RIO DE JANEIRO - Former Brazil forward Friaca, who scored in the 1950 World Cup final defeat by Uruguay, died on Monday. The 84-year-old had been in the intensive care unit at the Sao Jose do Avai hospital in Itaperuna, about 240-km from Rio de Janeiro, for six weeks with pneumonia, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on its website. The host nation's 2-1 defeat by Uruguay was a big shock. Brazil went into the final game of a four-team mini-league needing to draw to land the trophy, and were hot favourites after scoring 13 goals in their previous games against Spain and Sweden. A crowd estimated at more than 200,000 crammed into the Maracana stadium ready to celebrate and their optimism seemed justified when Friaca put them ahead early in the second half, his only goal in 13 international appearances. Uruguay, though, hit back through Juan Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia. Defender Juvenal is the only survivor from Brazil's team. Friaca played for club sides Vasco da Gama, Sao Paulo and Ponte Preta. He spent most of his life in the small town of Porciuncula, in the state of Minas Gerais, where the municipal stadium is named after him.
12 January 2009
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