Ruud Doevendans has been an official columnist for a Dutch club and owns one of the largest
collections of soccer videos containing hundreds of World Cup matches. We at PWC are proud to have him as
a columnist. He will share his views about the past, present and future of
the World Cup.
Read earlier columns
The World Cup 2002 as I would like it to be
Friday, May 31
In an entertaining match, Senegal make it hard on the French. Passes from
Zidane and Lizarazu enable David Trezeguet to score twice in the second
half, and France take this one 2-0. But it has hardly convinced. Fabien
Barthez has to make two fine saves to deny Senegal a goal.
Saturday, June 1
In Niigata, Ireland and Cameroon play a hard fought match that ends 1-1.
Mboma gives Cameroon the lead, but Matt Holland saves the day for Mick
McCarthy’s men. Another important match is the clash between Uruguay and
Denmark. It is a tense fight without too much good soccer. Dennis Rommedahl
wins it for Denmark when he beats Fabian Carini with a low drive. Germany
start the World Cup with a sound 2-0 victory over minnow Saudi Arabia. The
first goal is a freak one, when a Michael Ballack shot hits the post and
Mohammed Al-Deayea’s back to go in. Five minutes from time Miroslav Klose
ensures the German win. Libero Jens Nowotny picks up an injury that will
keep him out of the tournament.
Sunday, June 2
The first day with four games. It’s a disappointing day, looking at the
level of play. England take the lead against Sweden when Owen flicks in a
Beckham cross. The England captain has remarkably recovered from a broken
bone is his left foot. Surprisingly Sweden can counter and halfway through
the second period, Marcus Allbäck levels. England can’t find their game, and
it ends 1-1. Paraguay beat a toothless South Africa in Busan. Chilavert
stand-in Tavarelli hardly touches the ball. Santa Cruz and a header from
Ayala ease Paraguay to a 2-0 score. Argentina start the World Cup with a 4-1
hammer over Nigeria, far from it’s best. Crespo and Claudio Lopez score
before half-time, with Nigeria – who have Taribo West sent off – coming back
just after it with an Aghahowa goal. Two more goals scored by youngster
Javier Saviola give Argentina three points and the lead in group F. Spain
leave it late against a very defensive Slovenia. Raul wins the game: 1-0.
Monday, June 3
The day where big guns Brazil and Italy start their campaign. But first
Croatia and Mexico play a fine match in Niigata. Old warhorse Suker and
Mario Stanic bring the Europeans 2-0 in front, before Borgetti scores for
Mexico. But it is too little, too late for Aguirre’s men. Brazil have their
troubles with an enthusiastic Turkey team. Ronaldo scores the first, Arif
levels after half-time but an Emerson hammer from 25 metres beats Rüstü for
the winner. Italy can not convince against Ecuador. Delgado heads the
South-Americans in front, and Inzaghi can only level 10 minutes from time.
They have to settle for a draw.
Tuesday, June 4
Before host nations Japan and South Korea play their first game, China and
Costa Rica finish at 2-2. China twice take the lead with goals from
Bundesliga-striker Xie Hui and an own goal from Parks. Costa Rica fight
back, and Walter Centeno and Paolo Wanchope score the equalizers. Before a
screaming audience, Japan get the better of Belgium. Shinji Ono beats Geert
De Vlieger before Marc Wilmots, a four World Cups veteran, puts one back.
Nishizawa makes the day for Japan when he fires in the 2-1 from close range
after a Clement mistake. South Korea take it for example and beat a
disappointing Poland by the same score. Two goals from Hwang Sun-Hong make
Poland a chanceless team. Only Michal Zewlakow can beat outstanding Korean
Wednesday, June 5
Tunisia have Badra sent off early for a professional foul on Karpin. Russia
take advantage and Vladimir Beschastnykh opens the count. Aleksandr
Mostovoi, the best player on the field, scores from a free kick and when
Chokri el-Ouaer fumbles Karpin’s shot, Beschastnykh is there again to score
his second on the night. The United States start with much convidence but
Pauleta beats Kasey Keller after 30 minutes to earn the lead for Portugal.
The US can not threaten, lack quality, and Figo kills off their hopes by
heading in the second, before substitute Nuno Gomes makes it three. In
Ibaraki Germany and Ireland are the first two teams to play their second
game. The winner is certain to go through to the second round and … the
Irish surprise mighty Germany when Damian Duff secures the win. He runs onto
a Steve Staunton pass and shoots in behind Kahn.
