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Football: Kahn's nightmare finish.

Byline: IAN PARKES

GERMANY captain Oliver Kahn was left inconsolable and forlorn following the howling error which helped hand Brazil their fifth World Cup.

Kahn, rated by many as the world's number one goalkeeper, proved he is fallible in the 68th minute of the final at the Yokohama International Stadium when he spilled a 20yard drive from Rivaldo.

Ronaldo needed no second invitation as he gratefully accepted the mistake, tapping in the opener from four yards, leaving Kahn looking as if wanted the ground to open up and swallow him.

Although damaging ligaments to the ring finger of his right hand minutes earlier, Kahn did not make excuses for the goal, and there was nothing the 33-year-old could do about Ronaldo's second 10 minutes later.

Kahn was beaten by a fine 16-yard finish in off his left-hand post after Rivaldo stepped over a right-wing cross from Kleberson, leaving Germany going home empty handed for the fourth time in seven finals.

At least Kahn had the dignity to speak after the game.

He said: ``I don't think I can be consoled. Words of consolation have no effect.

``I am fully aware this is the only mistake I have made in seven World Cup matches, but it is one which was brutally punished.

``Looking to the future is too hard to do, but the memories of this World Cup will be very good and cannot be destroyed by an unlucky goal.

``I will not make the mistake of saying everything was bad at this World Cup.

``This would not do justice to how Germany performed. The team did a tremendous job.

``When we came to the World Cup few people thought we would survive the group stage, which we did. We came back with a vengeance to finish as runners up, which is impressive.

``We led Germany to new heights, heights that nobody thought would be possible.

``I think we have put Germany, and German football, back to where it belongs - among the top four.''

Respectful coach Rudi Voller was fully aware Germany had been beaten by the better team as he added: ``There's no doubt about it, Brazil deserve to be world champions.''

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SHOCKER: Kahn calamity cost Germany
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jul 1, 2002
Words:369
Previous Article:Football World Cup 2002: Class of '02 in footsteps of legends.
Next Article:Football World Cup 2002: POOR KEEPER OLIVER CAN'T; Brazil ace punishes mistake BRAZIL .......2 GERMANY .....0.


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