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Brazil Wins World Cup - 2002-06-30

Brazil has captured another World Cup football championship with a 2-0 victory over Germany in Yokohama, Japan.

Brazilian striker Ronaldo scored both of his team's goals in the second half here to give his nation its fifth World Cup title.

The first goal came in the 67th minute following a rare blunder by German goalie Oliver Kahn, who had allowed only one goal in the six previous games. But he failed to hold onto a straight shot by Rivaldo as he fell forward, and the ball rolled to Ronaldo who easily kicked it in.

Afterward Kahn said it is tough to handle. "Words of consolation have almost zero effect here," he said. "I'm fully aware that this is the one and only mistake I must have made in the seven matches of the World Cup, and that one mistake was brutally punished."

It indeed changed the nature of the game, as so many first goals do. Germany could no longer afford to pack its defense back so tightly when it needed to try to get the equalizer.

Brazil made it 2-0 in the 79th minute, as Ronaldo struck again off a rolling crossing pass from the right side by Kleberson.

Four years ago when Brazil lost the World Cup final to host France, 3-0, Ronaldo did not play to his potential after becoming ill before the match. He finishes this World Cup as the leading scorer with eight goals and was awarded the Golden Shoe as the tournament's best player.

Ronaldo said it was hard to believe. "I'm so happy. I'm very happy. I'm touched," said Ronaldo. "I think we played a great game. We brought joy to millions of people, and I think it will take some time for me to see and figure out what happened, but I'm sure that it all will be surrounded by happiness."

And Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari said once his players reached the final, he would not let them think about anything but winning the trophy. "We always had in our minds that to be second is to be a loser," he said. "And we had all the time this mentality of being first. It's marvelous, it's marvelous the feeling that I feel now. It's simply marvelous. And I want mainly to say to the people of Brazil, do not forget the images of those boys, playing, enjoying, winning and bringing the cup back home."

Losing German coach Rudi Voeller gave credit to the winners of the 2002 World Cup. "There's no doubt about this that Brazil deserved to be world champions," he said. "They showed it not just today but in other games as well. They're very good, very strong going forward. They're a tough team for anybody to play. They're big. They're fast. They have a good goalkeeper, and we can only pay them a compliment as world champions."

Once again, Brazil defeated Germany 2-0, to win its fifth World Cup title.