Kyiv, Ukraine - Brazilian journalists billed the Gold Medal match as art versus objectivity, the wildly exuberant, always singing Brazilian team vs.
the precision Russian scoring machine.
The two teams met in the first match of the first round of the 1st Open European
Championships here in Kyiv.
After two 20-minute halves the Russians and Brazilians played to a 0-0 tie.
Three rounds of play later neither team had been scored on, but Russia put
36 balls in opponent's nets while Brazil scored a "mere" 21.
Ukrainian national television had been broadcasting reports and game footage throughout the tournament.
So by the medal round, Spartak stadium was packed with spectators.
In the first game of the finals a very fast, very aggressive Ukrainian team defeated the determined United Kingdom squad 5-2 for the tournament Bronze Medal.
The Gold Medal match would have satisfied even the most demanding soccer fan.
The Brazilians in their traditional blue and gold uniforms launched a 1-2-2-1 offense with a number of creative back-pitch
support looks against the Russian hard-nosed zone defense.
The Russians presented a number of offensive patterns, often effortlessly shifting from one to another as they tried to catch the Brazilian defenders off guard.
But the Brazilians caught the Russian's tempo and flowed to match every offensive charge and set play.
Both defensive units held their concentration, but the two offensive units did manage
several good scoring opportunities, including a late period penalty kick by the Brazilians.
But the goaltenders were solid. All shots were blocked, cleared, and shot just wide. But both goaltenders
At the first half, after a total of 60 minutes of play in two games, the score still stood 0-0.
But at the 18 minute mark of the second half Brazil found an opening and send a
hard near-side shot just inside the Russian goal
post for the only score in the game
and the only score against the Russians in the entire tournament.
The Brazilians are tournament, and this year's world champions.
Please come back soon. More tournament stories and photos will be posted in the very near future.
All text and images at this site are copyright © 1998 - 2004 American Amputee Soccer Association. For permission to reproduce these images, contact: AASA Webmaster.