The choice of Japan and South Korea as the venues for the 2002 World Cup finals broke new ground in two ways. It was the first time that the finals had been held in Asia, and the first time that they'd been shared between two host nations.
It was a bold move by FIFA, and one which clearly reflected the world football governing body's desire to popularise football in areas of the world where the sport wasn't a traditional favourite.
There were World Cup finals debuts for China, Senegal, Slovenia and Ecuador, and Turkey qualified for the first time since 1954. The most surprising absentees were the Netherlands, eliminated after being pushed into third place in their qualifying group by Portugal and the Republic of Ireland. Romania, Colombia, Norway, Hungary, Scotland, Bulgaria and Morocco were among the other nations who'd had great moments at past World Cup finals, but didn't make it to this one. For a while it looked as though Brazil might not qualify, as they struggled in the South American qualifying group. Eventually, though, they claimed the third of the four available automatic qualifying places, finishing behind Argentina and Ecuador.
The run-up to the tournament saw a dramatic sequence of events involving the Republic of Ireland captain Roy Keane. First he was reported to have quit the team following a row with team manager Mick McCarthy. Then it was announced that the two men had resolved their differences. Then they fell out again, and this time Keane was sent home by McCarthy. According to McCarthy, Keane had hurled a stream of expletive-riddled abuse at him during a team meeting.
The Keane affair was such big news in Ireland that Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern offered to act as a mediator to help Keane and McCarthy resolve their differences. But when the remaining players in the Irish squad issued a statement saying that they didn't want Keane to return, the matter was closed. Keane himself would say little about the row afterwards, but did insist that he had no regrets about what he'd done. Steve Staunton took over as the Republic of Ireland captain.
After a week of the tournament, Slovenia's Zlatko Zahovic was sent home by team manager Srecko Katenec. The manager and the star midfielder came to blows after Katenec substituted Zahovic during Slovenia's 3-1 defeat by Spain. During their heated argument, Zahovic reportedly told Katenec: 'I could buy you, I could buy this whole team'. After Zahovic's early departure, Katenec announced that he would resign as Slovenia's manager after the World Cup.
The 2002 World Cup Finals began with one of the biggest shock results in the history of the competition. Senegal, playing their first-ever World Cup finals match, sensationally beat world champions France 1-0. The only goal came in the 30th minute, Papa Bouba Diop prodding the ball home from a sitting position following a goalmouth scramble.
Things soon went from bad to worse for France. In their second Group A game, they were held to a goalless draw by Uruguay after star striker Thierry Henry was sent off. A 2-0 defeat by Denmark in their last group game sealed France's fate. The world champions went out of the Cup without even managing to score a goal. France were the first champions since Brazil in 1966 to have their defence of the Cup ended by elimination in the first round.
Senegal proved that their great start hadn't been a fluke by drawing with Denmark and Uruguay to clinch a place in the second round. Their third match was a true game of two halves: Senegal led 3-0 at half-time against Uruguay, then the South Americans fought back to level at 3-3. But Uruguay couldn't find the fourth goal that might have kept them in the Cup, and so the Senegal story continued.
Most World Cup Finals tournaments have a 'Group of Death' - the first round group with no obviously weak team. In the 2002 World Cup it was Group F, containing Argentina, England, Sweden and Nigeria.
It was the young and relatively inexperienced side who started off proceedings in Group F, against Sweden. After a bright and promising start by England, a corner set-piece saw Sol Campbell slot in a header in the first half. However, England appeared defensively naive as Sweden pressed forward with a much better passing game in the second half. England looked depressingly subdued, booting up long balls from midfield. Then Danny Mills' indecision in defence cost England a goal, leaving the game at 1-1.
Argentina, however, got off to the start that everyone expected. Playing against Nigeria was never going to be easy, as the Africans matched the Argentines' forceful attack. It wasn't until the second half that Argentina cashed in from Gabrel Batistuta's header.
It was then the turn of the Swedes to meet the Nigerians. This made for some lovely open passing play, with Nigeria hitting the woodwork twice. They eventually profited, with Julius Aghahowa scoring with a header and celebrating by backflipping all the way from the goal area to the corner flag. Sweden's reply was swift - a neatly toe-ended strike from Celtic's Henrik Larsson. The second half brought Sweden a penalty, which Larsson duly converted to give Sweden a 2-1 win.
Then came the keenly-anticipated clash between England and Argentina. The rivalry between these two footballing nations runs deep - back to the last time England won the World Cup in 1966. During that tournament, Argentina lost to England. They had not done so again prior to this World Cup.
