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Column: Brazil, France Fail to Inspire

AP columnist Robert Millward says France and Brazil better learn that the favorites can't just ride their legacy through to the final and expect to win the World Cup. "The trophy will be going somewhere else unless Brazil's defenders stop handing easy chances to their opponents and the French stars remember how to score enough to win games," he says, adding that Australia was unlucky not to at least draw level with the world champions. Sunday's poor showing illustrates how the Brazilians have major problems at the backthey looked particularly susceptible to counterattacks down the flanks. It would be wise, perhaps, for Cafu and Roberto Carlos to think twice about staying at home before venturing forward in the future. Millward said the likes of Argentina, the Netherlands, England, Italy, and Spain will draw confidence from Brazil's display yesterday. They certainly don't look unbeatable, but it should be said that Brazil has yet to be scored on and it has already qualified for the second round. France, too, is not out of it. But Millward says, "France doesn't even look certain to beat Togo," and if that's the case, he added that yesterday was "the sad end" to Zinedine Zidane's illustrious career.

Read the whole story at The Associated Press »

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