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World Cup 2002 Korea Japan Special: All matches chronological
 > World Cup 2002 Korea Japan Special Index

In this document you can browse through the tournament in chronological succession.

#1-#16 (1st group matches)
> #17-#32 (2nd group matches)
> #33-#48 (3rd group matches)
> #49-#64 (knock out rounds)

France - Senegal  0:1
1st half
-('1) Senegal start with a nice free kick idea, intercepted by Barthez
-('3) Senegal have started well, but now France win the first challenges and launch a first attack
-('6) El Hadj Diouf breaks through on the right hand side, makes a backpass from the ground line and Fadiga puts Barthez to a first test with the outside of his foot
-the match has shifted into the expected position now: all players are in the Senegalese half, the Senegalese play with a very careful basic formation, the Senegalese intercept the ball and try long balls on El Hadj Diouf who is alone upfront
-('14) El Hadj Diouf, agent provocatuer par excellance wins one of his free kicks, but it has no effect
-('17) characteristic scene: Senegal close gaps in their half, intercept the ball, and llaunch a promising counter attack which is stopped by offside
-El Hadj Diouf takes chances at the verge of offside, he is speculationg that once he might be just once onside and through
-('20) Suddenly a chance for France as the ball is quickly played back into attack: Sylva (the Senegalese keeper) comes out just in time
-('23) France become dangerous because a through ball is played into attack where Henry and Trezeguet are one on one against the defenders, Trezeguet fires and hits the goalpost
-almost the patient approach of FRance has already paid off
-('26) El Hadj Diouf Diouf wins his second free kick within two minutes, but the cross is directly on Barthez
-('28) another offside situation with Diouf almost through
-('29) Sylva intercepts a long ball by head outside his penalty area
-('30) Diouf brakes through on the left hand side against LeBoeuf makes a pass in front of the goal where Bouba Diop is running into the penalty area. Petit reaches the ball first but cannot clear properly. The ball bounces on Barthez body, rolls to the feet of Diop who scores into the empty goal - 0:1
-France mount pressure now on the Senegalese who see more defensive action
-('37) another close offside for Diouf, but France answer right away: the attacks of the Europeans become more and more dangerous
-('38) Sylva saves a Djorkaeff free kick
-('39) Trezeguet is stoped in the last moment, the counter is stopped by a small foul against - El Hadj Diouf
-('42) Djorkaeff fires across the bar
-('43) Sylva saves against Wiltord
-('44) Diouf seems to win a free kick but does not get it

halftime 0:1
Senegal very effective in stopping a fluent French game and launching fast counter attacks

2nd half
-('49) Senegal captain Cisse loses the ball in front of the penalty area, causes a dangerous free kick situation which France cannot exploit
-('51) Cissé, who has his weaknesses, sees a yellow card after having already committed several fouls in the match
-('55) Thuram marches down the right flank, his cross finds Trezeguet for a dangerous header which goes wide
-('56) Senegalese expose their defense and France should have profited from having the defenders outnumbered on the counter attack
-('57) two great saves by Sylva against a shot and a header as France suddenly spots holes in the Senegalese defence
-('60) France: Dugarry in for Djorkaeff
-Senegal are under heavy pressure now, can they keep up concentration? Maybe they need a second goal to win.
-('62) 9th offside for Diouf
-('65) Fadiga on the counter attack, suddenly fires from half left. The ball touches the crossbar and goes over the bar
-('66) France: Henry displays his class when he curves a shot ourt of nothing onto the second corner from 20 meters. Like on the other side before the ball touches the crossbar and goes over the goal for a kick off.
-France are working out several corners while Senegal hardly is able to launch counter attacks, sometimes due to inaccurate passing, maybe a first sign of tiredness as Senegal have worked very hard and intensive (75 minutes played)
-('78) Diop, one-two with Fadiga, fires far wide
-('79) France with a nice though attack but unlucky with the bounce of the ball
-Senegal play very well in one to one challenges
-('81) France: Djibril Cissé in for Wiltord, wins a free kick right away, the cross gets well defended like so many
-('82) One of the inumerous France corners finds the head of Trezeguet but his header is harmless
-('83) Diouf almost dangerous on one of the rare counter attacks
-('84) another half dangerous corner for France
-('85) The ball suddenly falls to the feet of LeBBoeuf who has a free lane to the goal from 18 meters but fires directly into the arms of Sylva
-('90) Sylva with a great save against Henry
-('90+2) another good opportunity for France, corner,  and another save by Sylva