It was a fiercely contested match, and the yellow cards were soon flying from Pierluigi Collina1. Both teams created chances, but none were converted until Michael Owen made another one of his trademark lightning runs into the box. He was fouled by a featherlight touch from Mauricio Pochettino, and Collina pointed to the spot. With captain David Beckham arrowing the spot kick into the back of the net in the last minute of the first half, England led 1-0.
Come the second half, and chances were firing off all over the place. It seemed that all the England team were desperately defending in the box. Argentina, despite valiant last-gasp efforts from the corner, couldn't break them down. At full time, 1-0 to England.
England now had to at least draw against Nigeria to be certain of qualifying for the knockout stages. There was only one way that England could lose and still go through, and that was if Sweden beat Argentina. In the event, England produced an uninspiring performance, although Nigeria's 19-year old reserve 'keeper Vincent Enyeama made an impressive one-handed save of one of Paul Scholes' bending 25 metre shots. With neither team wanting to take the initiative, the score remained 0-0, but this was enough for England to qualify.
It was now to Sweden that Argentina had to take their game - and both teams had it all to play for. Neither team could afford to lose. Argentina had to win to usurp Sweden and qualify for the knockout stages by virtue of goal difference. Sweden needed only a point to cement their first place position. The first half was full of missed chances. In the second half, Anders Svensson's 25 metre free kick put Sweden in front. Gabrel Batistuta was substituted for Hernan Crespo, and Argentina pushed forcefully forward.
Then came the dramatic equaliser. In the 88th minute, Ortega's penalty was saved, but Crespo slotted it in on the rebound. However, it was all too late. On the referee's final whistle the news that reverberated around the world was that the hot favourites Argentina, like the French team, were on the next plane home.
Italy also had their problems in Group G. They beat Ecuador 2-0, but then lost 2-1 to Croatia after having two goals disallowed for offside. It meant that Italy went into their last group game, against Mexico, needing a win to guarantee themselves a place in the last 16 - and Mexico were top of the group, having already beaten Croatia and Ecuador.
Italy's anxiety increased when Jared Borgetti put Mexico ahead with a great header in the first half. Mexico's well-organised defence frustrated Italy again and again. It took until five minutes from time for substitute Alessandro Del Piero to find a way through and score the equaliser, and the game ended 1-1. Fortunately for Italy, Croatia's surprise 1-0 defeat at the hands of Ecuador meant that the point was enough to put them in the second round, along with group winners Mexico.
Poland versus South Korea was going to be tough for the co-hosts - or so the pundits thought. Instead, Poland's defence crumbled. The South Korean team, buoyed up by their incredibly vocal fans and the knowledge of their stadium being their lucky one,2 sliced through the Polish defence to a 2-0 win, South Korea's first win in the World Cup Finals.
So to Portugal, who many had tipped to win the tournament. Their first game in Group D was against the much-ridiculed United States of America - and within six minutes, Portugal were a goal down. Come the second half, Portugal were 2-0 down. The scoreline seemed to shock the Portuguese into submission. Despite an own goal by the USA's Jeff Agoos, the underdogs remained on top and won 3-2.
South Korea's next match was against those American giant killers, and much sporting animosity existed between the two countries3. Clint Mathis put the US in the lead, but South Korea seemed the better attacking team throughout, despite Lee Eul-Yong's penalty being spectacularly saved, as well as the rebound. With so much pressure from an impressive South Korean side, as well as the partisan crowd, the equaliser was not long in coming. The 78th minute was when it arrived, and the South Korean goal celebration was scathing - Ahn Jung-Hwan doing an impression of speed skating at the corner flag. Neither team could improve on their bounty though, the game finishing at 1-1.
After their shock defeat against the USA, Portugal met Poland. The Poles sank quicker than a soufflé on a cold day in the torrential rain, with Portugal winning 4-0. With only pride to play for in the next match against the USA, the Poles found their form a little too late, taking advantage of the weaknesses in the USA defence to win their swansong match 3-1.
Portugal now needed only to draw to qualify for the second round at South Korea's expense. With the highly partisan crowd providing much intimidation, and the typically speedy play of the South Koreans frustrating the Portuguese, tempers frayed and there were some messy challenges. Portugal lost two men to red cards, and a few of the Portuguese players manhandled the ref in a futile attempt to make him reverse his decisions. In the 70th minute, Park Ji Sung put South Korea ahead against the nine men of Portugal. Despite Portugal's remaining players re-discovering their form in the last 10 minutes, the match ended 1-0 to South Korea, and Portugal found themselves following the other exiting favourites, France and Argentina.
