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Brazil facing the abyss

Sunday will see Brazil play one of the most important games in their prestigious history. Forget all the World Cup Finals, it could be a mere qualifier that could end one of football's proudest records.

Brazil are the only team to have graced every previous World Cup, but their place at next year's event is resting on a knife-edge. The three points could represent Brazil's golden ticket.

They currently lie in fourth position in CONMEBOL qualifying with only goal difference separating them from fifth-placed Uruguay.

The top four South American teams will qualify automatically, but the fifth side will face a tricky two-legged tie against Australia, the OFC champions.

Chile, although out of the World Cup and depleted by injuries, are still a potentially dangerous side. They are filled with match winners such Juve's Marcelo Salas.

For many neutrals a World Cup without Brazil would not be quite the same, so there will be many silent fans around the world willing them to victory.

5th October 2001


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