Football: Roman lift for Taylor

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

GRAHAM TAYLOR, the England manager, saw Paul Gascoigne miss a penalty but then score with a header as Lazio beat Internazionale 3-0 in a friendly in Rome on Tuesday night.

Taylor, checking on Gascoigne's fitness ahead of next month's World Cup qualifier with Poland, saw the midfielder step up for a 64th minute spot-kick in the absence of the Lazio penalty specialist, Giuseppe Signori. But his effort was easily stopped by Walter Zenga.

Two minutes later however, Gascoigne made amends by nodding home from close range after Pierluigi Casiraghi headed a Thomas Doll cross into his path.

The Lazio club doctor, Claudio Bartolini, had warned beforehand that Gascoigne was short of fitness and he was duly replaced in the 70th minute.

Brazil, still smarting after Bolivia inflicted their first-ever World Cup qualifying defeat last month, yesterday promised a fitting revenge when the teams meet in Sunday's return match.

The Brazilians have written off Bolivia's stunning performance so far in South America Group B, saying their only virtue has been the thin air of La Paz, which lies more than 3,600 metres above sea level.

'We suffered a lot of problems in La Paz and on Sunday we're not going to let them breathe,' Mauro Silva, the Brazilian midfielder, said. 'We'll put them under pressure from the start. Their principle weapon is the altitude.'

Critics have pointed out that Bolivia's only game away from La Paz has been against the underdogs, Venezuela. 'They've only got a goal difference of 18 because they scored 14 goals (in two games) against Venezuela,' Brazil's Branco said. His team-mate, Jorginho, commented that a feature on Bolivia in The New York Times 'proves that they (the Americans) don't understand soccer'.

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