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                                                                    Other Soccer News...

6 June 2002, 17:01 Seoul - Tokyo


A beautiful goal by Senegal, finished coolly by Salif Diao at the end of a perfect counter-attack, gave the surprising Africans a point against Denmark in Daegu, Korea. After the hot-tempered encounter, both teams now sit on four points in Group A, with strong hopes of reaching the second round of the competition.

The Danes had taken the lead through a Jon Dahl Tomasson penalty early in the first half, but could not hold on against a second half Senegalese onslaught. After a sluggish start, Bruno Metsu's men showed all of their class and attacking ability after the break. However, the Europeans defended grittily to come away with a point before facing holders France on 11 June. Senegal take on Uruguay the same day.

Senegal began the game trying to clog up the midfield much as they did against France, but things quickly got ugly when Khalilou Fadiga retaliated for a rough tackle by kicking Thomas Helveg in the knee. Although several players got involved in the confrontation before things were sorted out, the referee, Mr. Carlos Batres, ensured that cooler heads prevailed and only booked Fadiga (10’).

Shortly after, Jon Dahl Tomasson, the two-goal hero from Denmark’s win over Uruguay on 1 June, earned a penalty when he received a throw-in inside the area and was crashed into by a Senegalese defender. Tomasson converted the spot-kick low and to the right of Senegal goalkeeper Tony Sylva (1:0, 15’).

Senegal almost had the equaliser minutes later. Papa Bouba Diop rose to meet a corner kick but his downward header was saved off the goal-line by Jan Heintze. On the ensuing scramble for the rebound, Salif Diao had his shot from 10 metres again saved by Denmark goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen (19’).

Both teams continued to create chances throughout the half, and though both defences looked shaky at times, neither side could take advantage after the early penalty. In Denmark’s case, they were helped by the steadiness of Sorensen. Senegal, however, had some frightening moments as they watched Sylva have trouble containing rebounds.

Senegal came out strong in the second half, creating some quick chances that they failed to capitalize on. Fadiga served a cross into the middle intended for Diop, but Henri Camara stepped in front of his team-mate and could not direct his header on goal (48’).

Senegal got the equaliser after what may have been the most efficient counter-attack of the tournament thus far. Omar Daf started the sequence with a perfect tackle in his own end. The ball moved up the field with a succession of quick diagonal passes, capped off by one from Fadiga to Diao, who ran onto the ball inside the area and finished coolly into the lower-right corner from eight metres with the outside of his right foot (1:1, 52’).

Fadiga had a chance to put the Africans ahead after a pass from Diop set him loose on goal, but Fadiga struck his shot from a tough angle right at Sorensen (59’). Although Senegal had missed several good opportunities, they had Denmark on their heels.

Souleymane Camara would miss Senegal’s next good look at goal. El Hadji Diouf took the ball on a run down the left side and threaded a pass between two defenders to the 19-year-old forward, who had all day to shoot from 12 metres but struck the ball wide of the left post (70’).

Things turned against the Senegalese when Diao, who had already been booked, was sent off for a high tackle on Rene Henriksen (80’). The match became more physical during the final 10 minutes. Emotions ran high, but matters stayed under control as the teams played out the draw.