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1st Round Matches at France 1998

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Home: World Cup Finals: France 1998: Match Schedule: Day 11

The World United Through Football
Group matches at France 98 played on Saturday, 20th June.

Travel to Belgium Belgium vs Travel to Mexico Mexico in Bordeaux (2:2).

Travel to Holland Holland vs Travel to South Korea South Korea in Marseilles (5:0).

Travel to Japan Japan vs Travel to Croatia Croatia in Nantes (0:1).

Japan vs Croatia in Nantes: (14:30)

The Japanese fans found out about ticker tape from the Argentineans, in their previous game, and their players seemed to have cottoned on to shirt pulling too.

A thirteenth minute free-kick by Suker curled past the top right hand corner.

In answer to that, the Japanese number three, Naoki Soma, almost scored Japan's first World Cup finals goal at the other end.

Stanic wasted a golden chance in the nineteenth minute. Again the Japanese tried to reply, but Nakata was not so good today either.

A minute later, a Japanese free-kick was lifted over the wall and a nippy little Shoji Jo rounded the Croats to receive the ball on his head; knocked on too far under pressure from Ladic, the Croatian goalkeeper.

The first corner for Croatia came on the half-hour. Both sides gave away possession needlessly and let the others in with a run on goal.

From all of these half chances, Suker came closest; the penalty appeal rightly turned down.

An entertaining first-half, despite the scoreline.

Half-time: (0:0).

The Croats looked very disorganised at the start of the second-half.

When the blue shirts were too far up, Kawaguchi came right out of his area to head clear.

Up front for Japan, Jo should have scored, but none of the team moaned or grumbled.

The Japanese gained strength as the match wore on and the Croats started to wilt. Okano, the Japanese substitute, tried to look lively on both wings, with his mane flying left and right, but stood like a pansy in a flower box when a real chance was crossed into the area for him.

Nothing seemed to go right for Suker either, a tempting lob on the bar was the closest he came for all his efforts to send a shiver up the watching Glenn Hoddle; England may well have to face Croatia.

At last, relief for Suker and another mental note for Hoddle. The Croatian captain took a deep cross on his left foot, in the 76th minute, and fired in; off the unfortunate goalkeeper's hand.

Final Score:
Travel to Japan Japan 0 - Travel to Croatia Croatia 1

Our Man of the Match:

Belgium vs Mexico in Bordeaux: (17:30)

Thirty seven degrees in Bordeaux and a hot match to go with it.

Oliveira found himself engulfed by Mexico, when he had his first half-chance in the fourth minute; as Belgium started more positively than they did against Holland.

A corner to Mexico in the ninth minute. Sanchez headed against the bar and, with De Wilde on the floor, Hernandez tried to struggle the loose ball across the line; hoofed away by Danny Boffin.

Sanchez was quickly called upon to keep out the Belgians at the other end.

A sizzling first fifteen minutes.

Blanco changed his boots, around the 26th minute, like a tennis player changes rackets. And two minutes later the Mexicans were down to ten men; Prado was shown the red card, for a sliding challenge from behind on Borkelmans.

Even with eleven men, Mexico could have done little about the Belgian goal. A curling corner from Oliveira dipped over the rising defenders; to be thighed in by Wilmots.

Half-time: (1:0).

From the restart Wilmots was on a buzz. Scifo laid a square-ball to Wilmots and the Schalke midfielder ploughed through the Mexican defense; slamming the ball home, to the right while stumbling.

Seven minutes later and drama in the Belgian area. Blanco threaded a ball through to Ramirez, who was tripped by Verheyen; red card number two. Garcia Aspe slotted the penalty to the right.

Mexico were back in the game; only one goal down and both teams a man short. The Mexicans had the momentum and the heat wasn't affecting them.

A fast, fluid Mexican raid ended with a cross from Ramirez and a flying scissor volley; into the back of the net by Blanco. What a star this man is.

Gordan Vidovic brought down Hernandez on the right wing and in the heat of the moment could have expected the worst. The Belgian number four sat resigned on the floor; relief on his face when he was only booked.

De Wilde scrambled a save in the final minutes to keep hold of a point for Belgium.

Final Score:
Travel to Belgium Belgium 2 - Travel to Mexico Mexico 2

Our Man of the Match:

Holland vs South Korea in Marseilles: (21:00)

Dennis Bergkamp must have seen Blanco change his boots and return to score a stunning goal, in the earlier game, and decided to change his shorts on the quarter hour.

It seemed to work: a minute later an unsighted Byung Ji Kim saved well from the flying Dutchman. Shortly after, super shorts received a one-two and floated the ball narrowly over the bar.