Thursday, June 6
France convincingly beat Uruguay 3-1. Zidane puts on the show and scores a
goal, France’s second after a first half goal from Thierry Henry that has
levelled the score. Richard Morales has scored for Uruguay, who see captain
Paolo Montero sent off. Sylvain Wiltord is on the scoreboard for the third
goal. In group F Cameroon confirm their chances against Saudi Arabia. Samuel
Eto’o becomes his team’s hero by smashing in all three goals. Only a Sami
Al-Jaber spotkick earns a consolation for the Arabians. Senegal keep Denmark
at bay. Diop even gives the Africans the lead, but Jon Dahl Tomasson earns
Morten Olsen’s men a point.
Friday, June 7
The World Cup is one week old and before the greatest hit of the first
round, between Argentina and England, is played, we see Sweden-Nigeria and
Spain-Paraguay. Sweden and Nigeria play to the first goalless draw, and
never seem to be able to score. Paraguay hold on and yes, Chilavert is the
first goalkeeper to score in a World Cup. After Tristan has given Spain the
lead, the flamboyant goalie beats his counterpart Canizares from the spot.
Paul Scholes scores after only three minutes against Argentina. Walter
Samuel equalizes before the break. Both teams are very satisfied with a
point each, and this disappointing match ends 1-1.
Saturday, June 8
South Africa and Slovenia can not score. Italy have to show their real face
against Croatia that has a two point advantage. A win is needed for
Trappatoni’s men. Vieri does the job. He deflects a Di Biagio shot into the
corner, out of reach for goalkeeper Pavlovic. Brazil has no troubles at all
beating unexperienced China. Rivaldo converts a penalty, Ronaldo takes his
personal tally to two before being substituted, and China veteran captain
Fan Zhiyi beat his own goalkeeper with an awkward backpass.
Sunday, June 9
Mexico do better than Italy against Ecuador. They beat them 2-0. Alberto
Garcia Aspe beats Cevallos from the spot to open the count. De Nigris scores
the second. Turkey win their first point after a Hakan Sükür equalizer
against an entertaining Costa Rica, who have opened the scoring by Wanchope.
Russia choose to defend against home nation Japan, and both teams share the
points, 0-0. It leaves them with four points each and good chances of
qualifying for round 2.
Monday, June 10
South Korea hope they can continue their success against the United States.
And when they take the lead early through Lee Chun-Soo, everything seems to
be going their way. But right before half-time, Ernie Stewarts blasts the
ball into the top corner. After the break neither team can threaten. Belgium
suffer against Tunisia. They can not make the play and need a late distance
shot by Walter Baseggio to win the game. The match against Portugal is a
do-or-die situation for Poland. First, Rui Costa and Figo outclass the
sticky Polish defense, for Pauleta to score the opener. But Pawel
Kryszalowicz beats Ricardo, who lets the ball slip through his legs: 1-1,
and that’s the way it ends.
Tuesday, June 11
France is through to the second round and play their second choice for the
game against Denmark, that needs a point to secure their place among the
last 16. Speedy Dennis Rommedahl puts Danish Dynamite in front, Sylvain
Wiltord scores his second of the tournament to level. At the same time,
Senegal play for their last chance against a lacklustre Uruguay side. The
Africans score twice in a three minute spell, by newly crowned African
Footballer of the Year El-Hadj Diouf and Moussa Ndiaye, before Guigou can
put one back. But both are out of the competition. In group E there is still
everything to play for, for both Germany, Ireland and Cameroon. The Irish
win the group by beating Saudi Arabia. Kevin Kilbane and Roy Keane win the
points for them. Germany need a win against Cameroon. Before the break
everything seems clear for the favourites, as Michael Ballack heads them in
front and Oliver Bierhoff meets a Bernd Schneider cross to add a second. Ten
minutes from time Solomon Olembe narrows the margin, but Germany hold on and
find themselves back in round 2.
Wednesday, June 12
Neither of the four participants is without a chance yet in group F, but
Nigeria need a win against England. At half-time the game is still
scoreless, but after that Paul Scholes and Emile Heskey score: 2-0. Sweden
take on the Argentinians, for whom a draw will do. The blue-white take the
lead through Ariel Ortega, before Henke Larsson equalizes. With Sweden
taking all risks at the end, a superb counter is finished by Juan Veron.
Argentina and England are through. In group B Spain have no problems at all
beating South-Africa. Mendieta volleys the first behind Hans Vonk, Morientes
and substitute Joaquin take the score to 3-0. Slovenia need to beat
Paraguay, but this match ends 0-0. Slovenia has no quality strikers and
Zahovic is kept quiet by the sound Paraguayan defense. The South-Americans
advance to the last 16, together with Spain.
