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Fri. 3rd July:
Les Bleus were les blancs aujhord'hui, with Zidane back after suspension to breathe down on Pagliuca early.
Laurent Blanc tried to push up again, but Djorkaeff couldn't find a way through the final line of Azzurri; Guivarc'h attempted a blast from further out.
Italian moves were few and far between in the first half, with Del Piero and Vieri unable to find cause to sit down together in celebration once more.
Plenty of niggling fouls and wishful thinking, but the inconsistency of the refereeing in this tournament is ludicrous, and the level of overacting to get players in the notebook equal to it. (Half-time: 0-0).
Football has lost its atmosphere as only high society can afford the prices of the people's sport.
Guivarc'h did an Alan Shearer on Cannavaro, and Moriero -- who knows all about dirty play -- tried to get the Frenchman sent off. For a bit of extra effect, Cannavaro went off to get a face mask applied.
Barthez came out of his area to clear from Vieri, and sent the ball upfield for an Italian goal-kick. It was that sort of game.
Henry and Trezeguet came on to spice up the match around twenty minutes into the second half. Henry came a little too close with a curler towards the top left hand corner of the Italian goal, and Cesare Maldini introduced Roberto Baggio for Del Piero.
Again Henry and Trezeguet worked well together, and the French rose from their seats to sing a chorus or two. That was about it, even Cesare Maldini seemed too calm -- a ten man England side played better than both of these teams put together.
So the game went into extra-time. Maldini could only lose by one goal; great tactic. The Italians had saved their energy, Canavarro took of his mask, and the real match began. Why not just play the first to score three goals?
Roberto Baggio sliced a good chance across the face of the French goal in the first period of extra-time.
Djorkaeff slammed the ball against Pagliuca's legs near the
end of the second period of extra-time.
And then the penalities:
Jorgensen scored the fastest goal in this World Cup to give Denmark the lead against Brazil in the second minute.
In the eleventh minute, Ronaldo sent Bebeto through to score his third goal of the tournament.
Brazil were back in the game, and pushing for the second. Roberto Carlos stormed down the left wing in the 20th minute, and somersaulted over a sliding Helveg. The Dane was booked, even though there was no contact.
Brian Laudrup was lucky not to get a card when he slammed into Ronaldo's ankle; the Brazilians didn't even get a free-kick?
In the 27th minute, Ronaldo had Bebeto and Rivaldo in front of him, chose the number 10 this time, and Rivaldo made no mistake. The Danes had lost their formation, Brazil were causing havoc.
To all the French fans who thought that their 120 minutes of statemate with Italy was an achievement and spent the evening celebrating Di Biagio's penalty kick against the cross-bar, I sincerely hope that you recorded this match.
The Danes showed equal glimpses of flair in their attempt to get back on equal terms. This is football, me thinks. Peter Moller had a tremendous chance to level the score in the thirty-fifth minute, but caught the ball under his foot instead of on the instep. By the time he recovered, the Brazilian defence were back and pushed him out wider.
A minute or so later, Aldair received a yellow card for showing his judo skills on the very edge of the Brazilian area. (Half-time: 2-1).
Six minutes after the restart, Roberto Carlos tried to clear out of the area with an overhead-kick. He missed, and the ball fell to Brian Laudrup with plenty of time to line up up his shot into the roof of the net.
On the hour, Rivaldo stunned Peter Schmeichel with a grass-cutting shot from outside the area, and through his defence. Three-two, Brazil.
Denmark had an excellent chance to level the score again 13 minutes from the end. Smart interchanging in the Brazilian area saw the ball passed from Sand (on for Moller) to Helveg on his right, and from Helveg back into Rieper; corner.
Rieper again; headed onto the bar in the last minutes.
Credit to Denmark for attacking Brazil, but the World Champions are too fluid and play a football worthy of the trophy this year too.
(Final Score: 3-2)
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