Japan's first match was against Belgium, and the Europeans were favourites to win. After a flat first half, Belgium drew first blood in the second when Marc Wilmots scored in the 57th minute. The vocal Japanese supporters were stunned into silence for a moment, but found their voice when Takayuki Suzuki toe-ended a lob from midfield past the 'keeper. The almost breakneck speed and the attacking play from the Japanese team bore fruit once more, when Arsenal's Junichi Inamoto created a goal out of nothing, shrugging off challenges from three Belgian defenders to bring Japan into the lead. However, they would have to wait a little while longer for their first-ever win in the World Cup Finals. Belgium pulled level in the 75th minute with a goal from Peter van der Heyden, and the match ended 2-2.
Russia went into their match against Tunisia as the favourites. After a first half with no end of chances for both teams but no goals, the Russians scored twice inside five minutes of the second half. The first came when Egor Titov capitalised on a defensive error, the second was a Valery Karpin penalty, and the game ended 2-0 to Russia.
Open play ruled in Japan's second match against Russia, and those who doubted the depth of the Japanese fan-base were silenced when 50,000 vocal Japanese supporters filled a stadium to watch this match... on TV. The teams were evenly matched, with Russia still suffering from their lack of marksmanship despite no end of chances. Juinchi Inamoto put the speedy hosts into the lead with a coolly delivered chip over the 'keeper. Russia came close to equalising but couldn't hit the target, and the match finished with Japan's first-ever win in the World Cup Finals, 1-0.
Meanwhile Belgium met the Tunisians in a match that became largely uneventful after a lively beginning. Belgium struck the first blow in the 13th minute with a goal from Marc Wilmots. Tunisia's Raouf Bouzaiene equalised four minutes later with a free kick from 30 metres out. The score remained level at 1-1 throughout the second half. This meant that Belgium had to win their next match against Russia to remain as the group's runners up. Russia could get away with a draw to go through instead of Belgium. But it wasn't to be. Goals from Johan Walem, Wesley Sonck and Wilmots enabled Belgium to triumph 3-2.
Japan also needed a draw against Tunisia to qualify as winners of the group, and in a packed stadium delivered the goods - nothing in the flat first half, but goals from Hiroaki Morishima and Hidetoshi Nakata in the second, confirming their smooth progress into the knockout stages with a 2-0 win.
Group E opened with a creditable 1-1 draw for the Roy Keane-less Republic of Ireland against African Cup runners-up Cameroon, and the 8-0 demolition of Saudi Arabia by the supposedly under-par Germany. The Saudi team did pick up somewhat in their next game by improving their defence dramatically, but only enough to limit the loss to Cameroon to 1-0.
The Germans took the lead against the Republic of Ireland with a Miroslav Klose header in the 19th minute, but the Irish refused to give up. They finally got their reward in second half stoppage time, Robbie Keane snatched a heartstopping goal in the 92nd minute to leave the final scoreline at 1-1.
For Ireland to qualify for the last 16 on goal difference, they now had to win their match against Saudi Arabia by two goals or more. For a team which had never scored more than one goal in any World Cup Finals, this appeared to be a daunting challenge. However, the nightmare for Saudi Arabia wasn't over. The boys in green didn't disappoint, and qualified as the group runners-up by winning 3-0.
Cameroon versus Germany was a bad-tempered affair, with 16 yellow cards handed out and both teams having a man sent off. However, despite the attacking fare from both sides, Germany prospered and sailed through 2-0 to confirm their status as winners of the group.
Spain became one of only two teams to pick up maximum points in the first round stage, seeing off both Paraguay and Slovenia 3-1 before beating South Africa 3-2 on a day of great drama in Group B. Things looked grim for Paraguay as they reached half-time against Slovenia a goal down and a man down, Carlos Paredes having been sent off. But they staged a storming second-half comeback to win 3-1, and that result proved to just good enough for them to qualify for the second round. They edged out South Africa by virtue of having scored one more goal.
The other team to win all their group games was Brazil, who unsurprisingly dominated Group C - although their first win didn't come easily. They fell behind against Turkey when Hakan Sas scored just before half-time, but Ronaldo equalised five minutes into the second half. A great performance by Turkish 'keeper Rustu Recber then kept Brazil at bay until the 86th minute, when Alpay Ozalan fouled Luizao. The first contact appeared to be outside the penalty area, but the referee awarded a penalty from which Rivaldo scored what proved to be the winner.
However, Brazil's victory was overshadowed by an unsavoury incident involving Rivaldo. Near the end of the game, Hakan Unsal petulantly kicked the ball at Rivaldo as the Brazilian ace waited to take a corner. The ball hit Rivaldo on the knee. He collapsed clutching his face. Unsal, who'd already been booked, was sent off, reducing Turkey to nine men.