Thursday, June 13
Brazil field an almost fully changed side against Costa Rica. It doesn’t
harm them. Luizao scores twice, Djalminha adds a spotkick and only
Wanchope – scorer of three goals in the competition – can do something back.
Brazil, of course, simply to the second round. The other place is disputed
by Turkey and China. China desperately need victory, Turkey can rely on
drawing but it doesn’t come to that. Bastürk Yildirim earns the win for the
Turks. Italy can not beat Mexico in group G, but the draw is enough to
advance to the second round. The 1-1 is already reached at half-time,
Borgetti and Vieri the scorers. Croatia defeat Ecuador at the same time by a
breakaway-goal from Alen Boksic. The former Yugoslavians can still hope to
surprise again, just like four years before. They top group G.
Friday, June 14
Japan can reach the second round when they can draw against poor Tunisia
that already has been eliminated. Before an overwhelming crowd, captain
Ryozu Morioka and star Hidetoshi Nakata lead Japan to a 2-0 win. In the
other match in this group, Russia need to draw against Belgium to advance.
Vladimir Beschastnykh, he again, puts them in front and although Eric Van
Meir scores the equalizing goal, like four years before Belgium have to
leave the tournament after the groupstages. Portugal beat home team South
Korea with another fine Figo performance. He scores the second goal after
Pauleta has headed Portugal in front. A deflected Hong Myung-Bo free-kick
earns some late pride for the Koreans, but this one goes to Portugal. Still
both sides reach the last 16, since Poland only beats the USA 1-0 thanks to
a Emmanuel Olisadebe goal. Not enough for Poland, who would have needed a
win by a 2 goal margin. A late Juskowiak goal is disallowed because of
Saturday, June 15
The first day of the knock-out stages. Ireland and Paraguay meet in
Seogwipo. It is a dramatic fight from the first until the last minute. And
that last minute only comes after two hours football. Ireland and Paraguay
draw 1-1. Damian Duff gives the Green Army the lead as he beats Chilavert
with a header from close range. José Cardozo equalizes late in the second
half. As it comes to penalties, Chilavert is the dark horse. All five
Irishmen score from the spot, and the goalie blasts his effort, Paraguay’s
fifth, against the bar. Ireland advance to the last 8 and match their
success twelve years earlier in Italy. A big match-up is the game between
France and England. Sad that these two great teams already meet in the
second round. A Marcel Desailly rocket beats David Seaman from 25 metres,
but England won’t give up. When Thuram fouls Owen, Beckham steps up and
converts the penalty. With time running out, Zinedine Zidane proves his
great qualities, outdribbles Gerrard and Campbell and flicks the ball
between Seaman’s legs into the net: 2-1 for France, they go through.
Sunday, June 16
Argentina take on brave Denmark and take the lead through Batistuta, who
plays for injured Crespo. Denmark show a fresh style of play but Tomasson
misses a penalty which German Burgos saves. Batistuta heads in a second
before Grönkjaer can put one back. In the end Juan Veron finds Claudio Lopez
who puts the game beyond doubt. Spain and Germany fight a European classic.
Both goalkeepers, Canizares for the Spaniards and Kahn for Germany, do a
magnificent job and it’s going straight into extra time when Raul plays a
neat pass to Tristan, who hammers it in. Spain beat Germany 1-0, Linke and
Juanfran are sent off. Germany out of the World Cup again, at an early time.
Since their 1990 triumph, they have never exceeded past the last 8.
Monday, June 17
Can South-Korea play against an experienced Croatia team? Yes, they can.
Their enormous spirit makes up for the qualities that Croatia has. After
Prosinecki has scored, Korea puts Croatia under an enormous pressure and
Choi Yong-Soo scores the levelling goal. It goes to penalty-kicks, and
surprisingly this is where the Croatians go down. Soldo and Stanic miss
their kicks. South Korea are among the last 8, a never expected success for
Dutch coach Hiddink and his men! Brazil are never in trouble against Russia.
The East-Europeans are immediately behind when goalie Nigmatullin, who has
done well until then, drops a Roberto Carlos free kick and Ronaldo tabs it
in. After the break, Rivaldo scores a second for Brazil, that is well on the
way of reaching their old form.
Tuesday, June 18
Turkey surprise in the match with Japan. Although Nishizawa puts the home
side in front, Turkey level quickly through Alpay. Early in the second half,
Hakan makes it 2-1 after a Kawaguchi mistake. Japan threaten, but Rüstü
Recber, the outstanding Turkish goalie, is equal to all their efforts.
