Brazil edges Uruguay in WC qualifier

Newcomer Luis Fabiano scored a pair of goals and goalkeeper Julio Cesar thwarted several chances to rally Brazil past Uruguay 2-1 on Wednesday.

updated: November 23, 2007 16:14 IST
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Sao Paulo:

Newcomer Luis Fabiano scored a pair of goals and goalkeeper Julio Cesar thwarted several chances to rally Brazil past Uruguay 2-1 on Wednesday and move it into a tie with Colombia for second place in South American World Cup qualifying.

Uruguay, which upset host Brazil 2-1 to win the 1950 World Cup in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana stadium, nearly worked its hex again, taking an early lead and dominating much of the match at Sao Paulo's Morumbi stadium.

Fabiano scored just before halftime and added a second in the 64th minute to give Brazil eight points after four rounds.

Very little went right for Brazil, which hadn't defeated Uruguay in eight years and played one of its worst games of the qualifiers.

Coming off a disappointing 1-1 draw with Peru on Sunday, Brazil fielded a modified team with Sevilla striker Luiz Fabiano replacing Vagner Love and defender Alex starting for captain Lucio, who sat out a one-game suspension.

Aggressive Uruguay stun Brazil

But Uruguay, which drew 2-2 with Chile on Sunday, surprised Brazil with an aggressive start and pinned the Brazilians in their own end.

Brazil's first chance was a breakaway in the sixth minutes by Real Madrid striker Robinho, who forced keeper Fabian Carini to make a diving stop.

But Uruguay opened the scoring two minutes later when Sebastian Abreu met a cross from the byline with a diving header.

Brazil, with the support of a sellout crowd of 65,000 at Morumbi stadium, tightened its defense and tried to counter, exploiting the speed of Robinho, Kaka and Luis Fabiano.

In the 12th minute, AC Milan striker Kaka streaked up the middle on another breakaway and appeared to get tripped in the penalty area by Walter Gargano, but Argentine referee Hector Baldassi called the foul against the Brazilian.

Uruguay remained in control and attacked at will. Cristian Rodriguez came within centimeters of widening the advantage, and only a series of spectacular saves by Julio Cesar denied further attempts.

Striker Luis Suarez nearly scored on a solo run in the 19th minute, dribbling past Brazilian defender Juan and colliding with Julio Cesar, but again Baldassi penalized Suarez, this time with a yellow card.

Irritated fans began to jeer Brazil, and Morumbi echoed with whistles and boos.

But in the final minute of the half, Luis Fabiano raced to the byline and fired with almost no angle, amazingly shooting between the legs of Carini to equalize 1-1.

Uruguay continued to press forward in the second half, with Suarez beating Gilberto in the opening minute and forcing Julio Cesar to make a diving save.

Brazilian manager Dunga tried to bolster his defense by replacing Ronaldinho with defensive midfielder Josue.

But it was Luis Fabiano who put Brazil ahead at 64 minutes, settling a rebound of a shot by Gilberto and drilling it for the winner.

Uruguay remained on the attack, and a minute later Abreu forced Julio Cesar to make another sensational save. Jorge Fucile fired over the crossbar, and Gilberto Silva barely deflected a shot by Abreu.