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World Cup Finals Blog Home: World Cup 2002: Korea-Japan Finals: 1st Round: Match Report

The World United Through Football Tuesday June 4th, 2002

Travel to Japan Japan vs Travel to Belgium Belgium in Saitama (2:2)

Home Boys Match Foreign Men

Can home advantage help Japan against Belgium?

Belgium put out what looked like a defense minded team but there are a host of attacking midfielders on the pitch who have all been known to score. The Japanese fans are at last excited and there's a good atmoshere in the stadium.

Nakata showed his early pace on the left, much to the crowd's immense pleasure.

On another run, the Japanese star received a slight knock but after hobbling a few steps took up his place again to spearhead Japan forward.

The Japanese were proving quite a handful with their attacking speed and the Belgians had to make their own physical presence felt to slow them down - and Peter Van der Heyden went into the book, in the 21st minute, for doing just that.

The best early chance for Belgium came in the 28th minute, when Marc Wilmots headed Bart Goor's cross at Seigo Narazaki, who reacted well to keep the ball out.

Belgium stayed compact throughout the first-half, while the Japanese sent long balls forward and ran into obstructions.

After 45 minutes, it looked like a game of boys against men. Japan really need to be a little more creative or put on some weight, to stop getting nudged off the ball.

Half-time: Japan 0 - Belgium 0

Three minutes after the restart, Marc Wilmots latched onto a header from a throw-in but hooked the ball over Seigo Narazaki and his bar.

Kazuyuki Toda was lucky not to get his second yellow card for a sliding tackle on Gert Verheyen in the 51st minute.

This match has had the most fouls so far, mostly because it's played at such a frantic pace.

Leading Goalscorers 0:1
Marc Wilmots breaks the deadlock with a beautiful overhead kick - 57 mins.

Leading Goalscorers 1:1
Two minutes later Japan's tactics pay off as Takayuki Suzuki, running into the area, gets his foot to Ono's visionary pass from the half-way line.

If the stadium had atmosphere before, it's unbelievable now as Ono shaves the crossbar from a free-kick, shortly after his long ball helped bring Japan level.

Leading Goalscorers 2:1
With 20 minutes still to go, the stadium is like a volcano erupting as Arsenal's Junichi Inamoto runs through three defenders to plant Japan in the lead.

Leading Goalscorers 2:2
Five minutes later Japan's fans are momentarily silenced when Peter Van der Heyden, beating the offside trap on the edge of the area, neatly lobs Seigo Narazaki as he comes off his line.

With a little over five minutes to go, Branko Strupar is brought on to try and restore the lead for Belgium.... but it's Inamoto who shows fantastic skill in the Belgian area to turn two defenders and chip the ball over Geert De Vlieger's diving body - only for the goal to be disallowed.

The first goal, from Marc Wilmots, sparked this game into a frenzy and the action didn't stop. Japan threw everything forward in the closing minutes that Belgium hardly had a chance to catch their breath.

Yes, home advantage.....  What an electrifying game!

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

Man of the Match:
Junichi Inamoto - Showed flashes of great individual skill and was unlucky to get what could have been the winning goal disallowed.

Red and Yellow Cards in the 2002 World Cup Yellow Cards:
Peter Van der Heyden (21 mins)
Kazuyuki Toda (31 mins)
Junichi Inamoto (54 mins)
Gert Verheyen (62 mins)
Jacky Peeters (64 mins)
Eric Van Meir (82 mins)

The Teams

Japan:
12 Seigo Narazaki; 3 Naoki Matsuda, 4 Ryuzo Morioka (17 Tsuneyasu Miyamoto - 72 mins), 16 Koji Nakata; 5 Junichi Inamoto, 7 Hidetoshi Nakata, 18 Shinji Ono (14 Alessandro Santos - 64 mins), 21 Kazuyuki Toda, 22 Daisuke Ichikawa; 11 Takayuki Suzuki (8 Hiroaki Morishima - 71 mins), 13 Atsushi Yanagisawa.

Belgium:
1 Geert De Vlieger; 4 Eric Van Meir, 12 Peter Van der Heyden, 15 Jacky Peeters, 16 Daniel Van Buyten; 6 Timmy Simons, 7 Marc Wilmots, 8 Bart Goor, 10 Johan Walem (9 Wesley Sonck - 71 mins), 11 Gert Verheyen (20 Branko Strupar - 83 mins), 18 Yves Vanderhaeghe.

Referee: William Matt Travel to Costa Rica

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

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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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