World Cup Diary: Week Three

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Football star in sunglasses

A brief review of what happened, day by day, between the 13th and 18th of June in the World Cup.

    Thursday 13th June

    Group C

  • Costa Rica 2 (Wanchope 39, Gomez 56) Brazil 5 (Marin own goal 10, Ronaldo 12, Edmilson 38, Rivaldo 63, Junior 64)
  • The awesome Brazilians continue to score for fun, but Costa Rica exposed some gaping defensive frailties which could jeopardize Brazil's tournament. They rested five players for this match, including Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho. The understudies came good. In addition to trademark strikes from superstar duo Ronaldo and Rivaldo, there was an own goal, forced by Ronaldo, a classy finish from Junior, standing in for Roberto Carlos, and a goal of the tournament contender, an overhead kick by Edmilson, standing in for Roque Junior as a central defender. The defensive frailties were exposed though. Costa Rica were unlucky only to score twice, and had pegged Brazil back to 3-2 at one point. Brazil-awesome, fascinating, scintillating, frustrating. Attacking genius, Defensive blunders. The most exciting team left in the World Cup

  • Turkey 3 (Sas 6, Korkmaz 9, Davala 85) China 0
  • Turkey go through to the last 16 ahead of Costa Rica on goal difference with a businesslike victory over the Chinese, who have looked out of their depth throughout the tournament.

    Group G

  • Mexico 1 (Borgetti 34) Italy 1 (Del Piero 85)
  • At half-time, the stylish Italians were going out. Croatia's narrow defeat against Ecuador, mixed with a late equaliser by substitute Alessandro Del Piero (He'd be a starter for ANY team which didn't have Francesco Totti) made sure that Italy (my pre-tournament tip for the cup) avoided joining France and Argentina in the ranks of fallen heroes. They live to fight another day.

  • Ecuador 1 (Mendez 48) Croatia 0
  • Croatia: They beat Italy but they go out at the first stage thanks to a defeat at the hands of little-heralded Ecuador. This world cup is proving to be the most unpredictable in a long time.

    Friday 14th June

    Group D

  • Poland 3 (Olisadabe 3, Kryszalowicz 5, Ma Zewlakow 66) USA 1 (Donavon 83)
  • The enigma that is World Cup 2002 continues. Poland were thoroughly inept against South Korea and Portugal but, once they're out, they destroy the US, Olisadabe starting the rout, the Poles 3-0 up by the time Brad Friedel saved a penalty for the second time in this tournament. Landon Donavon's late consolation could have been the end of the United States World Cup adventure if only Portugal could have avoided defeat against South Korea.

  • South Korea 1 (Park Jin-Sung 70) Portugal 0
  • What was I saying about enigmas? Two Portugese players sent off- Joao Pinto in the first half and Beto in the second. Shortly after Beto's sending-off, Portugal removed their remaining forward Pauleta so they could play for the draw. So naturally South Korean Park Ji-Sung scored minutes later and despite bringing on another forward and throwing everyone (including goalkeeper Vitor Baia) forward for the last few minutes, Portugal couldn't save themselves. Their defeat against the USA came back to haunt them.

    Group H

  • Tunisia 0 Japan 2 (Morishima 48, H Nakata 75)
  • Japan go through as group winners (as did co-hosts South Korea), Hidetoshi Nakata scoring a goal, while Morishima scored the first after coming on for Arsenal's Jun-Ichi Inamoto, who didn't hit form.

  • Belgium 3 (Walem 7, Sonck 78, Wilmots 82) Russia 2 (Beschasynykh 53, Sychev 89)
  • Belgium edge through to face Brazil in the second round, despite Russia putting in a top quality performance, fighting back twice.

Group A
Group B
South Africa31115504
Group C
Costa Rica311156-14
Group D
South Korea321041+37
Group E
Rep Ireland312052+35
Saudi Arabia3003012-120
Group F
Group G
Group H


  • Germany v Paraguay
  • England v Denmark
  • Sweden v Senegal
  • Ireland v Spain
  • USA v Mexico
  • Brazil v Belgium
  • Japan v Turkey
  • South Korea v Italy

    Saturday 15th June

  • Germany 1 (Neuville 88) Paraguay 0
  • Possibly the most boring game of the World Cup to date. Goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert took some more free kicks, but couldn't stop German bit-part player Oliver Neuville two minutes from time.