Rivaldo was fined by FIFA after he admitted play-acting to get Unsal sent off - but he flatly refused to apologise, pointing out that he'd originally been the victim of Unsal's foul play.
China's World Cup finals debut didn't go well. They were beaten 2-0 by Costa Rica, then 4-0 by Brazil. A late equaliser by Winston Parks earned Costa Rica a 1-1 draw against Turkey, before Brazil and Costa Rica shared seven-goal thriller. Brazil's 5-2 win, and Turkey's 3-0 success against China, meant that the Turks progressed to the last 16 on goal difference.
The first game played in the second round was a tense, defensive encounter between Germany and Paraguay. Chances were few, and one of Paraguay's best efforts came when their famously eccentric goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert performed his party piece of coming forward to try to score from a free kick. But Chilavert's effort went narrowly over, and it looked like the 90 minutes would finish goalless. There were just three minutes to go when Oliver Neuville scored from Bern Schneider's cross, and Germany won 1-0.
Up against Denmark, England pretty well had the job done by half-time. A David Beckham corner was headed home by Rio Ferdinand in the fifth minute, and further damage was done to the Danes two minutes later when their star defender Thomas Helveg was carried off injured.
Michael Owen seized on a cross from Trevor Sinclair to score after 22 minutes, and just before half-time Emile Heskey made it 3-0.
There were no more goals in the second half, and Denmark's day was summed up when a great shot from Kasper Bogelund was inadvertently cleared off the England line by his teammate Jon Dahl Tomasson.
Sweden started strongly against Senegal, and it only took 11 minutes for Henrik Larsson to score with a header following a corner. But Senegal fought back, and Papa Bouba Diop had a 'goal' disallowed for offside after 25 minutes. Then, in the 37th minute, Henri Camara scored a goal that did count, and the scores were level at half-time.
Both sides went close without scoring in a lively second half, and it took a 'golden goal' from Camara in extra time to settle the game. He seized on a back-heeled pass from Pape Thiaw and shot in off the inside of the post, to send Senegal in to the last eight.
The Republic of Ireland faced Spain, and went behind after only eight minutes when Fernando Mendieta slotted a shot past Irish goalkeeper Shay Given. Ireland rarely threatened the Spanish goal and trailed 1-0 at half-time, but improved sharply in the second half with the introduction of attack-minded substitutes Niall Quinn and Kenny Cunningham.
Spain started to play a little more negatively, and conceded a penalty. Ian Harte's tentative attempt was blocked by the 'keeper, and the rebound was booted wide. Despite this, the Irish constantly attacked, their pace frustrating the Spanish and creating numerous chances. However, it was not until the 90th minute that they equalised. Spain conceded another penalty, which Robbie Keane duly converted to make it a last-gasp 1-1.
Going into extra time, the 'golden goal' situation took hold. The rule often produces a horrible 30 minutes where you have two tired teams too scared to make a move, but in this match both teams went forth and attacked. Spain were at a slight disadvantage with a more defensively-minded team against Ireland's constant attack. Even so, despite some shots coming close to the target, neither team were able to score.
Penalties then loomed large for the first time in this tournament. Robbie Keane and Fernando Hierro scored the first two penalties, but then Matt Holland hit the bar with Ireland's second kick, and Baraja put Spain 2-1 up. Remarkably, the next two penalties from each team then failed, with Ireland's David Connolly and Kevin Kilbane both having their shots saved and Spain's Juanfran and Juan Carlos Valeron both missing the target. Steve Finnan managed to make it 2-2 with Ireland's last penalty, but then Gaizka Mendieta scored to put Spain into the quarter-finals and send the trailblazing Irish team home.
The border skirmish between the United States and Mexico was a triumph of tactics and economy of effort for the Americans. Mexico had huge amounts of possession, won nine corners to the Americans' three, and had more shots at goal than the USA team. But the Americans counter-attacked brilliantly, and won the game 2-0 thanks to Brian McBride's eighth-minute strike and Landon Donovan's goal midway through the second half.
It was a fiercely-fought contest between the two neighbouring nations. Ten yellow cards were shown, and Mexico's Rafael Marquez departed from the World Cup shortly before his team-mates thanks to a red card. Mexico dominated the closing stages, but all their efforts were in vain.
Belgium battled hard against Brazil, and appeared to have taken the lead in the 36th minute when Marc Wilmots headed into the net. But a free-kick was given to Brazil for a foul on Roque Junior, and in the second half Brazil took control. Rivaldo gave the Brazilians the lead with a deflected shot half-way through the half, and then Ronaldo scored near the end to give Brazil a 2-0 win.
