Brazil took a precious point from
Montevideo as they came from behind to draw 1-1 with neighbours Uruguay
in a bruising, full-blooded World Cup qualifier on Wednesday.
Diego Forlan put Uruguay ahead in the early in the second half with his
fifth goal of the qualifiers before midfielder Emerson grabbed an
equaliser for the world champions.
Brazil striker Ronaldo had another quiet evening, struggling to keep up
in a match played at a breathtaking pace in front of a 60,000 crowd at
the Centenario stadium.
Brazil, who have still never beaten Uruguay away in a competitive game,
stayed second in the 10-nation World Cup qualifying group with 24 points
from 13 games, although they dropped four points behind leaders
Uruguay have 16 points.
"The game was even, we could have won the match. We played most of the
second half in their half," said Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. "It's
a point to celebrate."
Brazil goalkeeper Dida kept the scores level at halftime with two
outstanding saves as Uruguay enjoyed the better of a frenetic first half.
He turned Forlan's header around the post in the 12th minute and also
got down quickly to stop a Marcelo Zalayeta shot from 12 metres just
before the break.
Midfielder Carlos Diogo missed another chance when he fired over the bar
from an unmarked position at the far post following a corner.
Brazil's Ronaldinho showed some flashes of trickery but the world
champions created few clear-cut chances.
Roberto Carlos had two attempts from his trademark free kicks before
halftime. The first was parried by goalkeeper Sebastian Viera but nobody
was on hand for the rebound and the second hit the defensive wall and
Uruguay opened the scoring four minutes into the second half. This time,
Dida was at fault as he failed to hold a Ruben Olivera's low 25-metre
shot and Forlan, who scored twice when the teams drew 3-3 in Brazil in
2003, calmly scored from the rebound.
Brazil weathered the storm and equalised in the 68th minute.
Lucio headed on a corner, Luisao's shot was saved by Viera and Emerson,
possibly in an offside position, bundled the ball in from close range.
The goal gave Brazil new momentum and they looked more like grabbing a
winner. Ronaldinho was closest with a dipping free kick tipped over
eight minutes from time.