14 June 1998
ARGENTINA 1-0 JAPAN
Batistuta scored the only goal, a fortunate deflection off Nanami from Simeones
though ball left him unmarked in front of goal for an easy finish. The Japanese
approach play was at times superb but the Argentineans physical defending near
goal left no way through. Ortega as awful for Argentina, Veron had a good match
but surprising that the Argentineans didnt take advantage of their superior
height with more crosses into the box. A laboured performance from Argentina,
they need to utilise their pace on the wings and vary the attacks i.e. not play so
much through the middle.
Attendance : 33,400
CROATIA 3-1 JAMAICA
Stanic 26 Earle 68
Terrible defending from a corner left Stanic with a tap-in after Simics shot came
back off the crossbar. Jamaica equalised on the stroke of half time, Earle headed
in Gardners super cross. Crotia regained the lead from a free kick, Asanovic
touched the ball to Prosinecki who ran towards goal and scored from an acute
angle, similar to Hagis goal against Colombia back in 1994, awesome goal.
Sukers deflected shot done justice to the scoreline. Croatia were incredible in
attack but the defending was Sunday league standard, as bad as the Jamaicans
and the non pressing in midfield underlined criticisms that the team is lazy.
Attendance : 42,000
20 June 1998
CROATIA 1-0 JAPAN
Awful defending from Asanovics cross left Suker unmarked in the box and he
squeezed his shot into the near post.
Stanic had a treacherous first half, missing two glorious chances and wasted two
passes with team-mates free in front of goal. Suker scored after several misses.
The Japanese looked decent in defence and worked hard in midfield but lack a
World Class goalscorer.
Attendance : 39,500
21 June 1998
ARGENTINA 5-0 JAMAICA
Batistuta 72, 78, 82 (pen)
Ortega 31, 54
Veron played a one-two with Simeone, sprayed the ball to Ortega who lifted
his shot over the keeper. Ortega played a one-two with Lopez, ran into the box
and again lifted the ball over the keeper. Batistuta then grabbed a hat-trick, the
first a trademark whack across goal from just inside the box, assist from Ortega,
the second an easy finish from Simeones through ball and the third from the spot
after Ortega was manhandled in the box.
Despite the scoreline this wasnt a great game of football, Argentina didnt do
anything particularly clever to carve apart the Jamaicans it was just pure awful
defending, Powells dismissal and the 2nd goal knocked the fight out of Jamaica.
Red Card(s) : Powell 46 (Jamaica)
Attendance : 48,000
26 June 1998
ARGENTINA 1-0 CROATIA
Ortegas pass to Pineda took a slight deflection off Simic but Pineda
still managed to control the ball on his chest and cracked a half volley
into the net.
Argentina once again did just enough to win the game but you get the
feeling they can turn it on when they need to.
Attendance : 36,500
JAMAICA 2-1 JAPAN
Whitmore 39, 54 Nakayama 75
Earle headed on a long ball and Whitmore steered a shot into the near
post. Whitmore charged down the wing, cut inside the box and again beat
the keeper at his near post, I can never understand why players dont
come in from wide positions to attack the goal instead of continually
passing to a team-mate of crossing into the box. Soma crossed into the
box, Lopez headed across goal and Nakayama bundled the ball into the net
off his thigh.
Attendance : 44,000