Posters  | Videos       Games  |  Soccer Mags      Books  |  New! Products 

                                                                    Other Soccer News...

June 11, 2002


France become the first defending champions since Brazil in 1966 to fail to advance to the second round of the FIFA World Cup™ as they fell to a convincing Danish side 2-0 in Incheon, Korea. Having won Group A, Denmark will take on the runner-up from Group F, while Senegal end up second in the group and will face the winner of the "Group of Death."

The Danes got an early goal from Dennis Rommedahl and added an insurance tally from Jon Dahl Tomasson in the second half. Playing five in midfield, Denmark stymied the typical French passing style in the first half and defended in numbers in the second. The French were unfortunate though as they hit the woodwork twice and went close many times.

Only needing a draw to go through, Denmark came out looking to frustrate France in midfield, and they did good work toward that end early on with some fine marking in midfield.

David Trezeguet had the first chance for the French. His marker fell after Sylvain Wiltord fed him a pass on the edge of the penalty area, but Trezeguet’s shot from an angle was saved by Thomas Sorensen.

The Danes put the French in a desperate situation when Dennis Rommedahl opened the scoring. The PSV Eindhoven forward received a pass from the right and with his first touch put a perfect shot past Fabien Barthez and into the far-side netting (1:0, 22’).

Trezeguet again had a chance to score France’s first goal of this final phase when Christophe Dugarry served a perfect cross from the left. The Juventus man struck a good downward header to the lower-left corner, but Sorensen made a fine save (30’).

Then it was Zinedine Zidane’s turn to go close. From 35 metres, he tried to catch Sorensen off his line with a dipping, curling shot, but it went just high and wide to the right (38’).

France attacked with enthusiasm until the end of the half, but the Danes never seemed to miss a tackle, and whenever a French attacker did manage to put a shot on goal, Sorensen was always on hand to make the save.

Marcel Desailly nearly had a goal for France soon after the start of the second half when he struck a powerful header off a Zidane corner kick but was forced to watch it bounce off the crossbar (51’).

France knew that they needed more than just one goal, as a draw would do them no good, and they threw more and more men forward. Several times they did good work in the build-up, only to see the Denmark defenders converge on the ball just before the French could shoot.

France’s last hopes finally sunk when Denmark scored their second goal. Thomas Gravesen played a low cross from the left to Tomasson, whose eyes lit up when he saw his marker stumble and fall and the ball roll sweetly to him eight metres from goal, from where he had no trouble placing his shot past Barthez (2:0, 67’). It was Tomasson’s fourth goal of the tournament.

France, to their credit, did not give up after the second goal. Djibril Cisse and Wiltord each fired shots right at Sorensen, and then destiny seemed to announced loudly that it was plainly against France when Trezeguet had his shot hit the underside of the crossbar and bounce down centimetres in front of the goal line (74’).


The Early Cup Years  1930 thru 1998 (DVD) - Excellent!

        Click Here

        Click Here

       Click Here

       Click Here