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Scolari insists Brazil will qualify despite Uruguay loss

© Reuters Limited 2001

MONTEVIDEO, July 1 (Reuters) - Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari insisted his team will qualify for next year's World Cup, despite losing a key qualifier with Uruguay on Sunday on his debut.

"The idea that we could miss out on the Cup has not entered my head," said the man known as Big Phil. "We've got three games to come at home and we are going to continue working. We are going to analyse where we went wrong and work towards the Paraguay game, making our home advantage count."

Scolari said the only difference between the two teams was the penalty which Federico Magallanes converted to give Uruguay a 1-0 win. "The game was settled by one incident," he said. "Uruguay made very few chances and Brazil also made very few chances."

Uruguay's Alvaro Recoba, who won the penalty, celebrated by shaving his head. The Inter Milan player last week became one of more than one dozen players to be given one-year bans by the Italian Football League in a false passport scandal.

"I'm going to be a bit cold but I'll do anything for Uruguay," said the player. "I'm glad that at last we've been able to make the public happy. We won because Brazil are not used to being attacked."

The result left Brazil fourth in the South American World Cup qualifying group, ahead of Uruguay on goal difference. The top four teams qualify automatically and the fifth plays off against Oceania region winners Australia.

Brazil have five games to play but must still visit Argentina and Bolivia, at 3,600 metres above sea level.

Reports provided by

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