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The World United Through Football Friday May 31st, 2002

Travel to France France vs Travel to Senegal Senegal in Seoul (0:1)

Senegal Lead From The Back

After four years of waiting, the 2002 World Cup finally kicked off in Seoul, with World and European Champions France taking on newcomers Senegal.

Senegal lined up for their first World Cup finals match with a very defensive outlook, while the defending champions offered plenty of attacking options.

On paper it looked like the makings of a stalemate.

With Thierry Henry, Sylvain Wiltord, David Trezeguet up front and Youri Djorkaeff - in for the injured Zidane - orchestrating behind them, Senegal needed a strong rearguard most of the time. Even Tony Sylva came to the edge of his area to head away danger on a number of occasions.

Senegal kicked the tournament off and earned an early free-kick. Fabien Barthez, who has proved far from reliable for Manchester United this season, had his first touch of the ball and seemed to look upfield for applause from his team-mates..... he actually held the ball.

Senegal didn't take long to show how they intended to play this game..... dampen France's firepower and strike on the counter.

As early as the 6th minute, El Hadji Diouf was already behind the French defence. France looked slow to read the danger and seemed to believe that their strikeforce would outweigh their defensive slowness of foot.

As much as Thierry Henry on the left and Sylvain Wiltord on the right searched forward, they couldn't provide the ammunition for David Trezeguet..... or rather Trezeguet couldn't find the space he needed.

While Youri Djorkaeff tried equally hard to create something from midfield and Emmanuel Petit wasted his corners, the French showed that they clearly missed Zinedine Zidane.

Maybe France could have gone ahead on a few occasions, if Tony Sylva hadn't been so alert to every danger.

Quite frankly, France can only blame themselves for this defeat. They couldn't deal with the pace of El Hadji Diouf, who had already been called offside a couple of times, and paid for it in the 30th minute.

Leading Goalscorers 0:1
The troublesome El Hadji Diouf wriggled his way behind Frank Leboeuf, on the left, and crossed into the middle of the French area. As the ball bobbled, between Emmanuel Petit and Fabien Barthez, Pape Bouba Diop - sitting on the floor - hooked the ball into an empty net..... to give the African newcomers the lead against France.

France tried to regain their compusure but Senegal closed them down and frustrated them in their search for space to be creative. Thierry Henry likes to run at goal and not into a wall of defenders.

Youri Djorkaeff offered hope with a direct free-kick in the 38th minute but Tony Sylva was equal to it, getting down well to collect the ball before it could pass between him and his left post.

The tactic of packing the defence and getting long-balls up to Diouf worked well. The French defence were caught flat-footed on numerous occassions and their forwards lacked spark.

Red and Yellow Cards in the 2002 World Cup
The first yellow card of the tournament was given to France's Emmanuel Petit, for a rough chalenge on El Hadji Diouf, just before the break.

Half-time: France 0 - Senegal 1

France didn't come out in the second-half with much of a different approach, instead we were treated to a nice drum-rhythm in the background from the Senegal fans; who were understandably happy to be in front against the World Champions.

Youri Djorkaeff was replaced by Christophe Dugarry on the hour but it did little to add inspiration to their game.

Khalilou Fadiga struck the French crossbar in the 65th minute, to sound a warning that they were very much looking for a second goal, and a minute later Thierry Henry turned and dropped a curling shot on the bar as well.

With ten minutes left, France tried to add some fresh legs to the equation.... Sylvain Wiltord making way for Djibril Cisse.

But it was not be. Senegal survived the final onslaught and the whole of French West Africa shared in their delight.

Congratulations to Senegal for beating the World and European Champions in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup.

Final Score:
Travel to France France 0 - Travel to Senegal Senegal 1

Man of the Match:
Tony Sylva - The Senegal goalkeeper helped his country to create the biggest opening day upset since Cameroon beat Argentina 1-0, in Italia 90.

Argentina recovered from this defeat and went on to reach the Final, so it's not all over for France..... but the day belongs to Senegal, who led from the back.

Red and Yellow Cards in the 2002 World Cup Yellow Cards:
Emmanuel Petit (45 mins)
Aliou Cisse (51 mins)

The Teams

France:
16 Fabien Barthez; 15 Lilian Thuram, 8 Marcel Desailly, 18 Frank Leboeuf, 3 Bixente Lizarazu; 4 Patrick Vieira, 17 Emmanuel Petit, 6 Youri Djorkaeff (21 Christophe Dugarry - 60 mins); 11 Sylvain Wiltord (9 Djibril Cisse - 81 mins), 20 David Trezeguet, 12 Thierry Henry.

Senegal:
1 Tony Sylva; 2 Oumar Daf, 4 Pape Malick Diop, 13 Lamine Diatta, 6 Aliou Cisse, 17 Ferdinand Coly; 10 Khalilou Fadiga, 15 Salif Diao, 19 Pape Bouba Diop, 14 Moussa N'Diaye; 11 El Hadji Diouf.

Referee: Ali Bujsaim Travel to United Arab Emirates

Previous World Cup Opening Games

France 98 - Brasil vs Scotland (2:1)
USA 94 - Germany vs Bolivia (1:0)
Italia 90 - Cameroon vs Argentina (1:0)
Mexico 86 - Italy vs Bulgaria (1:1)
Spain 82 - Belgiun vs Argentina (1:0)
Argentina 78 - West Germany vs Poland (0:0)
West Germany 74 - Brazil vs Yugoslavia (0:0)
Mexico 70 - Mexico vs Soviet Union (0:0)
England 66 - England vs Uruguay (0:0)
Chile 62 - Chile vs Switzerland (3:1)
Sweden 58 - Sweden vs Mexico (3:0)
Switzerland 54 - Yugoslavia vs France (1:0)
Brazil 1950 - Brazil vs Mexico (4:0)
France 1938 - Germany vs Switzerland (1:1)
Italy 1934 - Germany vs Belgium (5:2)
Uruguay 1930 - France vs Mexico (4:1)

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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