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World Cup: Norway beats Brazil, advances with refereesí help.

By Jerry Langdon
Gannett News Service

(Tuesday, June 23, 1998) -- Morocco and Cameroon came close to joining Nigeria as African representatives in the second round of the World Cup, but both fell victim today, with officiating decisions playing key roles -- one direct, one indirect.

Morocco appeared to be qualified from Group A following a 3-0 rout of Scotland, and with Brazil leading Norway 1-0 after Bebeto's goal in the 78th minute.

But Norway, needing a win, scored two goals in the last eight minutes. With time running out, U.S. referee Esse Baharmast called defender Junior Baiano for excessive contact with striker Tore Andre Flo in the box, and Kjetil Rekdal converted the ensuing penalty kick in the 89th minute.

Brazil players protested, saying the contact was minimal if at all, but to no avail. The victory put Norway at 1-0-2 and five points, one ahead of Morocco, which finished at 1-1-1 and four points.

Brazil already had clinched Group A with two earlier victories but went all-out against a Norway team that in two matches the past couple years had beaten Brazil once and drawn once -- and whose coach Egil Olsen had boasted about it. "It's incredible," Olsen said. "I'm amazed at what happened."

Added Flo: "We made history in Norway today."

Cameroon, meanwhile, tied Chile, 1-1, and a more heated situation developed, with complaints voiced about a disallowed second goal that would have put it in qualifying second place in Group B.

Cameroon had fought back to tie, 1-1, on a goal four minutes after defender Rigobert Song Bahanag's early-second half ejection for elbowing striker Marcelo Salas, who theatrically fell to the ground. The uproar came two minutes later as Patrick Mboma beat Ronaldo Fuentes on a header and flicked the ball ahead to Francois Omam Biyick for an apparent go-ahead goal.

Referee Laszlo Vagner of Hungary whistled Mboma for a pushing foul, and the game remained tied. "I didn't commit a foul," Mboma said. "I can't believe it. It was an unjust decision. Very unjust."

"I can accept a lot of things, but I can't accept that one," coach Claude Le Roy said. "The decision was an incompetent one. If this is what football is all about, I hope (FIFA president Sepp) Blatter was watching. There wasn't a shove or a foul . . . Perhaps he (Blatter, who has called for more red cards on violent tackles) should stick to administrative tasks."

Bahanag four years ago became the youngest player ever ejected when he got a red card against Brazil at the age of 17 years, 358 days.

Italy, outshot by Austria, suffered bad news even though winning 2-1. Central defender Alessandro Nesta was lost for the tournament with torn right knee ligaments. Giuseppe Bergomi, a veteran, was brought in as a replacement.

Second round pairings: Italy vs. Norway; Brazil vs. Chile.

Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at jlangdon@gns.gannett.com.

Group B

Chile 1, Cameroon 1
in Nantes

Chile -- Nelson Tapia, Ronaldo Fuentes, Francisco Rojas (Miguel Ramirez 77), Javier Margas, Pedro Reyes, Nelson Parraguez, Clarence Acuna, Jose Luis Sierra (Fabian Estay 71), Moises Villarroel (Fernando Cornejo 71), Ivan Zamorano, Marcelo Salas.
Cameroon -- Jacques Celestin Songo'o, Pierre Wome Nlend, Rigobert Song Bahanag, Pierre Djaka Njanka Beyaka, Pensee Michel Bilong, Salomon Olembe (Didier Nguidjol Angibeau 69), Joseph Ndo (Laurent Etame 83), Marcel Mahouve, Francois Omam Biyick, Patrick Mboma, Joseph Job (Alphonse Marie Tchami Djohama 73).
Goals: Chile - Jose Luis Sierra 21. Cameroon - Patrick Mboma 56.
Shots at goal: Chile 13, Cameroon 12.
Shots on goal: Chile 9, Cameroon 4.
Yellow cautionary cards: Cameroon - Rigobert Song Bahanag 8. Chile - Nelson Parraguez 51, Francisco Rojas 55, Moises Villarroel 67, Miguel Ramirez 90.
Red ejection cards: Cameroon - Rigobert Song Bahanag 52, Laurent Etame 89.
Referee: Laszlo Vagner (Hungary).
Attendance: 39,500 (estimated).


Italy 2, Austria 1
in Paris

Italy -- Gianluca Pagliuca, Paolo Maldini, Fabio Cannavaro, Alessandro Costacurta, Alessandro Nesta (Giuseppe Bergomi 4), Gianluca Pessotto, Dino Baggio, Luigi Di Biagio, Fransesco Moriero, Alessandro Del Piero (Roberto Baggio 73), Christian Vieri (Filippo Inzaghi 61).
Austria -- Michael Konsel, Peter Schoettel, Anton Pfeffer, Wolfgang Feiersinger, Heimo Pfeifenberger (Andreas Herzog 79), Hannes Reinmayr, Arnold Wetl, Roman Mahlich, Dietmar Kuhbauer (Peter Stoeger 74), Ivica Vastic, Anton Polster (Mario Haas 62).
Goals: Italy - Christian Vieri 48, Roberto Baggio 90. Austria - Andreas Herzog 90 (penalty kick).
Shots at goal: Italy 11, Austria 20.
Shots on goal: Italy 5, Austria 12.
Yellow cautionary cards: Austria - Wolfgang Feisersinger 2, Ivica Vastic 35, Peter Schoettel 43. Italy - Paolo Maldini 86.
Referee: Paul Durkin (England).
Attendance: 80,000 (estimated).


Group A

Norway 2, Brazil 1
in Marseille

Norway -- Frode Grodaas, Stig Bjornebye, Henning Berg, Ronny Johnsen, Roar Strand (Erik Mykland 46), Dan Eggen, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Kjetil Rekdal, Tore Andre Flo, Vidar Riseth (Jostein Flo 79), Haavard Flo (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 68).
Brazil -- Taffarel, Cafu, Junior Baiano, Roberto Carlos, Goncalves, Dunga, Denilson, Leonardo, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Bebeto.
Goals: Brazil - Bebeto 78. Norway - Tore Andre Flo 83, Kjetil Rekdal 89 (penalty kick).
Shots at goal: Brazil 15, Norway 11.
Shots on goal: Brazil 5, Norway 5.
Yellow caution cards: Norway - Oyvind Leonhardsen 54, Erik Mykland 59.
Referee: Esse Baharmast (United States).
Attendance: 55,000 (estimated).


Morocco 3, Scotland 0
in St. Etienne

Morocco -- Driss Benzekri, Abdelilah Saber (Youssef Rossi 72), Noureddine Naybet, Lahcen Abrami, Smahi Triki, El Moustafa Hadji, Raghib Amzine (Rachid Azzouzi 77), Youssef Chippo (Jamal Sellami 88), Tahar, Abdeljlil Hadda, Salaheddine Bassir.
Scotland -- Jim Leighton, Jackie McNamara (Tosh McKinlay 54), Tom Boyd, Colin Hendry, David Weir, Craig Burley, John Collins, Paul Lambert, Christian Dailly, Kevin Gallacher, Gordon Durie (Scott Booth 84).
Goals: Morocco - Salaheddine Bassir 22, 85; Abdeljlil Hadda 47.
Shots at goal: Morocco 14, Scotland 22.
Shots on goal: Morocco 5, Scotland 9.
Yellow cautionary cards: Scotland - Kevin Gallacher 20. Morocco - Youssef Chippo 81.
Red ejection card: Scotland - Craig Burley 54.
Referee: Ali Mohamed Bujsaim (United Arab Emirates).
Attendance: 30,000 (estimated).