Ron equals Muller mark
22 Jun 2006 - 22:27:50
Ronaldo drew level with Gerd Muller's all-time World Cup finals goalscoring record of 14 with a double in Brazil's 4-1 victory over Japan in Dortmund.
The Selecao ace drew his side level on the stroke of half-time after the Blue Samurai had threatened a huge upset and then put the final gloss on the scoreline nine minutes from time.
Brazil made all the early running, with Robinho forcing a couple of early saves from Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi, before the Japan keeper excelled himself with a superb finger-tip save from Ronaldo.
He went one better 22 minutes in by somehow tipping over a blockbuster from Juninho and his efforts paid off just past the half-hour mark as Japan took the lead.
Brazilian-born Alex found space down the left and his ball into the area found Keiji Tamada and he lashed a left-foot shot past Dida at his near post.
However, with half-time beckoning, Ronaldo drew Brazil level by heading home after Cicinho had nodded Ronaldinho's pass back across the face of goal.
After the break Brazil took total control, with Ronaldo somehow firing wide of target after playing a superb one-two with Ronaldinho six minutes in.
A couple of minutes later the Samba aces were ahead as Juninho fizzed in a shot from distance and Kawaguchi undid all of his earlier good work by allowing the effort to fly straight past him.
Six minutes later the game was over as left-back Gilberto was allowed acres of space on the left and he advanced into the area before firing a low shot into the corner of the net past the stranded Kawaguchi.
From that point on Brazil were content to let the ball do the work and run the clock down, but there was still time for Ronaldo to net a landmark goal that moved him level on 14 World Cup finals goals with West Germany legend Muller.
Nine minutes from the end the Real Madrid striker took a pass from centre-back Juan and curled an exquisite 20-yard right-foot shot beyond Kawaguchi.