|HOME | OLYMPICS | NEWS|
September 19, 2000
Brazil to go with same line-upMike Collett
Brazilian coach Wanderley Luxemburgo has adopted the Aussie maxim of "No worries, mate" by naming an unchanged side against Japan on Wednesday despite losing their previous Olympic Group D qualifier.
Luxemburgo, whose fate as national team coach is hanging in the balance following Brazil's 3-1 defeat by South Africa on Sunday, could be dismissed if his team fail to reach the final.
He also has major problems away from football and faces up to five years in jail if he is found guilty on tax evasion charges next month after he returns home.
To his credit, he has refused to be panicked by his problems during the Olympics -- apart from refusing to answer questions about his tax affairs -- and says he still believes Brazil can win the Olympic soccer gold for the first time.
"This is a very good side and I am sure that we will play much better against Japan than we did against South Africa," Luxemburgo says.
"I had a long talk to the players in the dressing room after the game and I am still certain that we can beat Japan -- and go on to win the gold medal. You do not become a bad team just by losing one match."
Japan top the group after winning their opening two matches against South Africa (2-1) and Slovakia (2-1) for a maximum six points.
South Africa are second with three points after losing to Japan and beating Brazil as they have a better goal difference than Brazil who opened with a 3-1 win over Slovakia.
Even Slovakia, who have no points, could still, mathematically at least, reach the last eight if they beat South Africa in Canberra on Wednesday by four clear goals and Japan beat Brazil.
JAPAN CONFIDENT OF ANOTHER UPSET
Japan did just that in the Olympics four years ago when a goal from Hidetoshi Nakata gave them a 1- 0 win over Brazil in a first round match.
Nakata, who has since gone on to make a name for himself in Serie A, will miss Wednesday's game through suspension as will Japan captain Ryuzo Morioka after both received their second yellow cards of the tournament against Slovakia on Sunday.
Japan's French coach Philippe Troussier knows his side only need a draw from Wednesday's match to reach the last eight -- but he wants more than that.
Japan's Olympic team have won their last 19 straight matches -- and he believes they can make it 20 in Brisbane.
"Of course it will be hard, but we believe in ourselves, we fear no-one and we want to win every game we play.
"We are totally concentrated on getting all nine points and finishing top of the group. The most important thing for us is to keep playing as a team, keep our team spirit, and we usually do that."
While Slovakia play South Africa in Canberra to complete Group D, Group B concludes with South Korea facing Chile in Adelaide and Spain meeting Morocco in Melbourne.
Chile, with Inter Milan striker Ivan Zamorano and Reinaldo Nava in blistering form with three goals each from their opening two matches, have emerged as real gold medal contenders after their opening wins against Morocco (4-1) and Spain (3-1).
They should make it three out of three with another win over the Koreans, who also have a chance of reaching the last eight.
Chile were mobbed by dozens of fans when they arrived in Adelaide on Tuesday and are sure to have the backing of the home crowd at the Hindmarsh Stadium as they go for the one point they need to clinch a place in the knockout stages.
TRAVEL | NEWSLINKS
ROMANCE | WEDDING | BOOK SHOP | MUSIC SHOP | GIFT SHOP | HOTEL BOOKINGS
AIR/RAIL | WEATHER | FREE MESSENGER | BROADBAND | E-CARDS | EDUCATION
HOMEPAGES | FREE EMAIL | CONTESTS | FEEDBACK