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The World United Through Football Sunday June 2nd, 2002

Travel to Argentina Argentina vs Travel to Nigeria Nigeria in Ibaraki (1:0)

Batigol Makes History

Argentina only managed to beat Nigeria 1:0 but it could have been more.

Gabriel Batistuta scored Argentina's 101st World Cup finals goal, to take his country to the top of the Group of Death; a psychological advantage before they faced England, in Sapporo, on Friday.

With Roberto Ayala out of the game through injury, the captain's armband went to Juan Sebastian Veron - who was keen to impress after what some might call a disappointing season at Old Trafford.

The Manchester United midfielder combined well with Javier Zanetti, Juan Pablo Sorin and Ariel Ortega but despite all their possession, Argentina went into the break without a goal to show for it.

Both goalkeepers helped contribute to the stalemate: Nigeria's Ike Shorunmu turning an Ariel Ortega strike over the bar in the 29th minute; and Pablo Cavallero doing similar, to thwart Jay Jay Okocha, a couple of minutes later.

Argentina tried to thread balls through the Nigerian defense, with Veron and Sorin attempting  to find Ortega and Ortega looking for a way to shoot.

Batistuta's 37th minute header, at the far post - from Veron's high, inswinging corner - was a poor one but it should have served as a warning to the Nigerians.

Half-time: Argentina 0 - Nigeria 0

Argentina started the second half with Killy Gonzalez on for Claudio Lopez and the Valencia striker soon made his presence felt.

Within a couple of minutes of the restart Batistuta, at the far post for another corner, should have put Argentina in front but only managed to stab the ball wide.

Time for Nigeria to bring on Pius Ikedia for Kanu.

After an hour, Veron tried something different with Argentina's seventh corner (to Nigeria's two)..... but it was headed wide by Mauricio Pochettino.

A minute later, Sorin took a high ball from Ortega on his chest, turned and shot..... only to see his effort tipped over the bar by Shorunmu.

Argentina continued to apply the pressure; Veron's free-kick on the edge of the area, going out for a corner.

Leading Goalscorers 1:0
From the corner, Gabriel Batistuta finally headed in at the far post, with 63 minutes on the clock.

Argentina looked fired up after the goal and Batistuta, with renewed confidence, should have scored his second.

Nigeria gave away too many free-kicks around the area, which should be comforting for David Beckham, but Argentina couldn't capitalise further.

With less than 20 minutes left in the game, Pius Ikedia screamed down the right touchline, playing a quick one-two, and crossed into the area.

Unfortunately, Nigeria's finishing needed to improve to make use of the few openings they did create.

Veron and Batistuta were replaced by Pablo Aimar and Hernan Crespo - the goalscorer later having a bandage applied to his calf.

After having a goal disallowed for offside, Nigeria were in all sorts of confusion in their own area and were lucky to escape conceding a second goal, three minutes from time.

In time added on, Ike Shorunmu made two fine saves from Killy González, to keep the scoreline respectable.

Final Score:
Travel to Argentina Argentina 1 - Travel to Nigeria Nigeria 0

Man of the Match:
Juan Sebastian Veron - His corner created the history-making goal for Batistuta and he proved to be the engine behind most of Argentina's attacking momentum.

Red and Yellow Cards in the 2002 World Cup Yellow Cards:
Walter Samuel (51 mins)
Efe Sodje (74 mins)
Diego Simeone (90 mins)

The Teams

Argentina:
12 Pablo Cavallero; 4 Mauricio Pochettino, 2 Roberto Ayala, 6 Walter Samuel, 8 Javier Zanetti; 14 Diego Simeone, 11 Juan Sebastian Veron (16 Pablo Aimar - 78 mins), 3 Juan Pablo Sorin; 10 Ariel Ortega, 9 Gabriel Batistuta (19 Hernan Crespo - 81 mins), 7 Claudio Lopez (18 - Killy González - 46 mins).

