Ronaldo helps Brazil draw with Uruguay

Ronaldo rescued a point for Brazil with a late equaliser in their World Cup 2006 qualifier against Uruguay.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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Curitiba, Brazil:

Ronaldo rescued a point for Brazil with a late equaliser in their World Cup 2006 qualifier against Uruguay. Brazil were looking for their third straight win in their World Cup 2006 qualifying campaign – but visitors Uruguay had a long history of making life difficult for the reigning world champions. But Carlos Alberto Parreira's side soon began found their rhythm and took the lead 20 minutes in. Ronaldo outpaced his marker before crossing to young AC Milan star Kaka, who bundled the ball home with his knee – a tidy finish to a crisp move. Ronaldo doubled their lead eight minutes later as he latched onto a Ze Roberto pass, flicked the ball past goalkeeper Gustavo Munua and slotted home for his 50th international goal. Brazil could – and should – have had more before the break, but missed a hatful of chances. Uruguay were struggling to keep pace with their illustrious opponents, but were thrown a lifeline by Diego Forlan after 12 minutes of the second half. The Manchester United striker took advantage of a lucky deflection off Roque Junior and thumped the ball past Dida. If Forlan's first goal was easy, his second was simpler still. With Brazil strangely lethargic, Forlan was left unmarked at the far post to head home from close range in the 76th minute – Brazil's defence seemingly vanished. Just moments later, an incredible transformation was complete courtesy of another defensive lapse. Alvaro Recoba's free kick seemed to be harmlessly sailing into the hands of Dida, but Gilberto Silva's header directed it into the net. The Curitiba crowd were stunned as to how their side – seemingly coasting at 2-0 up – had conceded three second half goals. But Brazil were rescued by – who else? – Ronaldo. After a flurry of chances, the Real Madrid striker found a way past Uruguay stopper Gustavo Munua, collecting Ze Roberto's pass and firing a low drive into the corner of the net. It was a frenetic finish to a thoroughly absorbing match – Brazil having to settle for a point to leave them in third place in the qualifying table. Uruguay are fourth just a point behind the world champions, and two points behind current leaders Paraguay. (AP)