The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on July 18, 1994 · Page 40
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 40

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Monday, July 18, 1994
Page 40
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LOS ANGELES TIMES MONDAY, JULY 18, 1994 r cfoiqiuroiiii.- BRAZIL T "5 V 14 4S Continued from CI Many in the crowd of 94,194 in the Rose Bowl had chosen to become Brazil fans for a day, those arrayed in the national yellow and green swaying to the ever-present drumbeat Those newly converted soccer acolytes saw a game dominated by defense in which the premier offensive players made negligible offerings in the face of smothering defense. ; Italy played Brazil only slightly differently than the rest of the champion's opponents. Whereas most teams pack the defense and look for a counterattack, Italy had vague notions about attacking, but Brazil's underrated back line and Italy's depleted roster made successful forward runs impossible. Always overshadowed by the team's brilliant offense, few noticed Brazil's defense had given up only three goals. Baggio, the world player of the year in 1993, was reduced by a hamstring strain to half-speed forays to get to space where, a week ago, he would have been dangerous. Before the game, the tactical discussions centered on whether to man -mark Baggio or stay in a zone. As the game wore on, Baggio did not even merit a defender to pick him up. Brazil, too, lost a key player to injury. Jorginho, the right back given the responsibility of bringing -the ball up the wing, injured his ihlgh muscle early in the first half ynd was replaced by Cafu. Without Jorginho's service to Romario and IBebeto, Brazil attacked through ;the middle, with little success. " Present in body but absent in 'impact was Bebeto, who became 'Romario's silent partner Sunday. Defender Paolo Maldini was moved by Coach Arrigo Sacchi in the first half to deal with Bebeto and Maldi-ni shut him down. He might have jbeen the best player on the field for leither team. There were few chances in the Jtightly played first half, and Brazil had them, for the most part. The ' Ib'est came when Branco teed up a Jfree kick that was punched out by Italian goalkeeper Gianluca Pagli-Juca at the near post. Mazinho j! rushed in for the rebound but IbOWNEY -i Continued from CI and cheering and crying and hugging and shaking their heads with ... amazement over a classic climax to a classic drama that had to be seen i to be disbelieved. L. A., L. A., L.A., L.A. , A month of soccer that came down to one final shot. A scoreless championship game fron by one final miss. I A perfectly wonderful tournament with an imperfectly wonderful ending. 'It is 3:33 p.m. at the Rose Bowl and 7,000 miles from the Roman Colosseum and Italians are suffering. Franco Baresi is crying in his coach's arms and Roberto Baggio is in emotional and physical distress and no one back home is singing or dancing. Italian athletes collapse to the grass. Blue on green. Exhausted. Played out. ; ' ' AH they can do now is watch. i Multicolor fireworks snap, jrackle and pop above the bowl. A single-engine airplane hovers overhead, carrying a wing-walker. Brazilian flags flap in the breeze. The triumphant coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira, is being tossed up nd down by a human trampoline. The team leader, Dunga, is clutching the golden trophy with both palms as though having just discovered the Holy Grail. He kisses it, then passes it to Mauro Silva, to franco, to Zinho, to Viola, to ; genu mi a TECHNOPHONE EZ400 M90M n Bravo 3 tSlI 1 6 JBBamnMwrxw frcii Cell f authorized 7T7 -$OC0fl ht I agents of El vZ3 ciztk. SfWICF ACTtVATTONNOT KfaintFO. '5KV1Cf AOTVATIOH OH (Y FtAH OK HIGHfH " I II it a I ill.llMll.l!.IHte Roberto Baggio (10) was able to topped the ball and didn't get a clean shot at the open net. Brazil had a dangerous chance again in the second half. Mauro Silva let loose a hard shot that Pagliuca saved and tried to gather while in a crouch. The ball bounced off his knee and spun toward the net. It bounced off the post and back into Pagliuca's arms. Italy's only credible chance came late in the second half. Roberto Donadoni crossed the ball in from the right wing. Baggio's first touch controlled the ball and with his second he turned and shot. In an awful foreshadowing, Baggio's shot flew over the net. The players gathered themselves for overtime that produced a few close calls but little else. Romario had a chance in front, but missed. Having failed to score in overtime, the teams were sent, for the first time in a World Cup cham Marcio Santos, who all do the same, kiss and pass along, kiss and pass along. Off they go, running, somehow summoning up life in their legs from some unknown resource, suddenly not tired in the least. They have the strength of a zillion Brazilians. They take a victory lap. They lug with them the 11-pound, 14-inch, 18-carat dingus, the golden goddess of victory, the trophy created by a sculptor, Silvio Gazza-niga, an Italian. But now all any Italian can do is watch. It is 3:40 p.m. at the end of the road, and Rome is in ruins. Arrigo Sacchi, coach of the conquered, pats players on the heads, helps them to their feet, takes them into his arms. He says: "The players were fantastic. They gave everything they had to give." They did. . He says: "It has been a wonderful experience. ... I only wish we could have brought our Italian spectators the championship." They did not. Turn back the clock. It is 12:30 p.m. in Pasadena and no one knows how this will go. Whitney Houston is on a stage belting a number and Kenny G is in a jazzy Team USA uniform blowing sax. And then team captains Dunga and Baresi are exchanging gifts, and goalkeepers Claudio Taffarel and Gianluca Pagliuca are clasping hands, and superstars Bebeto and Roberto Baggio are paying their respects, and at midfield Brazil gets the ball rolling. 