Japan's bright start and promising ascent through the group stage won them a tie against Turkey. The blistering speed of the Asian side against arguably the best midfield in the world appeared promising on paper. Sadly, it all turned out to be a bit of a damp squib.
After 12 rain-soaked minutes in Miyagi, the Turks went 1-0 up thanks to a goal from Umit Davala. While the Turks had found their rhythm, the Japanese had lost theirs, The match ended 1-0 to Turkey, unceremoniously knocking out the co-hosts.
The other co-hosts, South Korea, were to meet the famous Azzuri of Italy, so it looked like their dream story would end here too. On the other hand, Italy were now favourites in a tournament which had seen other favourites being dumped out of the competition - and one of them had been Portugal, given their marching orders by South Korea.
The 1966 World Cup was a defining moment for both Korea and Italy. Back then, the Azzuri were shocked as the North Korean team knocked them out of the tournament, and Italy subsequently adopted the ultra-defensive catenaccio system of play. The South Koreans of 2002 were hoping for a repeat result, but that was nearly scuppered when the penalty awarded against Christian Panucci for pulling down Seol Ki Hyeon was tentatively taken by Ahn Jung-Hwan and blocked by Gianluigi Buffon. Then, in the 18th minute, Christian Vieri headed a Francesco Totti corner into the back of the net. 1-0 up, the Italians then did what they often do so well. They sat on the narrow lead, and played extremely negatively.
It worked, for a while, with a barrage of South Korean free kicks not penetrating Italy's defence. The Azzuri looked by far the more dangerous team, but they kept wasting chances. A long ball from deep to Vieri opened up the goal, only for the left-footer to stike it with his right and send it into the stands. Totti's beautiful run which sliced through the Korean defence was foiled by his own showmanship - when he could have chipped the into an open goal, he felt he had to beat that one last defender, and failed.
It looked like curtains for South Korea as the seconds ticked down to full time, until a rare defensive error from Panucci gave Seol Ki-Hyeon the chance to score with a header. 1-1, with two minutes to spare. Boosted by the late goal, the South Koreans started extra time in earnest. Italy looked happy to wait for penalties. Then came the strangest free-kick of the match. Whereas most free-kick specialists like to bend the ball around the defensive wall, Hwang Sun-Hong decided to time his shot so that the ball rolled under the wall as the players all jumped in unison, forcing a near-miraculous save from Gianluigi Buffon.
Then came the most controversial moment of the match. Totti fell after a tussle for the ball in the area, and the ref marched up. However, it was not to point to the spot. It was to show Totti a yellow card for diving4. As he'd been cautioned already, a red card followed.
With only ten men, Italy attacked a little more - then a defensive error by Park Ji-Sung as he tried to backheel the ball in his own penalty area seemed like a gift to the Italians. Gennaro Gattuso was not far behind, and would have finished the job, had not Lee Woon-Jae blocked the shot. After 27 minutes of extra time, the fatigue was starting to show on the Italians. Ahn took advantage of the tired Azzuri. A ball from deep was headed past an exhausted Paolo Maldini to hit the back of the net. Another giant of football had been sent home by the co-hosts, the match ending 2-1.
The match was one of the most controversial in a tournament full of controversial matches. There were even protests in the Italian Parliament. However, the Azzuri were still going home.
England faced a daunting task in the quarter-finals, up against both the brilliance of Brazil and the blazing afternoon heat at Shizuoka. Brazil dominated the early exchanges, and David Seaman saved well from Ronaldo. Then, midway through the first half, a defensive blunder gave Michael Owen the chance to score. Lucio made a hash of controlling a long ball from Emile Heskey. The ball fell to Owen, who scored from the edge of the penalty area. England were on top, and they might have gone two up after half an hour, when a looping header from Heskey went just over Brazil's bar.
Then, in first-half stoppage time, Ronaldinho went on a mazy run through the England defence. He reached the penalty area and slipped the ball to Rivaldo, who crashed the ball into the England net to make the half-time score 1-1.
The fifth minute of the second half brought David Seaman's moment of disaster. The England goalkeeper flapped at a long, high, curling free kick from Ronaldinho, and the ball looped over Seaman's head into the net. Ronaldinho had given Brazil a 2-1 lead - but seven minutes later, the scorer disgraced himself. Ronaldinho was sent off for a high, dangerous tackle on Danny Mills.
That should have given England a great chance to fight back. But they looked tired and sluggish in the heat, and couldn't seriously trouble Brazil's ten men. A shot from Mills that was deflected over Brazil's bar was the nearest they came. In the end, Brazil looked worthy winners as they triumphed 2-1.
