The Birmingham Post from Birmingham, West Midlands, England on July 18, 1994 · 26
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The Birmingham Post from Birmingham, West Midlands, England · 26

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Location:
Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Issue Date:
Monday, July 18, 1994
Page:
26
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Finalists’ quest for record-breaking victory sends tense Rose Bowl encounter into extra time World Cup giants fail to break deadlock ! Brill 0 Italy 0 Press Association in Los Angeles 1 Two of the greatest teams in the world both hungry for an unprecedented fourth title were deadlocked at full time in the World Cup final -Brazil went closest to snatching victory when Italian keeper Pagliuca spilled a long range shot which rebounded off the post into his hands f Overall chances were few and far between in a match billed as a clash between two footballing cultures ' A huge roar greeted the nam- Eof Roberto Baggio in the lian starting line-up after rs that a hamstring injury would rob him of his poten-iially match-winning confrontation with Brazil's Romario both players on five goals one shy of a share of the Golden Boot But Arrigo Sacchi pulled one shock by including veteran captain Franco Baresi instead of luigi Appolloni in the centre of fefence Brazil in their traditional sold shirts while Italy wore their “Azzurri” were predictably unchanged defending the tournaments last uptat&cord two m first on put the HIV IIIIBW 'neutral" soil — Italy had won twice in European finals Brazil twice in South America The Italians massed at the back defying the Brazilians to pnpick the seams of their resistance It began to fray early with Mazinho gnawing away at the right flank fBut he was hit by a fourth piinute foul on Nicola Berti by controversial referee choice Sandor Puhl the Hungarian vho failed to spot Tassotti's clow on Luis Enrique in the Quarter-finals Romario should have scored the first decent chance in tie 13th minute Dunga swing-lg the cross in from the right tat the Brazilian was unable to get power or direction on his close-range header 'Romario turned playmaker in the 17th minute slipping Be-beto through on the left side of the box But the 30-year-old La Coruna Striker tried to hook the ball back inside rather than shoot-tag and it flew behind off Mal-dini for a comer t Within a minute Italy had the best chance of a dull opening Daniele Massaro taking full advantage of Aldair's slip to race clear with only Taffarel to beat But to the relief of the South Americans he stabbed his 12-trd shot straight at the goal- yard st keeper Brazil suffered a deadly blow in the 21st minute when Jor-ginho their immensely creative right back had to go off having hurt himself crossing a few minutes earlier He was replaced by Cafu I Brazilian frustration mounted t I Sweden’s belated Swuten 4 Bulgaria O Tomas Brolin provided the Swedish spark of genius a game too late as the Scandinavians (raptured the World Cup bronze medals with three goals in 11 tainutes against a tired and depressed Bulgaria in Los An- qClCS Where the Swedes were inhibited and fearful against Brazil m Wednesday’s semi-final fpmely surrendering they glittered in the third-place play-off the World Clip’s version of the Charity Shield But with the game won by half time they could not find it in their hearts to allow Hristo Stoichkov one of the players of the tournament the goal he needed for a possible itrigta capture of the Golden (The moody Bulgarian made captain in the second half after withdrawing his threat to boy-cptt the game went into the Rose Bowl locked on six goals fith Russia’s one-game wonder Oleg Salenko But after three failed penalty 30 Ifl when Romario and Bebeto burst clear with no offside flag only for Mr Puhl to decide they were offside in defiance of his Paraguayan linesman In the 34th minute the Italians reorganised their defence Luigi Appolloni coming on for the limping Mussi with Mal-dini going to left-back Baresi a doubtful choice showed he is still a wily old defender reading the Brazilians well Maldini however almost put his side in trouble by playing to a linesman's offside flag that the referee ignored Roberto Baggio ineffectual for most of the naif drifted into the game as half-time approached sweeping over a great cross that Benarrivo could not control and then prodding Baresi through the middle But Al-dair completed a great recovery by nipping in ahead of the Italian Pagliuca again failed to hold a low