P W D L F A PTS
Japan 3 2 1 0 5 2 7
Belgium 3 1 2 0 6 5 5
Russia 3 1 0 2 4 4 3
Tunisia 3 0 1 2 1 5 1
Qualify For The Second Round
14 JUNE 2002
TUNISIA 0-2 JAPAN
Another dire first half from Japan. Morishima gave them the lead early in the
second half by punishing Bouzaine's hospital pass. Morishima headed against
a post. Boumnijel made an excellent save from another header but was beaten
by a third as Nakata somehow managed to head Ichikawa's cross under his
legs. Zitouni went close with two spectacular efforts - an overhead kick and
a snapshot volley against the crossbar.
"In the first half we felt there was a certain Japanese domination, not only
in their physical approach but in their build-up. However, they did not create
many clear chances. In the second half, we conceded a goal at a crucial time
and it was difficult to bounce back. In the end we conceded a second goal as
well." - Amma Souayah
"It's the culmination of many years of work, of the whole process. I started my
time here in Japan in Osaka, and we played against an African team. Today
we qualified against an African team and as someone who's worked for so
long in Africa it's a very special moment for me personally, as well as for
the team." - Philippe Troussier
Assist : Ichikawa
BELGIUM 3-2 RUSSIA
Walem 7 Beschastnykh 52
Sonck 78 Sytchev 88
Kim Moron Neilsen, the worst referee in the World, was up to his old tricks.
Wilmots appeared to flatten Solomatin with an elbow on the edge of the
Russian box so Neilsen gave BELGIUM a free kick. What's up with that? Walem
scored with an outstanding free kick. Beschastnykh tapped in after De Vlieger
saved from Sytchev. Sonck headed Belgium back in front from a corner.
Wilmots put Belgium into round two with a deflected effort from the edge of
the box. Sytchev, the Russian Michael Owen, finished off an excellent
triangle move but the Belgians held on.
"It's great to have beaten Russia to qualify for the next round. I feel very
happy about our result. In a football match you can never follow a pre-set
scenario. This time we were lucky that one of our substitutes, Wesley Sonck,
went on at the right time and managed to score a very important goal."
"We were very nervous throughout the game and this is all we could produce
today. I congratulate Belgium and wish them the very best for their future
games." - Oleg Romantsev
Assists : Wilmots (won free kick), Walem (corner), Alenichev
10 JUNE 2002
TUNISIA 1-1 BELGIUM
Bouzaiene 17 Wilmots 13
Strupar headed down Van Der Heyden's cross and Wilmots volleyed past
Boumnijel. As Ben Achour was fouled 20yds from goal Badra smashed
a stunning shot right into the top corner but the ref had already blown.
Seconds later he scored a valid goal by curling a free kick up and over the.
For the second successive match Goor missed a sitter. Ghodhbane hit a
sweet right foot volley which just flew wide of the post. Would have been
goal of the tournament. Boumnije made a great save from Goor. De Vlieger
repeated the trick at the other end from another explosive Ghodhbane strike.
Tunisia played some outstanding football, certainly better than anything
their Group H rivals have served up. Tunsia need to defeat Japan by two
clear goals in the final match to go through. Belgium need to beat Russia.
"I’m generally satisfied. The players showed great spirit, great character and
also great technique in parts. It was a relatively balanced match but on the
whole I thought we had slightly the better of it." - Ammar Souayah
"I'm not really happy with today's game. The thought in our camp before
today's game was that we were playing Tunisia and it would be an easy
game but as we saw today it was not like that. I would also like to say
that the Tunisian team played well today." - Robert Waseige
Assists : Strupar, Ben Achour (won free kick)
9 JUNE 2002
JAPAN 1-0 RUSSIA
Nakata wasted the best, in fact only chance in a dreadful first half when he
blazed over the bar after Nigmatullin punched out a cross. A rare moment
of quality gave Japan their first ever victory in the World Cup finals.
Yanasigawa flicked on Toda's pass, Inamoto controlled the ball with his
left foot then curled it into the roof of the net with his right, excellent
finish. Beschastnykh ran onto Titov's header, rounded Narazaki yet
somehow managed to shoot into the side netting. Miss of the tournament.
Yanasigawa brilliantly controlled a cross filed pass from Nakata but blazed
over from 12yds. Nakata, who improved as the match went on, smashed a
30yd drive against the top of the crossbar.
"We had great pressure on our shoulders tonight but we have seen a very
brilliant game from Japan, especially in this critical second match which we
needed to win." - Philippe Troussier
"Well, the only consolation is that the tournament is going on and we have
another game to play against Belgium. What we do like is that everything is
now in our own hands. We win and we go forward." - Mikhail Gershkovich
Assist : Yanasigawa
5 JUNE 2002
RUSSIA 2-0 TUNISIA
Karpin 64 (pen)
A defensive mix-up between Kovtun and Nikiforov almost gave the Tunisians
the lead, they got in each others way when attempting to cut out a through
pass the ball deflected wide of the post. Titov went close after a one-two
Karpin on the edge of the box. Ben Achour failed to punish a slack clearance
and it was a defensive mistake at the other end which gave the Russians
the lead, Titov slammed the ball past Boumnijel after a defender weakly
cleared. Sytchev made a meal of half arsed challenged by Jaidi to win a
penalty. Karpin made no mistake.
Assist : Sytchev (won pen)
"In the attack we created some opportunities for ourselves but we didn't use
them, so I'm disappointed with the way we played in our penalty area. The
of the Tunisian team were very high and we played to the first goal. Who
scored the first goal would win the game." - Oleg Romantsev
"We lost because we conceded two silly goals in eight minutes and this was
too much against a very experienced Russian side. After going down 0-2,
it took us some time to regain our composure, but we did it and even created
a few chances." - Ammar Souayah
4 JUNE 2002
JAPAN 2-2 BELGIUM
Suzuki 59 Wilmots 57
Inamoto 68 Van der Heyden 75
The Belgians should have been out of sight by the end of the first half.
Vanderhaeghe headed wide from Peeters cross. Wilmots headed straight at
Narazki as the Japanese again struggled on a cross and Goor shot wide from
Wilmots's overhead kick gave Belgium a deserved lead after farcical defending
from a throw in. Suzuki scored an immediate equaliser as the Belgian defence
went to sleep from Ono's long ball. Ono went close with a free kick. Inamoto
stole a ball in midfield, played a one-two with Alex, skipped a tackle and
smashed past De Vlieger. Van Meir sent a ball over the top as the Japanese
tried to play offside, Van der Heyden ran through and lobbed over Narazki.
Inamoto had a superb goal dissalowed for a 'foul' on Van der Heyden.
Assists : Van Meir, Ono, Van Meir, Alex
"It's the World Cup. Still have two more games. It's football so no one knows
what exactly could happen." - Bora Milutinovic
"I think it was a hard game, a very hard game. We knew the Chinese national
team was strong and very well organised but during the development of the
game we had a chance and made it." - Alexandre Guimares