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Football Fans Await World Cup Match-up Between Germany and Brazil - 2002-06-29


The 2002 World Cup football championship game between Germany and Brazil is set for Sunday night (7 a.m. EDT) in Yokohama, Japan. The match-up features a top offense versus a great defense.

This match-up between two teams familiar to the limelight could be described as flair versus dull.

Brazil scored 11 goals in its three group C matches, and tallied five more in the next three rounds. Germany, after scoring eight goals in its opening victory over a weak Saudi Arabia team, found the net only six times in its next five matches. However, the Germans have had the best defense of any team, allowing just one goal.

Brazilian football legend Pele, a three-time World Cup champion, is here to witness the final, and he offered his thoughts on the Brazil-Germany match-up. "We're going to have a game with an attacking team against a defending team, no doubt, because Brazil are the best scorers, and the Germans have the best defense," he said. "And, I think, it will be a very tough game to point who is going to win. But, I think Brazil could win. I trust Brazil."

As storied as their histories are in the World Cup, with Brazil a four-time winner and Germany a three-time champion, amazingly, they have never before met in the tournament. And coming here to Asia a month ago, neither was considered a favorite. Brazil struggled in qualifying, and Germany was thought to be rebuilding.

Pele added that he is among those who thought other teams, such as Italy, France, England, Spain or Portugal, had a better chance. "Four months ago, nobody, nobody expected to see Brazil and Germany in this final," he went on to say. "It was a big surprise to everyone, because Brazil and Germany were not the favorites. You see how the game is. And now, I think for me, the two strongest teams have to fight."

So, now, they are set to take football's biggest stage, the World Cup final. It's the 64th game in the tournament. South Korea hosted the opening match in Seoul, where Senegal upset France (1-0). Now it's Japan's turn to host the final. Football fans around the world are anxiously awaiting who will be crowned the 2002 champion here Sunday night - Brazil or Germany.

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