  • Denmark 0 England 3 (Sorensen own goal 5, Owen 22, Heskey 44)
  • Denmark's least convincing performance of the finals handed a victory to England by half-time. Considering their victories over Uruguay and France, Denmark could have been expected to put in a performance to worry England, but from the start the defence were inept. Rio Ferdinand should have been more tightly marked for his shot, and it was carried over the line by Danish keeper Thomas Sorensen. Michael Owen finally scored his first goal of the world cup, and then his much-derided strike partner Emile Heskey scored his first goal in a World Cup Finals, with more than a little help from Sorensen's bad positioning. England go through but Michael Owen and Paul Scholes were both substituted with niggling injuries, making them a worry for the quarter-final match.

    Sunday 16th June

  • Sweden 1 (Larsson 11) Senegal 2 (H.Camara 37, 104)(AFTER EXTRA TIME)
  • They put France out while also qualifying ahead of Denmark, now Senegal go marching into the Quarter-Finals of their first world cup. They went behind early on to a strike from Henrik Larsson, but Henri Camara's equaliser and golden goal winner ensured Senegal's progression to take on the winners of Japan v Turkey in the Quarter-finals, a wide-open fixture.

  • Spain 1 (Morientes 8) Ireland 1 (Keane penalty 90)(AFTER EXTRA TIME)
  • Ireland were unfortunate to go out to the highly-fancied Spaniards. Fernando Morientes gave Spain an early lead and, after Ian Harte saw his penalty saved by Iker Casillas, Spain removed both Morientes and his strike partner Raul. Veteran defender Fernando Hierro conceded a stoppage-time penalty for blatantly obvious shirt-tugging on Talismanic Irish centre-forward Niall Quinn. With Harte having been substituted, Robbie Keane fired the penalty into the back of the net. A lack of a golden goal led to a nerve-wracking penalty shoot, with only half of the penalties being scored. Robbie Keane scored first for Ireland (1-0), Fernando Hierro also converting (1-1). Matt Holland then hit the bar, followed by Ruben Baraja scoring for Spain (2-1 Spain). David Connolly had his penalty saved, while Juanfran put his wide. Iker Cassillas saved again from Kevin Kilbane, Juan Carlos Valeron hiting the post. Steve Finnan then gave Ireland a glimmer of hope (2-2) only for Gaizka Mendieta to dash those hopes (3-2 Spain).

    Monday 17th June

  • USA 2 (McBride 8, Donavon 65) Mexico 0
  • The United States, much derided in the football media, dispatched neighbours Mexico (conquerers of Italy) with a classy performance to earn a quarter-final clash with Germany. The US undoubtedly deserved their victory as goalkeeper Brad Friedel beat off anything the Mexicans threw at him, strikes from Brian McBride and Landon Donavon securing the victory. The US are in the quarter-finals for the first time since the inaugural World Cup in 1930.

  • Brazil 2 (Rivaldo 67, Ronaldo 87) Belgium 0
  • Brazil were as classy as usual, but some of the passes intended for Ronaldo went awry, while the defence continued to attempt suicide on several occasions. The goals by Ronaldo and Rivaldo made sure the Brazilians went through but Marc Wilmots in particular was very unlucky not to keep Belgium in contention. Brazil face England in the next round, and if they defend like this, Michael Owen and Emile Heskey will be licking their lips.

    Tuesday 18th June

  • Japan 0 Turkey 1 (Umit Davala 12)
  • Co-hosts go out. Turkey will play Senegal in a match which will see one of the two sides go into a World Cup Semi-Final for the first time.

  • South Korea 2 (Seol 88, Ahn 117) Italy 1 (Vieri 18) (AFTER EXTRA TIME)
  • Ahn Jung-Hwan who ironically plays his club football for Perugia in Italy, made up for his fifth minute penalty miss by scoring the golden goal which eliminated the surly arrogant Italians from the World Cup. Italy, easily the more talented of the two sides, took the lead in the 18th minute through Australian-born target man Christian Vieri and then appeared determined to defend their lead for the rest of the match. The Italians belief that they could manage this despite both their first choice central defenders being absent sums up the arrogance of the side, while Francesco Totti's deserved extra-time sending off for diving was deserved, and rattled the Italians even more than Ki-Hyeon Seol's 88th minute equaliser. Seol's equaliser and Ahn's winner were both examples of the fact that while the Giovanni Trappatoni's Italian side was the more talented of the two, the Tactics employed by Guus Hiddink's South Korea led to a deserved win. The world cup just gets weirder.

QUARTER FINAL DRAW (21 and 22 June)

  • England v Brazil
  • USA v Germany
  • South Korea v Spain
  • Senegal v Turkey


  • England or Brazil v Senegal or Turkey (25th June)
  • USA or Germany v South Korea or Spain (26th June)

THIRD/FOURTH PLAY-OFF: Saturday 29th June

WORLD CUP FINAL: Sunday 30th June

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