final score 0:1
Senegal beat an unispired France (was it patience that did not pay off or tiredness after a long season in which many players have won a lot?) by hard and concentrated work 1:0, in an Italian style defensive fashion. 
Since the 0:0 qualifier at Morocco The Shot has promised you that this team is world level. Now everybody knows it.

day 2
Cameroon - Ireland 1:1 

1st half
-Cameroon with Mboma in white shirts with added black sleeves, red shorts and white stockings, Ireland in their primary colours (green-white-green) and with a considerable number of their fans in the crowd. The weather conditions are 'best for football'
-('5) Ireland have the better start. They attack aggressively when Cameroon is in possession of the ball and have yet successfully interupted the attempts of the Africans
-('7) A brutal challenge by Holland aagains Foé. He plays the ball but in the same time hits the Lyon midfield star hard. No card.
-the Cameroon passing is yet inaccurate
-('10) First goal scene for Cameroon but Ireland keeper Given reaches the long cross before Lauren
-now a passage where Cameroon have control and Ireland have drawn back into their half to defend. Ireland try to surprise Cameroon with long balls into attack and midfielders follow up early. They seem to speculate on a lack of defensive discipline by the Cameroonian midfielders but apparently the Africans are very concentrated now.
-('18) Cameroon keeper Alioum parries a sudden long distance strike by Robbie Keane with some difficulties. 
-Robbie Keane, not related to Roy Keane, who has been sent home, is the brightest talent of Irish football, in his beginning twenties, now attacker for Leeds United
-('18) On the counter attack Eto'o breaks through but keeper Given, one of the best in Europe, wins the one on one situation against the Real Mallorca attacker.
-('22) an indirectly played Irish corner surprises Cameroon and Keane gets an almost unchallenged golden header opportunity - just wide. The usually calm Alioum is angry.
-it is also a match of brilliant goalkeepers, both have played their parts in their teams successes
-the match has shifted back in favor of the Irish, it seems completely open
-('29) Again the Irish win a header after a corner (goes wide)
-('32) Eto'o grabs the opportunity and tries a lob from close angle, just wide.
-('33) Two Cameroonian defenders, Tschato and Kalla, collide with their heads, the match has to be interrupted
-('35) Foé unleashes a rocket from 25 meters, over the bar
-('37) Cameroon with two dangerous attacks eventually denied by the Irish defence
-('38) Mboma goes down in the penalty area after a wrestling match off the ball but it is too difficult for the referee to judge what has happened
-('39) Eto'o breaks through on the right hand side (not the first time he wins one on one against the defenders), makes a pass back from the ground line to Mboma in front of the goal, he scores into the second corner - 1:0
-('42) Mboma, even more confident now, volleys a cross from 20 meters, just wide
-('43) Super save by Alioum when an defender makes almost an own goal deflection as the the Irish fire in a low free kick from the right hand side, close to the corner flag.

halftime 1:0
Cameroon probably will need a second goal to win this match as both defences cannot entirely shut down the other teams attacks in a match with several promising goal situations

2nd half
-('46) Ireland have brought on a first substitute but unlike the first half Cameroon seem in the match right from the first minute
-('48) Ireland dangerous when Kilbane wins a header after a cross from the left hand side where a quite huge gap had allowed a player break through, the header goes wide
-('50) Ireland put a lot of pressure on Cameroon now, playing quickly and attacking, Cameroon need to attack themselves to relief their defenders
-('51) Geremi steals the ball from a defender and fires immediately, just wide
-('52) the counter attack: Holland unleashes a sharp low shot from 20 meters exactly into the corner, no chance for Alioum - 1:1
-the goal will further boost the Irish confidence, a difficult match for Cameroon now
-('54) Cameroon answer with a couple of half dangerous attacks
-a thrilling match now, it has broken open with both teams attacking
-('58) