Overseas Football: Rai rules in Tokyo

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The Independent Online
BARCELONA'S quest to add the Toyota World Club Championship to the European Cup they won at Wembley in May ended in failure yesterday in Tokyo, where they were beaten 2-1 by Sao Paulo of Brazil, writes Rupert Metcalf.

Hristo Stoichkov, the Catalans' Bulgarian striker, opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a fierce left-foot shot, but Barcelona were unable to hang on to their lead. Rai, the captain of the Brazilian national team, levelled in the 27th minute with a diving header from a Muller cross.

Rai, the younger brother of the former international midfielder, Socrates, scored a fully deserved winner 11 minutes from time, when he curled a shot from a free-kick over Barcelona's defensive wall.

'We went a bit loose in the first half but dominated in the second,' Tele Santana, Sao Paulo's veteran coach, said. His team became the first from Brazil to win the trophy since Gremio Porto Alegre beat Hamburg in 1983.

'We've come here to win but we were a little bit nervous,' Johan Cruyff, the Barcelona coach, said. 'We don't play world-class matches every day.'