stinging shot from Romario but this time the loose ball was no danger M another W£k from mlftiRes from the break getting well behind the ball The opportunity came from a cynical trip by Appolini on Rohe cut throw ugh on to Bebeto’s return pass The Italian defender was booked as was Albertini for not retreating the full 10 metres Cafu thrashed a shot across the face of the Italian goal early “ - “ -1“ tt uca flew across to hold a beto header that would not have counted because of an offside flag At the other end Roberto Baggio zipped through on to namesake Dino’s pass but Marcio Santos made a vital interception at the expense of a corner Then Aldair came across to block Massaro’s run It was rarely spectacular but it was in the main compulsive viewing a cat-and-mouse struggle between organisation and flair like two Grand chess Masters at work In the scorching sun the tactical battle was becoming a bit soporific and Pagliuca seemed to doze off for a split second that was almost fatal in the 76th minute Mauro Silva let fly from 33 yards but though the Italian goalkeeper had the ball covered ne took his eye off it for a fraction and it spun out of his cradling arms bounced up against the inside of his right hand post and back into his grasp MAUL: TaMartl Jorglnho Aldair Marcio Samoa Branco Mauro Silva Dunga Mazinho Zlnho Batooto Romario ITALY: Pagliuca Muaai Baraal Maldini Ban-arrtvo Bartl Alban Ini 0 Baggio Donadonl R Rafaraa: S Puhl (Hungary) appeals he got through one-on-one with Thomas Rav-elli in the last few minutes and shot daggers at him when the Swedish goalkeeping hero deflected his shot round the post Shrugging off Ravelli’s commiserations with a look that said “Would it have cost you?” Stoichkov realised the carnival mood and gave the Scandinavian the thumbs up It meant he had to wait to see if the prize for top scorer is further carved up or taken from him completely with both Brazil’s Romario and Italy’s Roberto Baggio only one goal behind going into last night’s final Bulgaria drained by their semi-final defeat by Italy and a cross-continental flight with the time change which could dull Italy's challenge for the title named an unchanged side But within eight minutes Sweden were in control through Brolin Klas Ingesson swung in a superb cross from the right byline and the little Parma powerpack climbed higher than the towering Bulgarian defence to powerfully head down his third goal of the tournament Clash of the titans: Nicola Berti of Italy and Brazilian Mauro Brolin suggests he will become One man can make a good side great and maybe by 1998 in France his name will be Brolin rather than Bebeto or Baggio The Swedish playmaker saved his best for last — for too late according to many — as the Scandinavians captured the World Cup bronze medal at the expense of a dispirited Bulgaria Tomas Brolin scored the first goal and made two more in the 4-0 exhibition in Pasadena of the sort of attacking play which was in stark contrast to the withdrawn negative approach to the semi-final against Brazil which Sweden lost 1-0 to an 80th-minute goal by Romario Had they been more adventurous could they have contested yesterday’s final instead of Saturday’s play-off? “No many things were different today” said the 24-year-old Parma star “Bulgaria were tired there was little at stake Brazil were just too good for us and nothing could have changed that “When you play them vour difficulty is getting hold of the ball and it is inevitable that spark does for depressed On target: Kennet Andersson These games have a tradition of sportsmanship and exhibition football stemming from Poland’s five-goal thriller against France in 1982 the 4-3 French win against Belgium in Mexico and Italy’s 2-1 win over England in a splendid game in Bari four years ago But in the sort of searing heat whiflh characterised the opening fortnight of the touma- V it Everything went well for us except the result against Brazil Tomas Brolin you find ydlrself on the defensive” But Brolin impressive in Italy four years ago in a side which otherwise flopped badly and then the inspiration of a Swedish side which beat England on its way to reaching the European Championships semifinal on home soil in 1992 grows in stature and influence all the time Tommy Svensson the coach says: “He has become our leader he makes the plays he wants the ball all the time and searches for the answers I have been very impressed by him” Brolin added: “Everything went well for us except the result against Brazil” He leapt to head Sweden into an eighth-minute