World Cup 98: Firework parties on Rio streets

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ECSTATIC BRAZILIANS cheered, set off fireworks and poured on to the streets of Rio de Janeiro in celebration of the national team's passage into the World Cup quarter-finals.

Thousands of fans draped in Brazilian flags, with painted faces and wearing yellow and green national team shirts celebrated in carnival-like street parties after Brazil's 4-1 trouncing of Chile on Saturday.

In a game which typified the way in which Brazil can slip from the sublime to the mediocre within minutes, Rivaldo's second-half run through the heart of the Chilean midfield and a 35-metre free-kick from Roberto Carlos were two of the most memorable moments of the competition so far.

In Paris, the Brazilian coach, Mario Zagallo, was reflecting on his star player's contribution to the team's best performance yet in the World Cup. "Ronaldo was... better," he said. "He's still not the Ronaldo we all want to see. He has a lot more to give, and I'm sure we'll see it in the games we have left."

Rivaldo, his team-mate, said: "Ronaldo has the fame. He's the best player in the world, and the marking is always individual and tough. He had a great game, and with two goals I'm sure he will be happier."

Chile, meanwhile, returned home proud of having reached the second round for the first time in more than three decades.

"We're not happy because we lost," their coach, Nelson Acosta, said. "But if we analyse the job we did in the last month, we should be happy. We had a great first round."