Ruud Doevendans

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.

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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 goalie Lee.

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 off-side.

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 brave Ireland.

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 topscorer.



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