12 June 1998

Reiper 69 

A terrible match was lifted by Rieper’s header from Brain Laudrup’s cross after
a corner was not cleared. The Saudi’s were abysmal, Denmark tried but were let
down, as expected, by a lack of firepower. Parreira led a dire Brazilian team to
victory 4 years ago via penalty kicks and he’s supposedly a great coach.

Attendance : 38,140

Dugarry 35 
Issa 78 (og)
Henry 91

The technically challenged Dugarry gave the French the lead, heading in Zidane’s
corner. Issa had South Africa’s best chance, heading wide from a corner and then
scored two own goals, Djorkaeff’s shot took a deflection off his outstretched leg
and, as Henri chipped the ‘keeper, Issa tried to stop the ball from crossing the line
but clumsily back heeled the ball against his right foot and into the net. A decent
opening from the French against admittedly terrible opposition. Zidane gave a
good performance but he doesn’t tend to choke until the knockout stages.

Attendance : 60,000

18 June 1998

Nielsen 12						McCarthy 51 

On paper this wasn’t exactly the most glamorous of ties but it turned out to be a
very competitive game. Nielsen scored the first, a volley from Brian Laudrup’s
peach of a cross. South Africa’s equaliser is an early candidate for goal of the
tournament, Moshoeu skipped a few tackles, passed to Bartlett who hit an
outrageous first time back heel to McCarthy who in turn hit sent a first time shot
under Schmeichel’s legs. Beautiful football. With the game set for a dramatic
second half the ref went apeshit. Molnar was dismissed for stamping on Radebe,
admittedly it wasn’t exactly a good challenge but surely not worthy of a red card.
If that decision was harsh the ones that followed were ludicrous, Phiri was in
possession and challenged by Helveg, Phiri brushed off Helveg, the Dane hit the
deck clutching his face and the ref reached for his pocket. Shameful playacting by
Helveg. Weighorst, who had only been on the field for 2 minutes was sent off for
being Danish. For 50 minutes this was a superb game of football.

Red Card(s) : Molnar 66 (Denmark), Phiri 68 (S Africa), Weighorst 84 (Denmark)
Attendance : 33,300

Henry 35, 76 
Trezeguet 67 
Lizarazu 84 

Al-Khilaiwai challenged Lizarazu for the ball, Lizarazu’s pace almost took him clear
but Al-Khilaiwai’s outstretched leg clipped the Frenchman, red card. Lizarazu ran
from the half way line, played a one-two with Zidane and squared for Henry. I hope
Maldini Jr was watching because that’s what he’s supposed to do. Al-Daeya, who
had an excellent match for the Saudi’s in goal, spilled Thuram’s cross and master
choker Trezeguet headed in, at his 6th attempt. Zidane was sent off for a mild
stamp on Amin. France then scored a goal even Norway would be proud of, the
clown Barthez punted the ball upfield and Henry was on hand to punish Khamis
al-Owairan’s hospital pass. Man of the match Lizarazu added a fourth, Pires to
Djorkaeff, back heel, Lizarazu easy finish, beautiful goal.

Lizarazu gave one of the finest displays of full-back play I have ever seen, on a par
with some of Cafu’s World Class performances for Roma this season. Good in
defence and magnificent when making runs into attack. Zidane and Trezeguet once
again showed that they are World Class chokers. Zidane missed two glorious
chances, despite a stunning overall performance and Trezeguet missed 8-9 clear
cut chances. Trezeguet is the biggest choker I have ever seen. The first time I
saw him was in a World Youth Championship match against Brazil in 1997, he
missed 6 easy chances. On his debut for France he had two shots Geoff Thomas
would be proud off (Thomas played for England under Graham Taylor and when
clean throw on goal hit the corner flag). How on earth he managed to score such
a spectacular goal against Man United in the EC is something that still haunts me,
not because I am a Man United fan but because Trezeguet sucks worse than a
cheap whore. After watching Henry in the past I felt that he was brushed off the
ball too easily, and his shooting was too weak in that he didn’t strike the ball hard
enough. I guess as the tournament progresses we’ll find out but so far he’s been

Red Card(s) : Al-Khilaiwai 18 (Saudi Arabia), Zidane 69 (France)
Attendance : 80,000

24 June 1998

Bartlett 18, 93 (pens)					Al-Jaber 45 (pen) 
Al-Thyniyan 73 (pen) 

Issa punted a 40yd ball to Bartlett and the South African ran into the box
and beat the ‘keeper at his neat post, awful marking. Al-Thyniyan took a
dive in the box, Al-Jaber converted from the spot. An ever more ridiculous dive
by Al-Shahrani, again Issa was adjudged to have made the foul, resulted in
a penalty which Al-Thyniyan converted. Another penalty, foul by Sulimani, dive
by Sikhosana, converted by Bartlett.

Shameful diving by the Saudi’s won them a point they scarcely deserved.
Issa has to be the unluckiest player in the tournament, 2 own goals, 
2 penalties conceded and one assist!

Attendance : 35,000

Djorkaeff 13 (pen)					M Laudrup 42 (pen) 
Petit 56 

Trezeguet dived, Djorkaeff converted. Joergensen dived, Michael Laudrup
converted. Petit whacked in a loose ball following a goal mouth scramble.

Shameful, cowardly refereeing from Collina. Diomede and Viera should have
been sent off for two salacious fouls. Trezeguet, as well as being a 
choker, is a diving bastard. France’s B team proved too strong for the

Attendance : 35,000