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Sun. 28th June:
Definitely not vintage football from the French. The Paraguayans defended excellently, but for the most part the home side were without ideas and couldn't cultivate the half-ripe chances ready for picking.
Diomede, of Auxerre, was hardly a diamond, and the flowering Henry, who scored three goals in the group games, seemed to have gone to seed.
Henry woke from slumber in the 39th minute to run from inside the French half, and thump a shot past Chilavert -- onto the upright.
Only when Robert Pires came on for the injured Henry, halfway through the second half, did we see an attempt to use the width of the pitch.
Aime Jacquet left Diomede on the pitch for far too long; finally replacing him with Guivarc'h in the 78th minute. And then the Paraguayans had a nervous last fifteen minutes of normal time as the home fans tried to urge their team forward.
The first game to go into extra-time in this World Cup finals, and of the two goalkeepers, Barthez looked the most desperate. Chilavert kissed his lucky charm, before the players had a quick massage on their tired legs.
0-0 at normal time,
In the ninth minute of extra time, the free-kick by Djorkaeff was as nerve wrenching as a penalty for the taker -- over the wall and headed away for a corner.
Chilavert was easily down to a shot from Pires in the 110th minute.
In minute 113, Laurent Blanc finally broke the deadlock before Chilavert could prove himself in the penalty shoot-out.
Final Score: Laurent Blanc 1 Chilavert 0
No African team will win the World Cup this century. Poor defending by Nigeria saw them two goals down in eleven minutes.
Within three minutes of the start, Michael Laudrup, on the right corner of the penalty area, flicked the ball to his left for Peter Moller, of PSV Eindhoven, to score.
Eight minutes later, Michael Laudrup to Moller again. This time he rolled the ball back with the sole of his foot, and Brian Laudrup was where it counted to punish Rufai for not holding Moller's shot. (Half-time:0-2)
As valiant as Nigeria were, the Danish were a class above them today. On the hour, Sand was on for Moller and headed Michael Laudrup's chip around Taribo West -- he of the frog green hair -- then beat Rufai, to destroy Nigeria's chance of a Mexican style comeback.
Ebbe Sand pounced on another careless piece of Nigerian goalkeeping, pulled the ball back to Jorgensen, who set up Helveg with an open shot into the roof of the net.
Babangida volleyed in a consolation goal with a little over ten minutes to
go. Denmark will now face Brazil in Nantes, on Friday July 3rd.
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