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Newz Forum: SOCCER: Brazil comes back to win Copa America title

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posted on Jul, 25 2004 @ 05:50 PM
Lima, Peru (Sports Network) - Brazil once again proved why it is considered to have the best soccer team in the world. Despite being without several of its top players (Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos, Cafu, Ronaldinho and Kaka) for the competition, Brazil emerged victorious in yet another top tournament. It was not, however, easy.

Argentina led for most of the match on Sunday afternoon in the National Stadium in Lima. The Brazilians, though, walked off the field with the trophy in their hands, thanks to a late equalizer by Adriano and a 4-2 penalty kick victory that followed.

Adriano tied the match at 2-2 with a spectacular goal in the 90th minute. A star for Coritiba in the Brasileiro (Brazil's top domestic league), Adriano ripped a left-footed shot out of midair. The ball went into the side-netting, leaving no chance for Argentina goalkeeper Roberto Abbondanzieri.

Abbondanzieri also had little chance during the decisive shootout that ensued just minutes after Adriano's goal. Brazil connected on all four of its attempts in the shootout, including Bayer Leverkusen defender Juan's clinching strike.

Argentina failed on two of its four penalty kick opportunities. Gabriel Heinze put his shot over the crossbar and Andres D'Alessandro had his attempt denied by Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

Brazil, which is coming off a victory in the 2002 World Cup, last won the Copa America title back in 1999. The South American powerhouse now has seven Copa America titles. Argentina, meanwhile, remained stuck on 14 for South America's top honor. They last won the title back in 1993.

The Argentine team, which first took the lead in the 21st minute when Cristian Gonzalez put home a penalty kick, claimed an advantage for the second time in the contest with a strike from Cesar Delgado with just minutes remaining in regulation.

But Adriano would soon answer with his seventh goal of the competition moments later, sparking a near brawl as Brazil celebrated the goal in front of the Argentine bench. The two sides needed to be separated by the officials and security. No overtime period is played at Copa America, and a significant period of time was needed to settle both teams down for the shootout.


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