In the previous round, the United States had managed to win despite being outplayed for much of their game against Mexico. In their quarter-final against Germany, the Americans dominated most of the match and lost.
The main reason for that was an outstanding display by the German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. In the first half of the game, he made two great saves from Landon Donovan and one from Eddie Lewis. But the only goal came when a corner from Christian Ziege was headed home by Michael Ballack.
Five minutes into the second half, the USA might have had a penalty when Kahn pushed Gregg Berhalter's shot towards Torsten Frings, standing on the goal line. The ball clearly hit Frings' arm, but the referee ruled that it was accidental rather than deliberate hand-ball.
The USA continued to attack, and Kahn kept performing brilliantly, pulling off another great save from Donovan. The Americans simply could not find a way past Kahn and his well-organised defence, and Germany won 1-0.
Spain's next opponents were the co-hosts and giant-killers, South Korea. Having almost lost their previous match through overly defensive, negative play, Spain decided to attack a little more against South Korea.
Spanish shots were flying only inches from goal, and South Korea rarely looked threatening in the first half. Then came the first controversy. Spain thought they'd scored in the fifth minute of the second half, but Ruben Baraja's header was disallowed for pushing. On video replay, it wasn't really quite clear who was the culprit, if indeed there was one.
The second half saw the Spanish come out on fire, Juan Carlos Valeron and Joaquin's partnership nearly paying off when the latter's shot from the former's cross hit the side netting in the 72nd minute. However, South Korea had just found their rhythm too, and Lee Chun-Soo's shot was brilliantly saved by Iker Casillas.
Normal time ended with the game still goalless, and extra time began with another controversy. Joaquin's cross was headed into goal by Fernando Morientes. But the assistant referee had his flag raised to signal that, in his opinion, the ball had gone out of play before the cross. TV replays decisively proved that decision to have been wrong.
Undaunted, the Spaniards continued to move forward forcefully. Unfortunately they couldn't take the chances they created, with Gaizka Mendieta slicing a great chance for a 'golden goal' into the stands. Joaquin then got a groin strain, and limping and stretching in between passes, he looked a sorry sight.
At the end of extra time the score remained 0-0, and the game went to a penalty shoot-out. The first seven kicks were converted, to put South Korea ahead 4-3. Then the injured Joaquin limped up to take a tame-looking penalty which was saved, albeit with the 'keeper straying some distance from the line. When Hong Myung-Bo scored for South Korea, the co-hosts were through to the semi-finals. South Korea had left another favourite by the wayside, winning 5-3 on penalties.
Like Italy, Spain were not going to leave the pitch quietly, with some players lunging at the match officals in order to try to give them a taste of the rough justice that they felt they had encountered.
Spanish manager Antonio Camacho was furious about the way all the key refereeing decisions had gone against his team,5 and he wasn't the only one unhappy about the quality of the match officials in the tournament. Speculation about a possible 'conspiracy' to favour the host nations started to appear in newspapers. Finally, FIFA admitted that important mistakes had been made.
The two most surprising quarter-finalists, Turkey and Senegal, met in a scrappy match in Osaka. Senegal's Henri Camara had a goal disallowed for offside in the 19th minute. At the other end, Hakan Sukur missed a couple of good first-half chances. Just before half-time, Omar Daf cleared a Yildiray Basturk header off Senegal's goal line. Turkey had the best of the second half, but chances were few. The best chance fell to Senegal in stoppage time, but Turkish goalkeeper Recber Rustu saved well from Camara.
Normal time ended with the score 0-0, so the match went into extra time. It took Turkey just four minutes of the extra period to score the 'golden goal' that took them through, and it was a worthy winner. Umit Davala crossed from the right, and substitute Ilhan Mansiz struck a superb half-volley into the far side of the net from the edge of the goal area. Senegal's hopes of becoming the first African nation to reach the World Cup semi-finals were dashed, and the Turks marched on into the last four.
There was a striking contrast between the two teams who met in the semi-final in Seoul. South Korea, who'd recorded their first ever World Cup finals win three weeks previously, were up against Germany, one of the most successful football nations on earth. But history counted for nothing now, and in the early stages South Korea put Germany under pressure.
The German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was soon forced to make a fine save from Lee Chun-Soo, and South Korea often looked dangerous on the break. But as the half went on Germany got on top, and South Korea were defending desperately in the last five minutes before half time. Miroslav Klose almost opened the scoring with a powerful right foot shot that the South Korean defence somehow managed to block.
Germany's dominance continued after the interval, and Marco Bode twice went close with headers. Klose also had another two near-misses. But as the game moved into its last quarter, South Korea had a strong spell. Michael Ballack was forced into a foul tackle on the edge of the German penalty area that earned him a yellow card, and meant that he would miss Germany's next match.
