Brazil Leads Morocco 2-0 at Half
NANTES, France (AP) _ Ronaldo fired his first World Cup goal after only nine minutes as Brazil led Morocco 2-0 at halftime Tuesday.
The Inter Milan striker, who was on the Brazilian squad who completed a record fourth World Cup title in 1994 but didn’t get on the field, drove the ball home from the edge of the area for a simple strike after collecting a forward pass from Rivaldo.
It was Rivaldo who made it 2-0 in first half injury time with a close-range tap-in from Cafu’s right wing cross.
But Brazil, already a 2-1 winner over Scotland, revealed first half frailties against a Moroccan team who refused to lie down.
Leonardo thought he had given Brazil the lead when he fired home in the second minute but was thwarted by an offside flag.
But there was nothing wrong with Ronaldo’s strike seven minutes later.
The 21-year-old striker was on his own when he collected a forward pass by Rivaldo but didn’t need any help. He took the ball first time and wasted no time in firing home from 18 meters (yards) in the ninth minute.
Errors began to creep into the Brazilian midfield and defense as half time neared and Bebeto and team captain Dunga became involved in a heated argument after the defending champions had been exposed by a Moroccan raid and conceded a free kick just outside of their own area.
Although they blocked the free kick, Brazil conceded another corner and Said Chiba flicked a long-range header just wide of the post.
But a second goal came with first half time running out, Cafu breaking down the right and crossing low for the unmarked Rivaldo to run the ball in from barely five meters for his sixth goal in a Brazilian shirt.
Brazil _ Taffarel, Cafu, Junior Baiano, Aldair, Roberto Carlos; Dunga, Cesar Sampaio, Leonardo, Rivaldo; Bebeto, Ronaldo.
Morocco _ Driss Benzekri; Abdelilah Saber, Youssef Rossi, Abdelkrim El Hadrioui, Noureddine Naybet; El Moustafa Hadji, Said Chiba, Youssef Chippo, Tahar El Khalej; Abdeljilil Hadda, Salaheddine Bassir
Referee _ Nikolai Levnikov, Russia