France beat Spain to set up clash with Brazil

28th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

28 June 2006, BERLIN - France came from behind to beat Spain 3-1 Tuesday and set up a quarter-final against Brazil, who ended Ghana's heady World Cup run as Ronaldo got his record 15th World Cup goal.

28 June 2006

BERLIN - France came from behind to beat Spain 3-1 Tuesday and set up a quarter-final against Brazil, who ended Ghana's heady World Cup run as Ronaldo got his record 15th World Cup goal.

The match in Frankfurt on Saturday will be a chance for Brazil to avenge their World Cup final defeat by France in 1998, and no one will be more eager than Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane to shine again.

The scoreline in Hanover that also saw goals by Franck Ribery and Patrick Vieira was harsh on Spain, who had dominated the first half and had deservedly taken the lead on 27 minutes through a David Villa penalty.

But Ribery rounded Iker Casillas to equalise four minutes before half-time, Vieira headed France in front seven minutes from time, and Zidane sealed victory in the second minute of injury time.

France had Zidane back from suspension but Spain were the better side and were rewarded for their slick passing when Lilian Thuram got too close to Pablo and referee Roberto Rosetti awarded the penalty.

It was Spain's first defeat in Luis Aragones's 26-match tenure in charge. "We didn't deserve the last goal but that is football and we are going home," said a bitterly disappointed Iker Casillas. "Maybe we relaxed after we scored."

In Dortmund, Ronaldo became the World Cup's all-time record goalscorer as Brazil beat Ghana 3-0 with Adriano and Ze Roberto also on target.

The striker, criticized for arriving at the tournament over- weight, is now also in the running to win the FIFA golden shoe, with three tournament goals.

"I know I've been under pressure but it's good for me," he said. "It allows me to laugh it off and show what's in me. Now I want to score more goals so we can be champions."

Ronaldo's strike on five minutes in Dortmund was historic and Adriano's goal also marked a major milestone. His effort on the stroke of half-time was Brazil's 200th World Cup goal.

Brazil's coach Carlos Alberto Parreira was full of praise for tournament debutants Ghana. "It was a very difficult game--the result does not express how difficult it was," he said.

The sentiment were echoed by Ghana coach Ratomir Dujkovic who said: "I am proud of my team. It is no embarrassment to go out against Brazil."

But he was angered at Brazil's second goal and the decision to send him to the stand at half-time. "The referee should have worn a yellow shirt," he said.

Ghana had started the most important match in their history without arguably their most important player, midfielder Michael Essien, who was suspended.

Brazil win wasn't beautiful, but it didn't worry Parreira. "History talks about champions, not beautiful football," he said. "We want to play beautiful football, but most of all we want to be world champions."

DPA

Subject: German news

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