Ronaldinho gives Brazil 4-2 win over US

Ronaldinho converted a free kick in the 75th minute and Brazil had to rally to beat the United States 4-2 on Sunday in the first of a two-match friendly.

updated: September 12, 2007 09:18 IST
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Ronaldinho converted a free kick in the 75th minute and Brazil had to rally to beat the United States 4-2 on Sunday in the first of a two-match friendly tour to the United States.

It was the fifth straight defeat for the United States, its longest losing streak since 1994, and the Americans dropped to 1-12 against Brazil, which will play Mexico on Wednesday in Boston.

Carlos Bocanegra put the Americans ahead in the 21st minute off a Landon Donovan corner kick, but Brazil tied it with an own-goal off defender Oguchi Onyewu in the 33rd following a shot by Kaka. The South American champions went ahead when Lucio headed Ronaldinho's corner kick in the 53rd.

Clint Dempsey equalized for the Americans in the 73rd but Ronaldinho, a two-time FIFA player of the year, put a ball over the defensive wall two minutes later, easily beating goalkeeper Tim Howard. Elano converted a penalty kick in injury time after Michael Bradley pulled down Julio Baptista.

The US team, CONCACAF champion, played Brazil evenly early.

Bocanegra scores

Bocanegra scored off the first US corner kick, running onto Donovan's corner and knocking the ball in off his chest past goalkeeper Doni.

It was just the seventh goal in 51 international appearances for Bocanegra, but two have been against Brazil. The last time the teams met, Bocanegra put the U.S. team ahead in a 2003 CONCACAF Gold Cup match in Miami, but Brazil rallied to win 2-1 in overtime.

Brazil tied it when Robinho brought the ball down and passed to Ronaldinho, who made a pass that split the defense. Kaka shot from about 10 yards and goalkeeper Tim Howard batted the ball out, but it bounced off Onyewu's chest and rebounded back into the net.

Lucio then put Brazil ahead with only his third international goal. After a poor clearance by Bocanegra gave a corner kick to Ronaldinho that went to the far side of the penalty area, where Lucio had broken free unmarked and headed it in from an angle.

Heath Peace's blistering 25-yard shot was blocked by Doni in the 68th, and Josh Wolff was closing on the rebound when he was hauled down in the area from behind. Mexican referee Armando Archunida allowed play to continue, drawing loud prostests from the Americans.

Dempsey then tied it when he one-timed a right-footed shot from the middle of the penalty area off a pass from Steve Cherundolo. But a foul by Bocanegra created the free kick for Ronaldinho, whose ball went over the wall as two Brazilians and second-half sub Bobby Convey moved their heads. With the sun in his eyes, Howard didn't appear to see the kick.

Afonso had nearly put Brazil ahead in the ninth minute, when he took a long pass from Ronaldinho, trapped the ball with his chest and beat Onyewu and Howard only to have the ball hit a post.