7 July 1998

Ronaldo 45						Kluivert 86

Brazil win 4-2 on penalties
Penalty Shootout
Brazil : Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Emerson, Dunga
Holland : Frank de Boer, Bergkamp, Cocu (miss), Ronald de Boer (miss)

Ronaldo gave Brazil the lead seconds after the restart, he ran onto a through ball
as the Dutch defence were caught napping, I think it was Rivaldo with the assist.
Kluivert headed in Ronald De Boer’s cross.

The first half would make a great cure for insomnia. Much as it pains me to say it,
for all of Holland’s possession, Brazil created more goalscoring chances and were it
not for some desperate goalkeeping and awesome defending from Frank de Boer
amongst others, Brazil could have scored 3-4 goals. Kluivert missed tons of chances
including a sitter minutes before equalising and went close to a winner in extra time
when his volley just missed the post. Bergkamp had a terrible game, Roberto
Carlos had his best game of the tournament. Davids was again outstanding. No
surprise to see Ronaldo cause so much havoc given the Dutch insist on playing the
suicide trap.

Attendance : 54,000

Ref Rating : Poor - Started well then awarded free kicks to Brazil for every minor
challenge. Should have booked Ronaldo early in the first half after he lashed out at

8 July 1998

Thuram 46, 69						Suker 45 

An explosive start to the second half with two goals. Suker was left one on one
with Barthez after 24 seconds thanks to a brilliant thorough pass from Asanovic
and a dodgy attempt at the offside trap. Thuram equalised as French TV were just
finishing a replay of the goal, and while on the subject the TV pictures by the
French have been abysmal, anyway Thuram made a run into attack, Boban sent
a hospital pass straight to Djorkaeff he passed to Thuram and 1-1 instant equaliser.
Thuram once again made a run into attack, attempted a one-two with Henry, Jarni
bollocked up the clearance and Thuram shot from the edge of the box into the
bottom left corner.

Like the other semi-final a poor first half and dramatic second. Croatia had more
ideas when attacking but ultimately Boban’s hospital pass changed the course of
the game. The French were inspired, took the lead and then blew numerous
opportunities to kill off Croatia on the counter attack. A nervous last 10 minutes
with some awesome defending by Thuram and Desailly and a great save from
Barthez booking France’s place in the semi-finals. Blanc was sent off for a palm
strike to Bilic’s chin, despite the overacting by Bilic, Blanc had to go given. I would
just like to point out that Djorkaeff has two assists and one goal, Zidane has one
assist. Zidane, best playmaker in the World? Bollocks. I wasn’t convinced during
the past season and I’m still waiting.

Attendance : 76,000
Red Card(s) : Blanc 74 (France)

Ref Rating : Excellent, some would say the sending off was harsh but judging by
the FIFA directive he was 100% correct.

Third Place Play-Off

11 July 1998

Prosinecki 12						Zenden 20 
Suker 35

With Holland defending so high up the pitch, Croatia blasted through their defence
on the counter attack. Suker passed to Jarni on the half way line, Jarni charged
upfield, passed to Prosinecki on the edge of the box and spun around and shot into
the bottom corner. Nice goal. Zenden equalised minutes later, picking the ball up
on the wing, cutting inside and letting rip from just outside the box. A fantastic
frog splash celebration followed, he must watch Pro-Wrestling. Sukerman grabbed
his sixth goal of the tournament finishing off a brilliant passing move initially started
by the hero of France, Bilic, that also involved Boban, Asanovic and an exquisite
first time pass from Prosinecki. Best team goal of the tournament, great shot too,
similar to Jarni’s goal against Germany.

A great game of football for 60 minutes, once Seedorf had a goal disallowed for
offside the Dutch seemed to loose interest. Kluivert was denied on two occasions
by point blank saves from Ladic and the missed an open goal after sending Ladic
on his arse with a dummy. Bergkamp was substituted and had an abysmal game,
I’m sure his hamstring is playing up again. Croatia were content to sit on their lead.
Bilic and Ladic were brilliant, as they have been throughout the tournament.

Attendance : 44,000

Ref Rating : Excellent, let the game flow, although there were no controversial incidents.