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Rivaldo scores two, Brazil escapes resilient Denmark side 2-1.

NANTES, France (Friday, July 3, 1998) -- Denmark put up much more of a battle than many thought possible, but in the end, using two goals by Rivaldo, defending World Cup holder Brazil pulled out a 3-2 decision in a quarterfinal match today at La Beaujoire Stadium.

In the 60th minute, Rivaldo netted the final and deciding goal, finding the low right corner from 20 yards, propelling Brazil, the only nation to capture four World Cups, to a semifinal meeting with the winner of Saturday's meeting between the Netherlands and Argentina.

Denmark "played to a very high level, but we played our best game so far," Brazil's Leonardo said. "It was an important step, and we're very motivated by the semifinal match."

Denmark's Martin Joergensen gave Brazil an early signal it was in for a fight by slotting home a cutback pass from Brian Laudrup for a 1-0 lead with 95 seconds elapsed.

Bebeto tied it in the 11th minute, when he ran on to a Ronaldo pass. Rivaldo made it 2-1 in the 26th minute with a shot from an acute angle after another ball from Ronaldo.

Brian Laudrup equalized for the Danes five minutes after intermission when his brother Michael's shot deflected off a defender. The ball caromed to Brian's right foot and he buried his shot into the top corner.

Bo Johansson, praising his club after its World Cup quarterfinal match against Brazil, said there was no disgrace on dropping a 3-2 decision to Brazil on Friday.

"We were fantastic. We were almost as good as the best in the world," Denmark coach Bo Johansson said. "It's always a shame to lose. But we played a world-class game. We can be proud of the way we played."

There was a downside to the Brazilian triumph. Right-side defender Cafu received a foolish yellow card for delay of game, standing over a free kick deep in the attacking zone. His second caution of the knockout round earned him a one-game suspension.

"I was waiting for the goalkeeper to come out," Cafu said. "I have never been booked in such a situation. Never mind; we will win the semifinal, and I will play in the final."

Brazil 3, Denmark 2
in Nantes

Brazil -- Taffarel, Aldair, Junior Baiano, Cafu, Roberto Carlos, Cesar Sampaio, Dunga, Rivaldo (Ze Roberto 87), Leonardo (Emerson 72), Ronaldo, Bebeto (Denilson 64).
Denmark -- Peter Schmeichel, Marc Rieper, Jes Hogh, Jan Heintze, Soeren Colding, Thomas Helveg (Michael Schjonberg 87), Allan Nielsen (Stig Toefting 46), Martin Joergensen, Michael Laudrup, Brian Laudrup, Peter Moller (Ebbe Sand 67).
Goals: Denmark - Martin Joergensen 2, Brian Laudrup 50; Brazil - Bebeto 11, Rivaldo 26, 60.
Shots at goal: Brazil 10, Denmark 8.
Shots on goal: Brazil 7, Denmark 4.
Corner kicks: Brazil 3, Denmark 8.
Fouls: Brazil 19, Denmark 20.
Offsides Brazil 9, Denmark 2.
Yellow cautionary cards: Brazil - Roberto Carlos 12, Aldair 38, Cafu 82 (suspended next game).Denmark - Thomas Helveg 20, Soeren Colding 39, Stig Toefting 73.
Attendance: 35,500 (estimated).
Referee: Gamal Ghandour (Egypt).