00 BOATS CLEARLY AAARKED WITH !Q HASSLE "LIQUIDATION PRICES" inipie inn 1 , . . Jr ; T V" rST7 T TpfffTnir"'""'""' , .... jy " : ' . I lo J L - ' , ' , - , M i - run against Marcio Santos, but he pionship match, to penalty kicks. Before they began, Brazil's team arranged itself into a circle and held hands, praying. "We really felt the hands of God on us," goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel said. As it happened, his were the divine hands, making a key save of a penalty kick, against all odds and the shooter's great advantage. Baresi went first, stepping up and shooting high. The Italian captain sank to his knees at the mistake and Taffarel threw a comforting arm around Baresi as he left the goal for Pagliuca. The Italian keeper saved Marcio Santos' shot and suddenly everything was very, very tense. Demetrio Albertini made his shot and Romario made his to draw even, 1-1. Alberigo Evani and Branco each made a left-footer to make it 2-2. Daniele Massaro lined up and aimed right. Taffarel guessed as And the players give everything they have to give. Legging all out for a ball, Nicola Berti goes crashing over a rail. A point-blank shot misses and Daniele Massaro pinches his temples in relief. A free, kick by Branco shanks wildly and keeps Italy's goalkeeper on his toes. A dipsy-do by Romario fools opponent Luigi Apolloni, over whose foot Romario goes toppling, face down into the pitch. No one scores. It is 1:40 p.m. and we begin the second half. A header by Bebeto sends Pagliuca diving to his right. A long topspinner by Silva yo-yo's backward off the goal post, which the goalkeeper promptly kisses. A shot by Mazinho has a chance, but the alert Italian keeper smothers it. And no one scores. We go overtime. A trainer holds Italy's Antonio Benarrivo by the ankles and jiggles his limbs, trying to revive them. A teammate splits Marcio Santos' legs like a wishbone and kicks his thighs, hoping to awaken them. On the ground, Branco douses himself with Evian and shampoos it with his fingers deeply into his scalp. The heat is intense. So is the game. But no one scores. I JUST LOOKED "One day I just looked in the mirror and asked myself if that was how I wanted to look for the rest of my life. . . " v2a is America's largest provider of Studio Quality hair replacement to models and actors. No other center in the world - not one - can give you the level of undetectability that HQ offers. Call HQ today. 3 Local Offices 400 Affiliates Worldwide Wet, wild and really, really close! i i . bWTr - ' 1-800-323-4234 5 - JMjj i GKOKUE WiLHELM Los Angeles Times couldn't get the ball in the net much and his save, in turn, saved Brazil. Dunga faked left and shot right to give Brazil a 3-2 lead before Baggio was to shoot. Baggio carefully placed the ball and strode forward. His shot went higher and higher, over the bar and into the stands, where Brazil's fans were already celebrating. It was obvious that Baggio was not himself. "I thought Baggio was really hurting," Brazilian defender Aldair said. "I think he can do much better than that. Baresi is not a kicker. And Baggio made a mistake." After the miss, Baggio was inconsolable and walked alone. Pagliuca rolled on the grass, as if in physical pain. Brazil's team stood in a yellow and green knot in the center of the field, draped in flags and basking in the cheers that rained down. As Baggio had said before the game, Hope is the last to die. We go to penalty kicks. Baresi, a ball, high and outside. Santos, a ball, low and smothered by the catcher. Demetrio Albertini, a strike, high and hard. Romario, a strike, on the outside corner. The count is even. Alberigo Evani, a left-footer, goes down the middle to give Italy the lead. Branco answers with a long, long approach and a left- footed shot to the keeper's left. Massaro misses, his shot smothered by a tumbling Taffarel. Dunga does not miss, netting one nonchalantly. It is 3:20 p.m. and Baggio, the best Italy has, steps to the task. It is his game to win or lose. There is no better man for the job, this beatific Buddhist. He concentrates on the ball as millions back home make the sign of the cross. He makes his approach. He makes his mistake, He boots the ball over the net. The boot of Italy. it is a bunday -atternoon in suburban Los Angeles and it is a shot heard around the world. The World Cup does not end with a bang. It ends with a blank. IN THE EUREIOR lalitornia s best Whitewater is just 3 hours from LA! Rafting trips departing every rS day, all summer. 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