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Wed. 17th June:
Whoever comes second in this group now know that they will have to play Brazil in the next round -- incentive enough to get the three points I would think.
Pfeffer conceded a salty free-kick on Zamorano outside the D, in the ninth minute. The dead ball, laid off to Margas, was blasted wide of the top corner.
Chile looked slightly more threatening around the Austrian area with their subtle recipe, served up by masterchef Zamorano, yet the beefy Austrians muscled in on their attempts to create any clear-cut carne.
Austria had a dangerous looking free-kick in the 25th minute, but failed to use the height advantage of Pfeffer and Polster in the air, and rolled it back to the corner of the area instead.
The Austrians whipped up a little more pressure towards the end of the first half, but the cream was sour. (Half-time: 0-0).
Austria started stronger in the second half, yet Chile were still hot on the counter attack: Zamorano ran through the wide open midfield to release Villarroel on the right. A good high strike, pushed away by the left hand of Konsel.
Rojas had a magnificent game on the left; covering well and creating many important runs. On the hour, Chile started to look spicy again. Another fast move on the left, with Konsel cutting out a threatening low cross into the box for a fast approaching Zamorano.
Herzog tried to thread the ball through for Polster; the Austrians tried long range shots; but again Chile were on the loose.....
Zamorano climbed high above two Austrian defenders to head in aggressively. Drama on the goal-line: Konsel blocked the header from Zamorano, but Salas pounced to claim his third goal of the tournament. The Austrian goalkeeper, on the floor, still had the ball in his hands and tried to roll it back over the line.
In the dying minutes, the Austrian substitute Vastic received the ball
on the D, and side-footed firmly into the top right of the goal. No chance for the
goalkeeper, or for Chile.
The minute's silence for the France 98 co-President was not even over before the Italian fans started making a noise.
Vieri gave Cameroon their first scare around the fifth minute, coolly knocking the ball over the advancing goalkeeper; hooked away by a defender.
Three minutes later, Di Biagio headed in from Roberto Baggio's cross. Italy didn't want to listen to Samba in Paris too early. Cameroon just shaked their heads and tried to push up again.
On the twenty-fifth minute, Songo'o saved at point blank range from Vieri again.
The Italians also made plenty of mistakes, but the Africans were not able to make their chances count. "Guarda! Guarda!" shouted Cesare Maldini from the touchline.
The Australian referee, who didn't fall for the Italian dives and caught plenty of their sneaky tricks, made no hesitation in showing Cameroon's Kalla the red for a two footed challenge on Luigi Di Biagio just before half-time. (Half-time: 1-0).
The Italians lacked a collective spirit in the team early in the second half; had something of the coach's neurosis rubbed off on his son? With only ten men, and Mboma in a head bandage, Cameroon had the support of the French fans.
Maldini took off Albertini and Roberto Baggio for Di Matteo and Del Piero with just over twenty minutes to go.
Italy started to control the game in the closing fifteen minutes. At the end of a well worked move, Vieri scored from the edge of the box without thinking for a second to touch the ball twice.
The Italian fans, who had behaved so disrespectfully at the start and cat whistled their own team for most of the second half, roared "Italia!" for once.
Within a couple of minutes, Songo'o tipped the ball over the bar twice to try and keep the scoreline respectable.
But in the last minutes Del Piero and Vieri both entered
the Cameroon area with two defenders at their legs. A couple of lucky bounces, and the
ball was at Vieri's feet, who managed to shake off the hard working Wome and beat Songo'o again.
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