France 1998 World Cup Finals

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Cafe Society, France
Cafe Society, France by Paul Rysz on Unsplash.

The Ball is Round Football Index: World Cup Finals: France 1998.

France - Hosted the sixteenth World Cup, in 1998.

France Flag

32 teams competed in the 16th World Cup - better known as France 98 - offering fans a total of 64 matches, at reasonable viewing times for the European television audience.

Full coverage of all the games in the France 98 archives.

World Cup History - France 1998

Croatia, appearing in their first World Cup Finals tournament as an independent nation, were the surprise of the competition; beating a tired-out Germany team in the quarter-finals, before losing out narrowly to soon to be World Champions France, in the semi-finals.

For their efforts, Croatia picked up the wooden spoon for third place and Davor Suker the Golden boot; as the tournament's leading scorer, with six goals.

Revelation of the tournament was young Michael Owen, who scored a stunning solo goal against Argentina in the second round. David Beckham let the England side down by needlessly getting sent off at the start of the second-half, with the game at (2:2). Ten-man England held on gallantly and Sol Campbell even scored what might have been England's winner (heading in from a corner) had Alan 'Windmill' Shearer not elbowed the Argentine goalkeeper in the face as the ball came over.

But the headlines belonged to France, the only team to win all of their games; three of them with only ten men (Zinedine Zidane was sent off against Saudi Arabia, Laurent Blanc against Croatia and Marcel Desailly in the final, against Brazil).

France became the 6th nation to win the World Cup on home soil; having failed at their previous attempt, in France 1938.

32 Countries Competed at France 1998

France 98 Matches by Date - France 98 Matches by Stadium.

Argentina Argentina
Group H (1:0) (5:0) (1:0); Second Round (2:2 aet) (4:3 pens); Quarter-finals (1:2).

Austria Austria
Group B (1:1) (1:1) (1:2).

Belgium Belgium
Group E (0:0) (2:2) (1:1).

Brazil Brazil
Group A (2:1) (3:0) (1:2); Second Round (4:1); Quarter-finals (3:2); Semi-finals (1:1 aet) (4:2 pens); Finalist (0:3).

Bulgaria Bulgaria
Group D (0:0) (0:1) (1:6).

Cameroon Cameroon
Group B (1:1) (0:3) (1:1).

Chile Chile
Group B (2:2) (1:1) (1:1); Second Round (1:4).

Colombia Colombia
Group G (0:1) (1:0) (0:2).

Croatia Croatia
Group H (3:1) (1:0) (0:1); Second Round (1:0); Quarter-finals (3:0); Semi-finals (1:2); Third place (2:1).

Denmark Denmark
Group C (1:0) (1:1) (1:2); Second Round (4:1); Quarter-finals (2:3).

England England
Group G (2:0) (1:2) (2:0); Second Round (2:2 aet) (3:4 pens).

France France
Group C (3:0) (4:0) (2:1); Second Round (1:0 aet); Quarter-finals (0:0 aet) (4:3 pens); Semi-finals (2:1)
Winner (3:0).

Germany Germany
Group F (2:0) (2:2) (2:0); Second Round (2:1); Quarter-finals (0:3).

Holland Holland
Group E (0:0) (5:0) (2:2); Second Round (2:1); Quarter-finals (2:1); Semi-finals (1:1 aet) (2:4 pens); Third place (1:2).

Iran Iran
Group F (0:1) (2:1) (0:2).

Italy Italy
Group B (2:2) (3:0) (2:1); Second Round (1:0); Quarter-finals (0:0 aet) (3:4 pens).

Jamaica Jamaica
Group H (1:3) (0:5) (2:1).

Japan Japan
Group H (0:1) (0:1) (1:2).

Mexico Mexico
Group E (3:1) (2:2) (2:2); Second Round (1:2).

Morocco Morocco
Group A (2:2) (0:3) (3:0).

Nigeria Nigeria
Group D (3:2) (1:0) (1:3); Second Round (1:4).

Norway Norway
Group A (2:2) (1:1) (2:1); Second Round (0:1).

Paraguay Paraguay
Group D (0:0) (0:0) (3:1); Second Round (0:1 aet).

Romania Romania
Group G (1:0) (2:1) (1:1); Second Round (0:1).

Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Group C (0:1) (0:4) (2:2).

Scotland Scotland
Group A (1:2) (1:1) (0:3).

South Africa South Africa
Group C (0:3) (1:1) (2:2).

South Korea South Korea
Group E (1:3) (0:5) (1:1).

Spain Spain
Group D (2:3) (0:0) (6:1).

Tunisia Tunisia
Group G (0:2) (0:1) (1:1).

USA United States
Group F (0:2) (1:2) (0:1).

Serbia Yugoslavia
Group F (1:0) (2:2) (1:0); Second Round (1:2).

First Round - Group Stage

Opening up the World Cup Finals tournament to 32 teams, with eight groups of four competing in the first round group stage, meant a lot more goals in the tournament; 171 goals were scored.

It also meant that only the top two teams, in each group, would move on to the last 16; no more room for a third-placed houdini act in the opening round.

Group A

10th June
Montpellier: Morocco vs Norway (2:2)
Saint-Denis: Brazil vs Scotland (2:1)

16th June
Bordeaux: Scotland vs Norway (1:1)
Nantes: Brazil vs Morocco (3:0)

23rd June
Marseille: Norway vs Brazil (2:1)
St. Etienne: Morocco vs Scotland (3:0)

Brazil and Norway move onto the 2nd Round.

Group B

11th June
Bordeaux: Italy vs Chile (2:2)
Toulouse: Cameroon vs Austria (1:1)

17th June
Montpellier: Italy vs Cameroon (3:0)
St. Etienne: Chile vs Austria (1:1)

23rd June
Nantes: Chile vs Cameroon (1:1)
Saint-Denis: Italy vs Austria (2:1)

Italy and Chile move onto the 2nd Round.

Group C

12th June
Lens: Denmark vs Saudi Arabia (1:0)
Marseille: France vs South Africa (3:0)

18th June
Saint-Denis: France vs Saudi Arabia (4:0)
Toulouse: South Africa vs Denmark (1:1)

24th June
Bordeaux: South Africa vs Saudi Arabia (2:2)
Lyon: France vs Denmark (2:1)

France and Denmark move onto the 2nd Round.

Group D

12th June
Montpellier: Paraguay vs Bulgaria (0:0)

13th June
Nantes: Nigeria vs Spain (3:2)

19th June
Paris: Nigeria vs Bulgaria (1:0)
St. Etienne: Spain vs Paraguay (0:0)

24th June
Lens: Spain vs Bulgaria (6:1)
Toulouse: Paraguay vs Nigeria (3:1)

Nigeria and Paraguay move onto the 2nd Round.

Group E

13th June
Lyon: Mexico vs South Korea (3:1)
Saint-Denis: Holland vs Belgium (0:0)

20th June
Bordeaux: Belgium vs Mexico (2:2)
Marseille: Holland vs South Korea (5:0)

25th June
Paris: Belgium vs South Korea (1:1)
St. Etienne: Holland vs Mexico (2:2)

Holland and Mexico move onto the 2nd Round.

Group F

14th June
St. Etienne: Yugoslavia vs Iran (1:0)

15th June
Paris: Germany vs United States (2:0)

21st June
Lens: Germany vs Yugoslavia (2:2)
Lyon: Iran vs United States (2:1)

25th June
Montpellier: Germany vs Iran (2:0)
Nantes: Yugoslavia vs United States (1:0)

Germany and Yugoslavia move onto the 2nd Round.

Group G

15th June
Lyon: Romania vs Colombia (1:0)
Marseille: England vs Tunisia (2:0)

22nd June
Montpellier: Colombia vs Tunisia (1:0)
Toulouse: Romania vs England (2:1)

26th June
Lens: England vs Colombia (2:0)
Saint-Denis: Romania vs Tunisia (1:1)

Romania and England move onto the 2nd Round.

Group H

14th June
Lens: Croatia vs Jamaica (3:1)
Toulouse: Argentina vs Japan (1:0)

20th June
Nantes: Croatia vs Japan (1:0)

21st June
Paris: Argentina vs Jamaica (5:0)

26th June
Bordeaux: Argentina vs Croatia (1:0)
Lyon: Jamaica vs Japan (2:1)

Argentina and Croatia move onto the 2nd Round.

