Football: Rivaldo's rousing finale

Brazil 3 Uruguay 0
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The Independent Online
RIVALDO SCORED twice and set up a third for Ronaldo as Brazil overcame Uruguay in an embarrassingly one-sided Copa America final last night.

Rivaldo, who scored with a rare header and then a classy chip in a seven- minute first-half spell, finished up joint goalscorer with Ronaldo with both claiming five in the tournament as they set up Brazil's second successive triumph.

Surprise finalists Uruguay won only one game in the tournament, qualifying from the first round as one of the best third-placed teams and then winning their quarter-final and semi-final ties on penalties. They progressed to the final despite resting top players such as Paolo Montero, Gustavo Poyet and Alvaro Recoba after a long season in Europe.

The game got off to a rough start with Brazil clearly determined to match their hard-tackling opponents. Seven crunching fouls in the first three minutes set the tone for a first half which finished with two players from each team booked.

Uruguay had the better of the opening exchanges, but two goals inside seven minutes by the Barcelona midfielder Rivaldo effectively settled the match. In the 20th minute Flavio Conceicao took a free kick on the left and Rivaldo headed in from an unmarked position at the far post. Seven minutes later he ran onto another cross from the left by Ze Roberto and chipped the ball over goalkeeper Fabian Carini.

Uruguay, who had got through previous rounds by frustrating their opponents into submission, never looked as if they would be capable of recovering a two-goal deficit, and in the first minute of the second half Rivaldo sent Ronaldo clear of the defence for the Inter Milan player to score.

Brazil: Dida, Cafu, A Carlos, J Carlos, R Carlos, Ferreira, Flavio Conceicao, Rivaldo, Ze Roberto, Ronaldo, Amoroso.

Uruguay: Carini, del Campo, Picun, Lembo, Bergara (Guigou, 74), Fleurqin, Coelho (Alvez, 56), Vespa (Pacheco, 46), Magallanes, Callejas, Zalayeta.

Referee: O Ruiz (Col)