Mexico		3	2	1	0	4	2	7
Italy		3	1	1	1	4	3	4
Croatia		3	1	0	2	2	3	3
Ecuador		3	1	0	2	2	4	3

Qualify For The Second Round

13 JUNE 2002

Borgetti 35					Del Piero 85

Italy were left cursing another linesman as once again they had a legitimate
goal disallowed for offside. Totti missed an open goal after receiving a rare
pass from Inzaghi. Mexico took the lead following a fantastic passing move
in which they pulled Italy apart, Blanco with the final pass to Borgetti who
turned and sent an amazing flick header over Buffon. Zambrotta should have
equalised but shot wide from a Vieri pass. 

A heavy first touch gave Perez chance to close down Inzaghi after Totti had
played him in. Buffon came to Italy's rescue again following another sublime
attack by Mexico. A lethargic looking Vieri should have done better after
Totti presented him with a gift. Montella, who came on for Inzaghi, blazed
over the bar but laid on the equaliser, for fellow substitute Del Piero, with a
brilliant first time cross on the turn, Del Piero got in front of Vieri to head Italy

Mexico played the better football but Italy created more chances. Italy better
start putting them away.

"There was a lot of pressure. I was very happy to have got a draw from a
very hard game. It was a very important goal." - Giovanni Trapattoni

"We are not very happy with the result, because we really wanted to get the
victory. We worked so hard that we deserved the win. We didn't care about
who is going to be the next opponent. We just really wanted to win the
match." - Cuauhtemoc Blanco

Assists : Blanco, Montella

Mendez 48

Porozo cleared off the line after Boksic attempted to chip Cevallos from an
absolutely glorious 60yd pass from Rapaic.

Delgado helped on a cross from De La Cruz and Mendez cracked a first time
shot inside the post via a deflection off Simic. Vugrinec volleyed over the bar,
Aguinaga cleared off the line.

A poor match between two desperately mediocre teams.

"I think today we've shown something much better than the other times.
Maybe it's coming a little bit better right now, and that's the reason why
we have this result today." - Dario Gomez

"It is true that our back line of defence drew back to the goal so the midfield
followed. The plan from the beginning was to play at least 30 metres in front
of the goal because we knew the strongest point of the Ecuadorian team was
their short passing game. I don't know what happened, but they just withdrew
back in front of the goal." - Mirko Jozic

Assist : Delgado

9 JUNE 2002

Borgetti 28					Delgado 5
Torrado 57

Delgado gave Ecuador a dream straight with a superb header from a
De La Cruz cross. Borgetti equalised with a superb volley from a fantastic
Morales cross. Torrado crashed a left foot shot inside the post. I believe it
was the first goal scored in this World Cup from outside the box, discounting
free kicks. Borgetti went close to scoring a second. Mexico survived a late
Ecuador fight back. Perez made a fabulous save with his feet from Tenorio
and Ayovi came within inches of equalising.

"The team worked very hard. It was a good match, a serious match. It was
what we'd hoped for, but it did turn into an uphill battle." - Javier Aguirre

"I think we were pretty much equal in the first few minutes but then it fell
down somewhat after that." - Hernan Dario Gomez

Assists : De La Cruz, Morales, Rodriguez

8 JUNE 2002

Vieri 55						Olic 73
						Rapaic 76

Doni almost punished sloppy defending by Robert Kovac deep in his own box
but Pletikosa saved with his feet. Materazzi came on for the injured Nesta
and was quickly called into action, clearing off the line after Buffon parried
Vugrinec's shot. Zambrotta brilliantly flicked on Doni's cross and Vieri headed
in at the far post but the goal was inexplicably ruled out for offside. Terrible
decision. However Vieri scored shortly thereafter, he rose above Simunic to
head Doni's excellent cross over Pletikosa. Totti picked out Vieri with a
perfect 60yd pass deep from his own half but Tomas, one of the few players
who can physically match-up to Vieri, closed him down and forced him to
shoot wide. Great defending. Croatia equalised from a counter attack.
Niko Kovac sent a glorious diagonal pass to Jarni, Panucci failed to close him
down and he whipped the ball into the box and Olic poked past Buffon.
Excellent finish. Rapaic, used to tormenting Italian defences after his time
in Serie A with Perugia, ran onto a pass down the right flank and played
the ball between Materazzi's legs, ran past Maldini and tried to pick out a
team-mate at the far post, Cannavaro headed the ball out, Niko Kovac sent
back into the box, Rapaic pulled it down with his left foot shot in off
Materazzi. Totti curled a free kick against the inside of a post. Inzaghi had
a goal ruled out for a foul on a defender. 

The Italians may live to regret not putting Ecuador to the sword in their
opening match.

"It was a good game with three goals, which could have been four. We
controlled the game and I think we at least deserved a draw. I think that
one of the two goals or maybe even both our goals that were not given,
were OK. I think a draw would have been a good result." - Giovanni Trapattoni

"We started with full strength as we knew we had to play so-called die-hard
football against the tough Italians. I'm very glad that my players played just
the way I'd asked them to, and I think that only a great team can lift up their
spirits after being 0-1 against Italy to make a draw and then lead at the end
of the game." - Mirko Jozic

Assists : Doni, Jarni

3 JUNE 2002

						Blanco 60 (Pen)

Zivkovic was sent off for bringing down Blanco in the box. Blanco blasted the
ball past Pletikosa.

Red Card : Zivkovic 60 (Croatia)
Assist : Blanco (won penalty)

Croatia vs Mexico

"We have a win in the first match but that is not enough to make me
satisfied. Now we must win the next matches and that's why we're here."
Javier Aguirre

"We never underestimated the Mexican team. The distribution and control of
the ball was really bad and the midfield was quite disorganised and in
addition the Mexican goalkeeper was excellent today." - Mirko Jozic

Vieri 7, 27

Panucci launched a long ball up to Totti, he pulled it back to the edge of the
box and Vieri hit a fantastic left foot shot past Cevallos. Totti forced Cevallos
into a great save from a dipping 30yd half volley. Di Biagio hit a 60yd pass
from his own defence up to Vieri, Cevallos saved his initial shot but was
helpless on the rebound. Doni volleyed against the crossbar from a corner.
Ecuador's best chance came late in the match. An Ecuador player tried his
luck from 20yds, the ball hit Delgado, the Italian defence stood appealing
for offside as Delgado hit a fierce low shot at goal but Buffon denied him
with a World Class save.

Assist : Totti

Italy vs Ecuador

"It was better than expected. I have been working with players who have had
different injury problems and from the result and the manner of the victory
tonight, I am very, very satisfied with them." - Giovanni Trapattoni

"It's tough to come to the World Cup first like this and play Italy off the bat.
We certainly paid the price in those first few minutes of the game. We were a
little bit nervous getting used to being out on the field. We weren't quite
ready for that yet." - Hernan Dario Gomez