Tue, Jul 13, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Adriano's hat trick helps Brazil defeat Costa Rica

COPA AMERICA The Brazilians displayed little offense in the first half, but a goal just before the interval boosted their confidence in the second

AP , AREQUIPA, PERU

Adriano's hat trick helped Brazil beat Costa Rica 4-1 on Sunday and join Colombia in the Copa America quarterfinals.

Alex set up three of the four goals for Brazil to lead Group C with six points from two matches. Paraguay missed a chance to safely advance when it drew Chile 1-1 later on Sunday, and dropped to second with four points. Chile stayed alive in the tournament with one point, and winless Costa Rica trailed with zero points.

"This win gives us security for the quarterfinals," Brazil coach Carlos Alberto Parreira said. "It showed we are capable of playing good soccer."

Inter Milan forward Adriano fired from a perfect long pass by Alex a minute before halftime, headed a corner from Alex in the 54th, and converted Gustavo Nery's cross in the 68th.

"I'm very, very happy to have contributed with the goals, the team needed that," Adriano said. "I just hope I can continue scoring like this until the end."

Defender Juan scored Brazil's second goal on a breakaway with Alex's help after 49 minutes.

Veteran defender Luis Marin claimed Costa Rica's lone goal from inside the penalty area on a corner in the 81st.

Adriano became the Copa America's leading scorer alongside Argentina's Javier Saviola, who claimed a hat trick against Ecuador midweek.

The Brazilians displayed little offense in the first half, but the goal just before the interval boosted their confidence to open up in the second.

In the second match, Paraguay defender Ernesto Cristaldo leveled the score in the 79th minute, seven minutes after striker Sebastian Gonzalez scored Chile's first goal of the tournament. Cristaldo's equalizer was a booming left-footer from way outside the box, giving no chance to Chile goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

Gonzalez had put Chile ahead with a sliding shot from a sharp angle in the 71st after a left-flank cross by midfielder Mauricio Aros.

After losing the opener to Brazil on a last-minute goal, Chile came with a more offensive setup. Coach Juvenal Olmos put his squad on the attack by fielding forward Patricio Galaz instead of midfielder Jo-nathan Cisternas. Gonzalez had been the lone striker against Brazil.

Chile, seeking its first Copa title, needs to beat Costa Rica tomorrow at Tacna to retain hope of moving on in the South American tournament. Paraguay will play Brazil needing only a draw to reach the second stage.

Despite owning a place in the last eight, Colombia was expected to offer no favors to Peru in its bid to make the quarters yesterday.

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