The Dutch fans did not have much to sing about for the first 30 minutes in Marseilles; as the Koreans do a good job of frustrating teams and silencing their supporters.

Bergkamp appealed to the referee for being held back; the man in black seemed to have fallen asleep too.

Out of nothing, Cocu cracked a shot from the D, in the 36th minute. Byung Ji Kim had feet of concrete and didn't move; even the fans in orange couldn't believe it.

Five minutes later, with all the Koreans up for a free kick near the Dutch goal-line, the Dutch broke out three against two. Overmars turned, inside Sung Yong Choi, and claimed the second for Holland.

Half-time: (2:0).

The members of the Dutch brass band were having a little more fun, early in the second-half; striking up a few bars of the Can-Can.

Korea needed a minimum of two goals to stay in the tournament. Although they tried valiantly, the hill was too high to climb. At least they are already guaranteed of a place in the 2002 World Cup finals as co-hosts with Japan.

The Dutch started some possession football. Across the pitch to Aron Winter and through to Dennis Bergkamp.

Min Sung Lee cut out the ball, but was easily robbed by Bergkamp, who turned and dribbled through three defenders; like a teacher with enthusiastic schoolchildren on the chase.

Another Lee entered the arena, with a look of total horror on his face. What was the nineteen year-old supposed to do?

Van Hooijdonk came on for Bergkamp and headed in a cross from Overmars in the 79th minute.

Two minutes later Ronald de Boer completed the rout.

Final Score:
Travel to Holland Holland 5 - Travel to South Korea South Korea 0

Teams by Group

Group A
Travel to Brazil Brazil, Travel to Morocco Morocco, Travel to Norway Norway, Travel to Scotland Scotland.

Group B
Travel to Austria Austria, Travel to Cameroon Cameroon, Travel to Chile Chile, Travel to Italy Italy.

Group C
Travel to Denmark Denmark, Travel to France France, Travel to Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia, Travel to South Africa South Africa.

Group D
Travel to Bulgaria Bulgaria, Travel to Nigeria Nigeria, Travel to Paraguay Paraguay, Travel to Spain Spain.

Group E
Travel to Belgium Belgium, Travel to Holland Holland, Travel to Mexico Mexico, Travel to South Korea South Korea.

Group F
Travel to Germany Germany, Travel to Iran Iran, Travel to USA United States, Travel to Serbia Yugoslavia.

Group G
Travel to Colombia Colombia, Travel to England England, Travel to Romania Romania, Travel to Tunisia Tunisia.

Group H
Travel to Argentina Argentina, Travel to Croatia Croatia, Travel to Jamaica Jamaica, Travel to Japan Japan.

The Road to the Final

1998 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.

Group Tables - Leading Goalscorers.

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Wednesday, 10th June:
Brazil vs Scotland
Morocco vs Norway

Thursday, 11th June:
Cameroon vs Austria
Italy vs Chile

Friday, 12th June:
France vs South Africa
Paraguay vs Bulgaria
Saudi Arabia vs Denmark

Saturday, 13th June:
Holland vs Belgium
South Korea vs Mexico
Spain vs Nigeria

Sunday, 14th June:
Argentina vs Japan
Jamaica vs Croatia
Yugoslavia vs Iran

Monday, 15th June:
England vs Tunisia
Germany vs United States
Romania vs Colombia

Tuesday, 16th June:
Brazil vs Morocco
Scotland vs Norway

Wednesday, 17th June:
Chile vs Austria
Italy vs Cameroon

Thursday, 18th June:
France vs Saudi Arabia
South Africa vs Denmark

Friday, 19th June:
Nigeria vs Bulgaria
Spain vs Paraguay

Saturday, 20th June:
Belgium vs Mexico
Holland vs South Korea
Japan vs Croatia

Sunday, 21st June:
Argentina vs Jamaica
Germany vs Yugoslavia
United States vs Iran

Monday, 22nd June:
Colombia vs Tunisia
Romania vs England

Tuesday, 23rd June:
Brazil vs Norway
Chile vs Cameroon
Italy vs Austria
Scotland vs Morocco

Wednesday, 24th June:
France vs Denmark
Nigeria vs Paraguay
South Africa vs Saudi Arabia
Spain vs Bulgaria

Thursday, 25th June:
Belgium vs South Korea
Germany vs Iran
Holland vs Mexico
United States vs Yugoslavia

Friday, 26th June:
Argentina vs Croatia
Colombia vs England
Japan vs Jamaica
Romania vs Tunisia

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