World Champions France, in white, kicked-off from left to
right seeking the victory that would keep them in the 2002 competition.
The game started fast and furious, with a few stiff
challenges from both sides for good measure.
Micoud impressed as early as the seventh minute, with a
weighted ball into the area that Thierry Henry just missed with his head. A minute later
Micoud threaded a ball through for David Trezeguet, who was only inches offside.
Pablo García had the first shot for Uruguay; an easy test
for the eccentric Barthez.
Frank Leboeuf had to withdraw injure in the16th minute and was
replaced by AS Roma's Vincent Candela.
Two minutes later, Barthez was sent the wrong way as Alvaro
Recoba's low drive was deflected by Lilian Thuram. Manchester United's goalkeeper kept
France in the game by stabbing out his foot to keep the ball of his net.
Thierry Henry is unbelievably sent off by the Mexican referee,
in the 25th minute, for a double footed challenge that upended Marcelo Romero, even though
the Frenchman was trying to keep possession.
Recoba's free-kick came to nothing but France would have to
play like World Champions to get through the next hour and get a result from the match.
Ten minutes after the shattering sending-off, a free-kick
from Emmanuel Petit floated just wide of the outstretched Carini in the Uruguayan goal,
and bounced off the edge of the post.
The half ended on a nasty note, as Dario Silva squirmed
around on the floor looking for an Oscar and then studded Patrick Vieira a couple of
minutes later -- without even getting a caution.
Emmanuel Petit and Sebastián Abreu then tussled with each
other, to earn a place in the referee's notebook, and it wasn't long before Marcelo Romero
earned a yellow card as well.
This is Petit's second yellow card in two games, so he will
miss France's next game -- against Denmark.
Half-time: France 0 -- Uruguay 0
Six minutes after the restart, Barthez was down quickly to
make a double save from Alvaro Recoba.
In the next instant, all of France held their breath as the
eccentric goalkeeper came off his line like a sweeper but Recoba beat him to the ball.....
luckily for the World Champions, the Uruguayan could only shoot into the side-netting
instead of the open goal.
A few minutes later Barthez had to stop Recoba again. The
Uruguyan continued to make good use of the extra space but Barthez kept France's hopes
When Dario Silva was replaced in the 51st minute, the crowd
booed him on his way because of his early misconduct.
Credit to France, the World Champions pushed forward to try
and score whenever they could: Micoud, Wiltord, and Trezeguet all having half-chances in
the area. The South Americans played more conservatively, relying on releasing Recoba when
the French looked stretched.
Twenty minutes before the end, Micoud had a great chance to
score from a free-kick on the edge of the area -- punched away by Carini.
With ten minutes to go, France played what looked like their
last card..... the Auxerre goal hunter, Djibril Cisse, coming on for David Trezeguet.
Twice he was released on the left side of the area but
France couldn't take advantage of the minimal space this created. Then Wiltord came close,
after a last-minute push up by Lizarazu.
With 93 minutes on the clock, Roger Lemerre played his
joker and sent on Christophe Dugarry for the disappointing Wiltord. Patrick Vieira then
rose to meet Petit's corner but it was not to be.
France have yet to score -- this is the first 0-0 match in
WC 2002 -- but are still in the tournament.
To qualify for the Second
Round, France now need to beat Denmark, by two goals.
France will be hindered by the suspensions of Petit and
Henry, so will probably need a fit again Zidane to have his scoring boots on.
France 0 -- Uruguay 0