Nigeria:
1 Ike Shorunmu; 3 Celestine Babayaro, 6 Taribo West, 5 Isaac Okoronkwo, 16 Efe Sodje (15 Justice Christopher - 73 mins), 2 Joseph Yobo; 4 Nwankwo Kanu (7 Pius Ikedia - 48 mins), 10 Jay Jay Okocha; 9 Bartholomew Ogbeche, 10 Julius Aghahowa, 11 Garba Lawal.

Referee: Gilles Veissiere Travel to France

Teams by Group

2002 FIFA World Cup matches in Korea
In Korea

Group A
Travel to Denmark Denmark, Travel to France France, Travel to Senegal Senegal, Travel to Uruguay Uruguay.

Group B
Travel to Paraguay Paraguay, Travel to Slovenia Slovenia, Travel to Spain Spain, Travel to South Africa South Africa.

Group C
Travel to Brazil Brazil, Travel to China China, Travel to Costa Rica Costa Rica, Travel to Turkey Turkey.

Group D
Travel to Poland Poland, Travel to Portugal Portugal, Travel to South Korea South Korea, Travel to USA United States.

Korea First Round Matches.

2002 FIFA World Cup matches in Japan
In Japan

Group E
Travel to Cameroon Cameroon, Travel to Germany Germany, Travel to Ireland Republic of Ireland, Travel to Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia.

Group F
Travel to Argentina Argentina, Travel to England England, Travel to Nigeria Nigeria, Travel to Sweden Sweden.

Group G
Travel to Croatia Croatia, Travel to Ecuador Ecuador, Travel to Italy Italy, Travel to Mexico Mexico.

Group H
Travel to Belgium Belgium, Travel to Japan Japan, Travel to Russia Russia, Travel to Tunisia Tunisia.

Japan First Round Matches.

The Road to the Final

2002 World Cup Finals - Knockout Stage.

Group Tables - Leading Goalscorers.

Soccer Search - Search The Web.

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Group Matches

Friday, May 31
France vs Senegal

Saturday, June 1
Ireland vs Cameroon
Uruguay vs Denmark
Germany vs S. Arabia

Sunda, June 2
Argentina vs Nigeria
Paraguay vs S. Africa
England vs Sweden
Spain vs Slovenia

Monday, June 3
Croatia vs Mexico
Brazil vs Turkey
Italy vs Ecuador

Tuesday, June 4
China vs Costa Rica
Japan vs Belgium
S. Korea vs Poland

Wednesday, June 5
Russia vs Tunisia
USA vs Portugal
Germany vs Ireland

Thursday, June 6
Denmark vs Senegal
Cameroon vs S. Arabia
France vs Uruguay

Friday, June 7
Sweden vs Nigeria
Spain vs Paraguay
Argentina vs England

Saturday, June 8
S. Africa vs Slovenia
Italy vs Croatia
Brazil vs China

Sunday, June 9
Mexico vs Ecuador
Costa Rica vs Turkey
Japan vs Russia

Monday, June 10
South Korea vs USA
Tunisia vs Belgium
Portugal vs Poland

Tuesday, June 11
Denmark vs France
Senegal vs Uruguay
Cameroon vs Germany
S. Arabia vs Ireland

Wednesday, June 12
Sweden vs Argentina
Nigeria vs England
South Africa vs Spain
Slovenia vs Paraguay

Thursday, June 13
Costa Rica vs Brazil
Turkey vs China
Mexico vs Italy
Ecuador vs Croatia

Friday, June 14
Tunisia vs Japan
Belgium vs Russia
Portugal vs S. Korea
Poland vs USA

World Cup Finals

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Second Round

The last 16 continued on the Road to Yokohama, with four games in South Korea and four games in Japan.

Group A winner and runner-up went to Japan.

Group B winner and runner-up stayed in Korea.

Group C winner and runner-up went to Japan.

Group D winner and runner-up stayed in Korea.

Group E winner and runner-up went to Korea.

Group F winner and runner-up stayed in Japan.

Group G winner and runner-up went to Korea.

Group H winner and runner-up stayed in Japan.

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