when you’re over the ball.
“It’s very serious when you’re over the ball. You want to make good shots. That’s what we play for.”
The event got off to a slow start Monday as the first three holes, each worth $15,000, were carried over to the 363-yard par-4 fourth hole.
It was there Daly briefly found his stroke.
The burly American, who can launch balls farther with his putter than most amateurs can with state-of-the-art drivers, took the $60,000-hole with a monstrous 347-yard drive and a lovely eagle putt from the fringe.
The two big-money shots were Daly’s only good strokes of the day. After sending his six-iron shot far left of the pin on the par-3 No. 3, he quipped, “I might get my amateur status back after this day.”
The 36-year-old was more comic than golfer during the earlv holes, telling Garcia on No. 2: “If you keep hanging around the United States, you’ll get fat like me.”
FIFA president dismisses referee conspiracy theory
YOKOHAMA, Japan — FIFA president Sepp Blatter issued a statement yesterday denying there was a conspiracy to keep South Korea in the World Cup.
Blatter also dismissed speculation Sunday’s final would be switched from Japan to South Korea should South Korea win its semifinal against Germany.
The idea of a conspiracy theory favouring the co-hosts has gathered momentum since Korea knocked both Italy and Spain out of the tournament amid controversy.
There have been a string of controversial refereeing decisions during the tournament, but the fact they have favoured the co-hosts so much has left many suspicious.
Blatter finally responded to the claims yesterday.
“Ongoing rumours require me to reiterate the following — One, The final of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea Japan will be held in Yokohama on 30 June at 8 p.m. (local time), as per the match schedule,” Blatter said in the statement.
“Two, Any allegations of a conspiracy in favour of Korea Republic are dismissed in their entirety.”
In the second round, Korea beat Italy with a golden goal after Italy had an extra-time effort disallowed and Francesco Totti sent off.
Korea defeated Spain on Saturday in a penalty shootout, but not before the Spaniards had two goals ruled out in the quarter-final clash.
Italian club owner backs down on threats
PERUGIA, Italy — Serie A club Perugia — which had threatened to fire the South Korean forward whose extratime golden goal sent Italy packing from the World Cup — said yesterday that Ahn Jung-hwan wlII stay with the team next season.
Perugia, which until now had Ahn on loan from K-League club Busan Peons, has exercised its option and bought the player, said club spokesman Paolo Giovagnoni.
Ahn has been with the Italian side since the start of the 2000-2001 season, spending most of the time on the bench.
His header lifted South Korea to a shocking 2-1 victory over Italy last week — delivering the three-time champions a humiliating elimination.
Ronaldinho of Brazil warms up on the practise pitch yesterday.
Perugia owner Luciano Gaucci
responded by telling Ahn he was not welcome back.
“I am not going to pay the salary of a guy who has been the ruin of Italian soccer,” he was quoted as saying by the Italian daily La Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday, a day after Italy’s knockout.
In Bntain a lawmaker demanded a European Union inquiry into the case, accusing the Italians yesterday of breaking EU discrimination laws.
“It was an emotional reaction, a provocation,” Giovagnoni said of Gaucci’s words, adding the team’s decision was made independently of the World Cup game.
Ronaldo shakes off effects of leg in jury
SAITAMA, Japan — Ronaldo, apparently fully recovered from a leg muscle ailment, trained with the team Monday in preparation for Brazil’s World Cup semifinal match with Turkey.
Team doctor Jose Luis Runco earlier had said Ronaldo was expected only to run laps on Monday. But instead he joined the team for a scrimmage at
Saitama stadium, the site of Wednesday’s match.
The Internazionale striker ran, passed and shot on goal, showing no sign of the muscle pains that led to his substitution in Brazil’s 2-1 victory over England last Friday.
Cold cash coming way of hot Koreans
SEOUL — The 23 members of the South Korean World Cup soccer squad have each earned at least 300 million won ($378,275 Cdn) in bonuses so far for reaching the semifinals.
The Korea Football Association promised IOO million won ($126,115 Cdn) each if the team advanced to the second round, and the same amount for every subsequent win.
South Korea cleared the first round with two wins over Portugal and Poland, and a tie with the United States. The Koreans defeated Italy in the second round and Spain in the quarterfinals.
Coach Guus Hiddink will also get an unspecified amount in bonuses under a contract signed in late 2000.
The three Rs make all-star short list
YOKOHAMA, Japan — Four South Koreans and four Brazilians have been picked by FIFA for its World Cup all-star team short-list.
Ahn Jung-hwan, who scored the golden goal in South Korea’s 2-1 quarter-final victory over Italy, was included alongside stellar goalkeeper Lee Woon-jae, captain and defender Hong Myung-bo and midfielder Yoo Sang-chul.
Brazil’s three R’s — Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Rivaldo — have also made the 33-man short-list, alongside goalkeeper Marcos.
Semifinalists Turkey and Germany and England, which lost to Brazil in the quarter-finals, have three players on the list.
There was no place on the all-star shortlist for England’s defender Rio Ferdinand, rated by many as the side’s best player, and Senegal midfielder Henri Camara, who scored twice in the second-round match against Sweden.
Pele, who won the World Cup three times in 1958, 1962 and 1970 with Brazil, will announce the final all-star team on Fnday in Yokohama.
— Associated Press
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