lead against a Bulgarian side whose spirits (right) nods Sweden’s last goal ment both sides had to pace themselves Brolin swung the game more firmly in Sweden’s favour in the 30th minute with a quickly-taken free kick for Hakan Mild to run through a daydreaming Bulgarian defence Mild stabbed the ball wide of Borislav’s Mikhailov’s left hand for his first goal in the tournament Silva struggle to keep the ball had not recovered from their Italian beating followed by a five-hour flight and three-hour time switch i Hakan Mild Henrik Larsson and Kennet Andersson all scored in an 11 -minute spell before half time to make the score 4-0 But to the Bulgars’ credit they never stopped playing for acting captain Hristo Stoichkov looking for his seventh goal to secure outright ownership perhaps of the Golden Boot But Thomas Ravelli’s late and brilliant save to crown a fabulous personal tournament left Stoichkov bereft Bulgaria’s coach Dimitar Pe-nev said: “Stoichkov made great efforts to score but luck was not on his side They tried to play for Stoichkov but it didn’t work out I think this game is not proper It should not be There are too many games to play in a short time too much stress” But Bulgaria like Sweden go home with great pride from a tournament which has suggested the world order is changing but not in the way many expected Mikhailov saved with his feet from Henrik Larsson but the dreadlocked midfielder came through again on to another superb Brolin pass in the 37th minute This time he weaved round the goalkeeper let Trifon Ivanov make his desperate and vain lunge at an interception and chipped in the Swedish third from 12 yards By the 40th minute Bulgaria had fallen apart Schwarz crossing left-footed towards the far post where Kennet Andersson easily outjumped Mikhailov to head his fifth goal in six matches in these finals Swedish fans began to dream of a record win the previous biggest being 8-0 against Cuba in 1938 For the Bulgars it verged on their worst 6-1 by Hungary 32 years ago But the second half remained goalless Emil Kostadinov having a 67th-minute attempt disallowed for a push and Krassi-mir Balakov hitting the bar Then cautions for Kennet Andersson and Zlatko Yankov spoilt the proceedings on a day when the world had fun before the serious business of the final under control in the Rose Bowl next big world star Jump start: Bulgaria’s Balakov Bulgars Ravelli the Swedish goalkeeper with the wide staring eyes and flamboyant behavior on and off the ball also made spectacular stops from Nasko Sirakov Krassimir Balakov and Yordan Letchkov But he remembered the moment he offered his hand to Stoichkov “I wanted to help him up and he ran away” the ’keeper said “I don’t speak Spanish or Bulgarian he doesn’t speak English or Swedish But at least he gave the thumbs-up sign although I think he was very angry with himself” Stoichkov smiled wryly about his missed opportunities “I think we should have had two or three penalties” he said knowing he would have taken them “But I shouldn’t complain about the chances I had” MATCH FACTS Scorurm: Brolin (8) t-O Mild (30) 2-0 Larsson (37) 3-0 K Andsrsson (38) 4-0 SWEDEN: Ravalli Nilsson P Andsrsson Bjorklund Kaamark Schwarz Larsson (Lknpar 79) Ingsason Mild Brolin K Andsrsson BULGARIA: Mihailov (Nlkolov 4S) Ivanov (Kromsnlisv 42) Tzvatanov Hubchsv Yankov Lstchkov Kiryakov Balakov Sirakov (Yordanov 46) Kostadinov Stoichkov Bookings: Swsdsn — K Andsrsson Bulgaria — Yankov Rafaraa: All Mohamad Bujsaim (UAE) Attsndanca: 83718 cauldron (20) avoids Brolin of Sweden Sofia muted as Bulgaria are fourth Gloom washed over Sofia the capital after Bulgaria’s footballers who had made this small Balkan nation shine on the international stage lost 4-0 to Sweden for thud place in the World Cup Only a handful of fans braved a summer drizzle after the defeat compared with hundreds of thousands who had poured on to the streets to celebrate banishing reigning champions Germany in the quarter-finals a week ago President Zhelyu Zhelev said that irrespective of the result the team had scored a huge success for Bulgaria raising its international profile and boosting self-confidence and morale He combined his praise for the footballers with condemnation of the country’s slow transition from communism to capitalism But Ivailo Rostov who said he had not found a job since leaving college years ago said the fact that Bulgaria nad become the fourth footballing nation in the world would not change anything for ordinary people

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