Then, in the 75th minute, Ballack scored the goal that meant that the match he'd miss would be the World Cup final. Lee Woon-Jae saved his initial shot, but Ballack reacted quickly to hook home the rebound.
South Korea might have continued their fairy tale with a dramatic late equaliser had Park Ji-Sung not sliced wide a good chance right at the end. But Germany held on to win 1-0, and bring to an end a magnificent adventure for the South Korean 'Red Devils'.
In the other semi-final, the samba-shuffling Brazil were to meet a team familiar to them from the recent past. Turkey, who had lost 2-1 to Brazil in the group stage, were hoping to turn the tables on the favourites. Brazil were missing plucky midfielder Ronaldinho through his red-carding in the quarter-final against England.
Turkey made a promising start. Both teams were chipping and charging, with the Turkish short-passing play setting up a chance for Alpay Ozalan in the 20th minute, which the Brazilian keeper Marcos found tough to handle.
The partnership between Ronaldo and Rivaldo soon fired up, and the Turkish goalkeeper Rustu Recber did well to save a series of quickfire shots from Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Edilson.
Unfortunately for the Turks, he couldn't hold out forever. Four minutes after half-time, a creative twist and turn from Ronaldo pulled him away from his marker. The Brazilian surprised the 'keeper with a snap shot from 15 yards and with hardly any power behind it. Recber dived to block it, but only managed to help the ball into the net as he got a hand to it. This was Ronaldo's sixth goal in six games, bumping him to the top of the tournament scoring chart.
As the second half went on, Brazil could have made their lead more comfortable. Luizao went close with a spectacular overhead kick that just cleared the Turkish bar. Then Turkey fought back bravely in the closing stages, and Marcos had to save well from Ilhan Mansiz and Bakan Sukur. But at the final whistle, Brazil had beaten Turkey 1-0, and set up what would be a dramatic showdown in the final against Germany.
Third Place Play-Off
The World Cup third place play-off is often something of a non-event, but the presence of South Korea and their hordes of fervent fans ensured that this tournament's battle for bronze medals wouldn't lack atmosphere. They'd certainly want to end their mostly triumphant campaign on a high. But then, so would the other surprisingly successful side who faced them, Turkey.
The massed home supporters were stunned into silence in the opening minute. Straight from the kick-off, the South Koreans played the ball back to veteran defender Hong Myung-Bo. He hesitated on the ball too long, was dispossessed by Ilhan Umsiz, and Umsiz squared the ball to Hakan Sukur, who scored with ease.
Eight minutes later, the South Koreans levelled in spectacular style when Lee Eul-Yong curled a free kick past Rustu Recber. The Koreans briefly looked to be on top, but then poor defending from the co-hosts let in Ilhan Mansiz to score from eight yards. After a breathless start to the match, Turkey were leading 2-1 with only 13 minutes on the clock.
In the 32nd minute, the Mansiz-Sukur partnership again exposed the weaknesses in the South Korean defence, in a move that ended with Mansiz chipping the ball over Lee Woon-Jae from eight yards. Turkey were well in control, leading 3-1 at half-time.
The second half was comparatively uneventful. South Korea came back into the game, and had a series of near misses. Towards the end of the game, Recber saved well from Lee Chun-Soo and Cha Doo-Ri forced saves from Recber.
Finally, in stoppage time, a shot from Song Chong-Gug was deflected past Recber for a second South Korean goal. But the goal came too late to save the 'Red Devils' from defeat. The game ended 3-2, and the bronze medals went to Turkey.
At the end, the Turkish and South Korean players celebrated together, lining up to applaud the crowd and accept their acclaim. Both teams certainly deserved the great reception they received. Before the tournament, neither side had been given much chance of reaching the last four in the World Cup. Both teams had proved the pundits wrong.
The first-ever meeting between Brazil and Germany in the World Cup finals was a keenly-anticipated contest. In advance of the game, the talk was all about a clash of footballing cultures: the flair, skill and spontaneity of Brazil versus the supposed clinical efficiency and solid defence of Germany. In this tournament, Germany had lived up to the stereotype. They had, after all, conceded only one goal in their previous six matches, and they'd reached the final by means of three consecutive 1-0 wins. Brazil were the clear pre-match favourites to win - but that might have been considered to be a mixed blessing, bearing in mind what had been happening to favourites right from the beginning of the 2002 World Cup finals.