Second Round - The Last 16

27th June
Marseille: Italy vs Norway (1:0)
Paris: Brazil vs Chile (4:1)

28th June
Lens: France vs Paraguay (1:0 aet)
Saint-Denis: Denmark vs Nigeria (4:1)

29th June
Montpellier: Germany vs Mexico (2:1)
Toulouse: Holland vs Yugoslavia (2:1)

30th June
Bordeaux: Croatia vs Romania (1:0)
St. Etienne: Argentina vs England (2:2 aet) (4:3 pens)

Quarter-Finals - 3rd/4th July, 1998

3rd July
Nantes: Brazil vs Denmark (3:2)

Saint-Denis: France vs Italy (0:0 aet) (4:3 pens)

4th July
Lyon: Croatia vs Germany (3:0)

Marseille: Holland vs Argentina (2:1)

Semi-Finals - 7th/8th July, 1998

7th July
Marseille: Brazil vs Holland (1:1 aet) (4:2 pens)

8th July
Saint-Denis: France vs Croatia (2:1)

Third Place - 11th July, 1998

Paris: Croatia vs Holland (2:1)

1998 World Cup Final
12th July:
France vs Brazil (3:0)

How many appearances each country has made in the World Cup Finals.

World Cup Finals

Uruguay 1930:
Uruguay trailed Argentina at half-time (1:2) but replied with three goals in the second half; to win the first ever World Cup Final (4-2) on July 30th, 1930.

Italy 1934:
Italy were one of the countries who missed out on the vote to host the first World Cup but managed to win the prestigious golden trophy for the home fans.

France 1938:
The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.

Brazil 1950:
Although no cup-final as such, Uruguay and Brazil went into their final game with the winner guaranteed to be champions; a draw would be enough for Brazil.

Switzerland 1954:
The fifth World Cup tournament produced a record number of goals, including a 7:5 encounter between Austria and Switzerland in Lausanne.

Sweden 1958:
Brazil presented a 17 year-old Pele to the world; who went on to claim a hat-trick in Brazil's 5:2 semi-final win over France and bag another two in the final.

Chile 1962:
Czechoslovakia overcame Hungary in the quarter-finals and Yugoslavia in the semis, while Brazil took care of England and the host nation, Chile.

England 1966:
Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, in the final against West Germany, as England triumphed in a thrilling game watched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Mexico 1970:
1970 belonged to Pelé, who earned his third World Cup winners' medal when Brazil got their hands on the Jules Rimet Cup.... for keeps.

W. Germany 1974:
Johan Cruyff was the player of the tournament as total football became the buzzword of the day, even though Holland lost to West Germany in the 1974 final.

Argentina 1978:
Holland contested the 1978 World Cup Final, in Argentina, for the second time in a row. As in West Germany, they again finished runners-up; to the hosts.

Spain 1982:
The Spain 82 World Cup finals increased to 24 teams and the format was changed to have two group stages, with four second-round groups of three.

Mexico 1986:
In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition sixteen years previously.

Italy 1990:
In 1990, Italy became the World Cup of stalemates. Both semi-finals were drawn out through penalty kicks. In the final itself, the only goal came from the spot.

USA 1994:
Once Team US had played a few games most of the nation began to understand they were hosting the greatest show on earth and how the game was played.

France 1998:
France became the sixth nation to win the World Cup on home soil. Thirty-two teams competed in the 16th World Cup; better known as France 98.

Korea-Japan 2002:
The 17th World Cup, held in Korea and Japan, was the first World Cup finals to be shared by two hosts and the first to be held in Asia.

Germany 2006:
The 2006 World Cup Finals ran from 9th June to 9th July; the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. Munich and Dortmund hosted the semi-finals.

South Africa 2010:
Eighty years after the First World Cup Finals in Uruguay, the world's most prestigious football competition was finally hosted on the African continent.

Brazil 2014:
Five times World Cup Champions, Brazil, get a second chance to hold the prestigious World Cup Finals; 64 years after they last hosted the tournament.

Russia 2018:
VAR made its World Cup debut and set out to change the course of a game with some crucial rule infringement watching and vital on the spot decisions.

Qatar 2022:
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many.

United 2026:
The 2026 FIFA World Cup Finals will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The United Bid won the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.

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