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France 98 page.
Thu. 25th June:
Belgium v. South Korea
Holland v. Mexico
Germany v. Iran
United States v. Yugoslavia
Belgium had to win this and scored two minutes after the first Dutch goal against Mexico -- Nilis the scorer. (Half-time: 1-0)
The South Koreans sent a lifeboat to the Bay of Mexico with a 71st minute
goal by Yoo.
Mexico were without Pavel Pardo, and for the first 45 minutes looked like it was siesta time already.
In the fourth minute Bergkamp flicked the ball over a Mexican in the centre circle for Cocu to run onto and finish with a low shot past Campos.
A Ramirez shot in the eleventh minute was punched away by Van Der Sar; Blanco's return easily collected.
In the 19th minute Ronald de Boer shook off three defenders and struck in the second for Holland; off the inside of the post. That's how Michael Owen should have done it against Romania.
The Mexicans had gone to sleep, and Campos had to react quickly on the half-hour to prevent a ridiculous goal. A lazy high ball was passed square across the edge off the penalty area, and cut out by a Dutch attempt at a header. Campos was off his line and sprinted back to push the ball wide.
Overmars in the penalty area should have made it three, five minutes before half-time. His cool little chip, over a groveling Campos, curled away from the top right hand corner instead of towards it.
Where was the urgency in Mexico's play? The Dutch were almost walking the ball into them as if they the Mexicans expected South Korea to beat Belgium for them in the other game. (Half-time: 2-0)
The Mexicans didn't look any fresher after the break, until South Korea equalized against Belgium in the 71st minute. Four minutes later a downward header fell to Palaez in the box to get in the decisive touch.
Hernandez sprang into life and crossed high for Pelaez again. Van der Sar fummbled the ball, and the Mexican goalscorer just failed to tuck in an equalizer. There was a buzz in the game at last.
After a Blanco goal was ruled offside, Ramirez was sent off. Hernandez equalized in the 94th minute, but they
can thank South Korea for bringing them back to life.
Germany made sure that they would avoid Holland in the second round with goals from Bierhoff (50 min) and Klinsmann (58 mins).
Bierhoff connected to Thomas Haessler's cross, then set up Klinsmann eight
minutes later when his drive came off the post for the Veteran to follow up on.
Team USA were already out of the competition, but they put their squabbles behind them and came out to attack Yugoslavia.
In the first minute, America hit the woodwork again; enforcing their need for bigger goals.
Yugoslavia took the lead in the fourth minute. Sinisa Mihajlovic's free-kick from over 30 metres was palmed away by Brad Friedel. Komljenovic rounded his defender to head the ball back past the surprised Liverpool reserve.
Stankovic tried to score between the goalkeeper and the post in the 18th minute -- Friedel down well to palm the shot around the post. The corner that followed will be a discussion topic on Rec.Sport.Soccer. Did the ball cross the line?
Friedel was swift to swing the ball out of his goalmouth, but his back obscured by camera angle -- was the Swedish camera there?
America had some good possession and were not to be the cannon-fodder that some commentators predicted. However, the likes of Dooley will have to head the ball a little harder if they are to score from around the penalty spot.
McBride played most of the game with his head bandaged, and on the whole
the Americans were not disgraced.
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