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World Cup: Brazil Beats England - 2002-06-21

Four-time champion Brazil has beaten England 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals of the World Cup football tournament.

The crowd of more than 47,000 here in Shizuoka was treated to some entertaining football between two traditional rivals. The match featured individual excellence, as well as controversy, with Brazil's Ronaldinho a lightning rod for both.

England took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute on a goal by star striker Michael Owen. He beat Brazilian defender Lucio, and then kicked it past Brazil's sliding goalkeeper, Marcos.

Near the end of the first half, in the 47th minute of injury time, Ronaldinho made a brilliant run through the English defense. He tapped the ball off for Rivaldo on his right, who scored the equalizer. It was Rivaldo's 5th goal of the World Cup tournament.

Early in the second half, in the 50th minute, Ronaldinho struck again, this time on a spectacular curling free kick. The ball rose over the outstretched hands of English goalkeeper David Seaman and into the left corner of the net.

Shortly after those heroics, though, Ronaldinho's Brazilian teammates were consoling him. He received a red card for fouling an English player and was sent off. The Brazilians played most of the second half with only 10 men, but the English could not score the equalizer.

Ronaldinho will miss Brazil's semi-final match because of that red card. Brazil will play the winner of Saturday's Senegal-Turkey quarter-final. Even without Ronaldinho, however, many football analysts are now picking the Brazilians to win their 5th World Cup championship.