Ref attacked after Brazil draw in Under-20 game

January 22, 2007

LUQUE, Paraguay, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Furious Brazilian players attacked the referee after being held to a 2-2 draw by Chile in the South American under-20 championship.

Referee Alberto Duarte of Colombia fell to the ground holding his red card in his hand after being pushed by a Brazilian player following his decision to award Chile two penalties in the closing minutes of Sunday's game.

Brazilian players continued to remonstrate furiously with the official when he got up and police had to come on to the field to protect him.

At least 20 heavily armed riot police then escorted the official off the field while Brazilian officials tried to calm their players.

Chile converted both penalties, the second with the last kick of the game in the sixth minute of injury-time.

The match itself produced three red cards and at least two more appeared to be shown afterwards, though it was not clear who received them.

Chile had Nicolas Larrondo sent off for a late tackle in the 58th minute while Hans Martinez of Chile and Luiz Adriano of Brazil were dismissed in the 74th.

Alexandre Pato headed Brazil ahead in the 70th minute and five minutes later Arturo Vidal levelled the score from the first penalty, awarded after a Chilean player was knocked over in what Brazil said was an accidental collision.

Brazil regained the lead through Tcho one minute later but their dancing celebrations appeared to provoke their opponents.

Chile fought back and were awarded their second penalty when Fabiano kicked a Chilean player on the head with a reckless lunge. Vidal converted again to set off wild celebrations amongst his team mates.

The tournament is a qualifier for both the World Under-20 championships to be held this year in Canada and next year's Olympic Games in China. The top two sides qualify for the Olympics and Sunday's result left Brazil in danger of missing out.

Brazil have two points from two games in the six-team final stage, which is led by Uruguay with six points followed by Chile and Argentina on four each.