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   June 30, 2002 | 1825 IST


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Ronaldo double gives Brazil 5th title

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Bill Barclay

Brazil won a record fifth World Cup when Ronaldo erased the memory of his 1998 final nightmare by scoring both goals in a 2-0 victory over Germany.

The striker, who suffered a fit before Brazil's 3-0 defeat by France four years ago, buried a loose ball on 67 minutes after Germany goalkeeper Oliver Kahn had spilled a Rivaldo drive.

He grabbed his second with a smart right-foot shot 12 minutes later after a Rivaldo dummy.

Ronaldo finished with eight goals in the tournament -- the most at a finals since 1970 -- and equalled Pele's Brazilian record of 12 at World Cup finals.

His goals settled the first ever World Cup match between the two most successful teams in the tournament's history.

Ronaldo scores past Kahn for the first goal. Both sides had earlier hit the woodwork in a tense encounter, Brazil through Kleberson after 45 minutes and three-times winners Germany through Oliver Neuville four minutes into the second half.

Kleberson curled a 20-metre effort against the bar after 45 minutes, while Brazil goalkeeper Marcos pushed a Brazilian-style swerving Oliver Neuville free kick on to his post four minutes into the second half.

Germany frustrated Brazil during a tight first opening period but the South Americans still created several excellent chances, the best of which came right at the end of the half.

In stoppage time Ronaldo spun and struck a low shot from 10 metres out that Kahn, who had conceded only one goal in six tournament games going into the final, kept out with his legs.

Ronaldo should have opened the scoring after 19 minutes when Ronaldinho, back from suspension played him through but the twice former World Footballer of the Year tamely stabbed the ball wide of Kahn's post.

Bernd Schneider swung in some dangerous crosses for the Germans, although a wayward drive by Jens Jeremies, in for the banned Michael Ballack, was all Voeller's side could muster.

But the Germans started the second half with real intent and almost took the lead within two minutes when Neuville curled in a corner and Brazil defender Edmilson blocked Jeremies diving header as it headed towards the net.

Soon after Germany struck the woodwork when Neuville swerved a vicious free kick from 35 metres that Brazil goalkeeper Marcos, at full stretch, tipped on to his post.

Kahn denied Gilberto Silva at the other end but minutes later Ronaldo struck as the previously anonymous Rivaldo robbed Dietmar Hamann and drove in an effort that Kahn could only spill at Ronaldo's deadly feet.

In the 83rd minute substitute Oliver Bierhoff nearly pulled one back for Germany with a snapshot that Marcos did well to push wide.

Brazil became the first team since their 1970 side to win all their matches in a World Cup tournament. Uruguay in 1930, and Italy, in 1938, are the only other teams to have accomplished the feat.

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