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   June 7, 2002 | 2015 IST



France get the blues

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Brazil determined to avoid a surprise

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Brazil, who have never been on the wrong end of a giant-killing act at the World Cup, are determined to maintain the record when they face China on Saturday.

The four-times champions are expected to make easy meat of a Chinese team who were well-beaten by tiny Costa Rica on their World Cup debut but their players are playing down talk of a possible big score.

Their aim is merely to improve on their performance in the opening game against Turkey, when they needed a late and controversial penalty to get off to a winning start.

"We have to respect them because they are a national team, there have already been some surprises in this World Cup and we don't want to be on the end of one," said striker Rivaldo.

"We hope our second game will be much better than the first, so the supporters become more confident in us game by game."

"China are coming into the game on the back of a defeat and their objective is to get at least a draw."

"They'll probably be cautious but we have to be careful, play calmly and try to score the first goal."


Real Madrid's Roberto Carlos, who said before the tournament that Brazil could beat Turkey by playing at only 40 per cent of their capabilities, was also diplomatic.

"Brazil have an obligation to get better with each game. We can't afford to think it's going to be easy, we consider China strong opponents," he said.

Striker Ronaldo made the boldest predictions.

"We have to attack from the start, it's a chance to boost our morale and improve our team-work," he said. "We have to impose our rhythm and score as many goals as possible."

Of his own form, he said: "I'm fine, I'm sure I can improve for the next stage."

Brazil have never lost to any of the so-called minnow nations at the World Cup, although they have been on the wrong end of some major shocks.

The biggest came when a seemingly invincible Brazil team was beaten 2-1 by Uruguay before a 200,000 crowd at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium in the decisive game of the 1950 World Cup.

Another followed in 1982 when Brazil, with one of the finest teams the World Cup has seen, were beaten 3-2 by Italy and knocked out of the competition.

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