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World Cup
Finals
 
3 July 1998 Nantes - Stade de La Beaujoire
Brazil Denmark
Holders and favourites Brazil kept on course for yet another final appearance as they moved into the last four, following a high-scoring thriller against Denmark in Nantes. The single goal margin masked a confident and assured performance from the Brazilians, with two-goal Rivaldo one of a host of outstanding performances. Denmark for their part contributed much to a highly entertaining 90 minutes, with their two goals just reward for their effort and endeavour. Brazil were shocked by Denmark's first minute opener when the Laudrup brothers combined for Jorgensen but normal service was resumed nine minutes later when Bebeto equalised, and thereafter the Brazilians were in irresistible form. All play was dictated by 'little Napoleon', captain Dunga, who controlled every attacking move in his holding midfield role, while wingbacks Roberto Carlos and Cafu proved to be available and willing runners, taking play straight to the weary Danish rearguard who manfully attempted to contain wave after wave of attack. Former Glasgow Rangers star Brian Laudrup adopted the most obvious form of stopping Ronaldo, and the Chelsea bound forward was fortunate to stay on the field following a dreadful tackle on the Brazilian striker but Laudrup was not even spoken to when a yellow card seemed the most leniant punishment. But Denmark were punished in 26 minutes when Rivaldo gave Brazil the lead and as half-time approached, the holders had a golden opportunity to increase their advantage. From a Dunga free-kick Ronaldo, stole away from his marker at the back post but then watched agonisingly as his header crept just past the upright. Just before the break Roberto Carlos filled the crowd with anticipation when he stepped up to hit a free-kick from fully 40 yards, but disappointingly his effort was well wide when a successful strike on target would have raised the roof. While the dead-ball skills of Roberto Carlos have been shown before to devastating effect, his defensive frailties are equally obvious, and his mistake allowed Brian Laudrup to equalise five minutes after the break. But again the pendulum swung and Denmarks impotus was short-lived and Brazil took the lead with Rivaldo's second goal of the game. Despite that blow Denmark refused to give in, with the Laudrup brothers continuing to combine well while substitute Tofting added some much needed steel to the midfield with some determined tackling. Denmark however couldn't create any real chances to test Taffarel with Peter Moller lacking support at crucial times in attack and when Brazil were in possession their effortless passing play and running into space swept them upfield with the threat of a goal existing throughout. The introduction of Denilson shortly after the hour mark only served to add to their options. Denmark wasted a fantastic opportunity to equalise again with only 13 minutes remaining. Brazil failed to clear their lines from a corner and Michael Laudrup fed Helveg who cleverly cut the ball back to Sand, but the substitute, who scored within 30 seconds of his introduction against Nigeria in the last round, slipped the ball past the post. Bad became worse for Denmark in the dying minutes as the woodwork denied the Scandinavians the chance to force the Golden Goal as Glasgow Celtic defender Marc Rieper hit the bar with a powerful header. Brazil suffered a blow late on as defender Cafu was yellow carded and therefore misses the semi-final encounter with either Argentina or Holland.

(1-1) Bebeto (11). Ronaldo played a reverse pass splitting the centre of the Danish defence, through to Bebeto 35 yards from goal, the out of sorts striker took a touch to steady himself before beating two defenders on the edge of the area, with Schmeichel coming out to narrow the angle, Bebeto hit a low shot with his right foot to the 'keeper's right from 18 yards out.

(0-1) Jorgensen (2). The Danes took a quick free-kick on the left edge of the Brazilian penalty area, Brian Laudrup made his way to the by-line before cutting the ball back towards the penalty spot, Martin Jorgenson met the pass as he ran in placing the ball, left-footed low to the 'keeper's right hand from eight yards out.

(2-1) Rivaldo (26). Dunga dispossessed a Danish defender - touching the ball to team-mate Ronaldo, the striker played a diagonal ball across the left side of the Danish penalty area for Rivaldo, he controlled it in his stride and as the defenders closed him down, he lifted a deft, left-footed shot over Peter Schmeichel from an acute angle seven yards out.

(2-2) Laudrup, B (50). The ball ricocheted off a Brazilian defender and Roberto Carlos miskicked his clearance, Brian Laudrup was waiting just inside the area and picked up the breaking ball, he strode forward eight yards from goal, before hammering a right foot volley into the roof of the net between Tafferel and his near post.

(3-2) Rivaldo (60). He received a pass from Dunga just inside the Danish half, there was space in front of him as he made his way towards the Danish goal, having touched the ball a couple of times he unleashed a low, left-footed shot from 30 yards which beat Schmeichel across the goal and inside the far post.

 
 
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