Injuries & Suspensions
-- Sin Bin
-- Leading Goalscorers
| Senegal Lead From The Back
Friday May 31st,
Seoul -- (0-1)
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
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
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
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.
-- GOAL -- 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.
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
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.
France 0 -- Senegal 1
-- Add Your Comments
Player 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.
Emmanuel Petit (45 mins)
First yellow card of the tournament, for a rough chalenge on El Hadji Diouf.
Aliou Cisse (51 mins)
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
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 (United Arab Emirates)
Previous 16 Opening Games:
France 98 -- Brasil vs Scotland
USA 94 -- Germany vs Bolivia (1-0)
Italia 90 -- Cameroon vs Argentina
Mexico 86 -- Italy vs Bulgaria (1-1)
Spain 82 -- Belgiun vs Argentina
Argentina 78 -- West Germany vs
West Germany 74 -- Brazil vs
Mexico 70 -- Mexico vs Soviet Union
England 66 -- England vs Uruguay
Chile 62 -- Chile vs Switzerland
Sweden 58 -- Sweden vs Mexico (3-0)
Switzerland 54 -- Yugoslavia vs
Brazil 1950 -- Brazil vs Mexico
France 1938 -- Germany vs
Italy 1934 -- Germany vs Belgiu (5-2)
Uruguay 1930 -- France vs Mexico
The last 16 continue on the road to
Yokohama, with four games in South Korea and
four games in Japan.