Another great game is that between Portugal and Italy. The Italians haven’t
made it easy on themselves by finishing second in their group, but play a
fine game. Christian Vieri beats Fernando Couto and rounds Vitor Baia, who
has come in for struggling Ricardo. When Francesco Totti dribbles and
centers, Manuel Dimas slides the ball into his own goal for a 2-goal Italian
lead. Only quick winger Sergio Conceicao can score for Portugal, who crash
out of the tournament despite some fine performances.
Friday, June 21
France and Brazil, a fantastic match in Shizuoka in the first quarter final
of this World Cup. It’s David Trezeguet’s match. He heads France in front
after just 8 minutes, and halfway through the second half he’s quicker than
Cafu and gives Dida no chance. Ronaldinho Gaucho gives Brazil new hope,
but – there he is again – Trezeguet finishes his one-man show in style: 3-1.
Ireland advance at the cost of South-Korea. The game stays scoreless for a
long period, but then, in a spell of seven minutes, both sides score once
through Yoon Jung-Hwan and Jason McAteer. In extra-time Ian Harte becomes
Ireland’s hero. He scores the golden goal from a free-kick, Ireland are
semi-finalists for the first time in history.
Saturday, June 22
Spain beat Italy with penalty-kicks. It’s a nervous game with a lot of
yellow cards. Hierro collects his second and is out of the semi-final. Raul
and Montella score in the first half, but after that neither team wants to
take a risk. Italy go out for the 4th straight time with penalty-kicks.
Hierro, Raul, Tristan, Valeron and Mendieta leave Buffon no chance, for
Italy Doni is the only one who can not beat Canizares. Argentina end Turkeys
hope of more sensation. Walter Samuel scores his second of the tournament
from a corner, and 20 minutes into the second half Javier Saviola finishes a
smart and quick move by leaving Rüstü no chance.
Tuesday, June 25
The first semi-final is between Ireland and Spain. The World Cup 2002 will
get one surprise finalist, that much is certain. Ireland do whatever they
can, but the Spanish defense even without Hierro is steady. Morientes, who
has come in for Tristanat 60 minutes, scores in the second half to give
Spain their first place in the final ever. They will have to come out
without Carles Puyol, suspended, and Juan Carlos Valeron, who damaged
knee-ligaments when meeting with Roy Keane.
Wednesday, June 26
France and Argentina play in what many think should have been the final. But
it was clear from the day of the drawing, that this could only be a
semi-final, at the best. It is a superb match, with a lot of emotion.
Argentina take the lead with Simeone’s header from a Veron corner. France
would never give up, and when Vieira sends Henry away, the striker beats
Burgos from close distance: 1-1 at half-time. After the break, France are
the better team, especially when Argentina see Samuel sent off for a second
bookable offence. Vieira brings the world champions in front with a smashing
drive from outside the penaltybox. But 5 minutes from time, Saviola comes to
Argentina’s rescue and scores the equalizer. In extra-time, no goals are
scored although Henry comes close when he rocks the bar. In the
penalty-serie, France make no mistake. Djorkaeff, Henry, Trezeguet, Lizarazu
and Zidane all score. For Argentina, Veron, Ayala, Batistuta and Kily
Gonzalez score. Only Zanetti can’t beat France’s hero Fabien Barthez. The
French go through to the final, their third consecutive final spot in the
last big tournaments.
Saturday, June 29
In the 3rd place play-off, Ireland surprisingly beat Argentina. Ian Harte
brings them in front with a penalty-kick, but in the second half Pablo Aimar
puts one back. Ireland show more eagerness than Argentina, and Robbie Keane
is the matchwinner. Third in a World Cup, an unprecedented performance for a
Sunday, June 30
Final day! Spain and France meet each other in the first all-European final
since 1982 and a repeat of the Euro 1984 final. Spain have Hierro back in
defense, France are without Vieira who has picked up a yellow card that
earns him a suspension for arguably the biggest match in his career. It is a
close match, with a lot of fouls, but referee Pierluigi Collina is doing
well. There are not too many chances to score early on, so they reach
half-time with 0-0. After the break, Raul Gonzalez Blanco immediately breaks
the game open. He sends Tristan away who fires the ball at Barthez. The
goalie can’t hold it and Raul, who has followed, fires it in: 1-0 to Spain.
France scores the equalizer when Trezeguet – topscorer of the tournament -
meets a high Petit center just before Nadal can reach it, to leave Canizares
helpless. With time running out, Spain gain a corner which Mendieta takes.
The ball gets a little deflection from Raul’s head and it is skipper
Fernando Hierro who heads it in at the far post. Spain are the new world
champions. After a difficult start, they eliminated Germany, Italy and
Ireland. In this final, they were the better team. Fernando Hierro lifts the
World Cup and bows out of the Spanish national team, being their all time
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