At the start of the final game, Germany looked like another underdog with bite, as they attacked strongly and left the Brazilian defence looking rattled. In the tenth minute, Bernd Schneider caused panic in the Brazilian defence with a low cross that just eluded Miroslav Klose.
But as half-time approached, Brazil began to dominate, and they twice went close just before the break. In the 45th minute, a long-range shot from Kleberson beat Oliver Kahn and rattled the German crossbar. Then, in stoppage time, Ronaldo was left with only Kahn to beat, but the German goalkeeper made a superb save.
Germany took the game to Brazil again at the start of the second half, and had two near misses in the first five minutes after the restart. First a powerful Jens Jeremies header was blocked by the outstretched boot of Edmilson. Soon afterwards, a tremendous Oliver Neuville free kick from 30 metres was matched by a stunning save from Marcos, who just managed to turn the shot on to the post.
Then, midway through the second half, Brazil took the lead - and the source of the goal was cruelly ironic. Oliver Kahn's outstanding performances throughout the tournament had been formally recognised before the final when Kahn was presented with the Yashin Award,6 officially naming him the outstanding goalkeeper of the tournament. But in the 67th minute, Rivaldo fired an optimistic low shot from 25 metres straight at Kahn. It should have been a routine save for the German goalkeeper, but somehow he let the ball squirm out of his arms. Ronaldo, following up in the hope of just such a blunder, had only to tap the ball home from close range.
12 minutes later, Ronaldo doubled Brazil's lead and his own personal goal tally. Kleberson raced down the right flank and sent over a cross. Rivaldo dummied brilliantly and let the ball roll to Ronaldo, who fired into the bottom corner of the net.
Germany tried to rally in the closing stages, and substitute Oliver Bierhoff forced a fine one-handed save from Marcos, but it was all in vain. Brazil won 2-0, in a collective victory for the team and a personal triumph for Ronaldo. He was substituted shortly before the end, and could be seen shedding tears of joy on the sidelines as the final whistle sounded. Cafu was presented with the World Cup, and Brazil were world champions for the fifth time.
By appearing in the 2002 final, Brazilian captain Cafu beceme the first man ever to take part in three World Cup final matches. He had previously appeared as a substitute in the 1994 final against Italy in the United States, and played the whole 90 minutes as France scored a home victory against Brazil in the 1998 final.
Given the arrogance and egotism of many sportsmen, there was something very refreshing about the frankness of the Chinese World Cup squad. They issued a statement apologising for their poor performances - before the tournament began.
The statement said: 'We worry that because of insufficient experience and skills, we might not be able to obtain results that satisfy the public and we might disappoint and upset the public. We can't deny that in the World Cup, we are a new army and a weak team. Insufficient skills and experience means we are destined not to go too far.'
They were right, too. They lost all three of the games they played in the tournament without scoring a single goal.
The first round encounter between Argentina and Sweden contained a surreal moment when Argentina had a player sent off, but were still left with 11 men on the pitch. Argentina substitute Claudio Caniggia was commenting on the referee's performance in a robustly critical fashion from the bench, and was shown the red card. Despite the assistant manager's attempt to fool the ref by sending one of the coaching staff into the changing rooms, Caniggia was eventually sent off.
Hakan Sukur's goal for Turkey against South Korea in the third place play-off match was scored 11 seconds after the kick-off, making it the fastest goal ever scored in the World Cup finals.
For The Record
|United States of America||3||1||1||1||5||6||4|
|Republic of Ireland||3||1||2||0||5||2||5|
Germany 1 : 0 Paraguay
England 3 : 0 Denmark
Senegal 2 : 1 Sweden
(Senegal won in extra time on golden goal rule)
Spain 1 : 1 Republic of Ireland after extra time
(Spain won 3-2 on penalties)
United States of America 2 : 0 Mexico
Brazil 2 : 0 Belgium
Turkey 1 : 0 Japan
South Korea 2 : 1 Italy
(South Korea won in extra time on golden goal rule)
Brazil 2 : 1 England
Germany 1 : 0 United States of America
South Korea 0 : 0 Spain after extra time
(South Korea won 5-3 on penalties)
Turkey 1 : 0 Senegal
(Turkey won in extra time on golden goal rule)
Germany 1 : 0 South Korea
Brazil 1 : 0 Turkey
Third Place Play-Off
Turkey 3 : 2 South Korea
Brazil 2 : 0 GermanyTournament Top Goalscorer:
Ronaldo (Brazil) - 8 goals
5Camacho evidently felt that he'd had enough of international football management after his experiences at the 2002 World Cup. He resigned from the Spain manager's job shortly after the tournament ended.6Named in tribute to Lev Yashin, the great Russian goalkeeper who starred in the World Cup from 1958-1966.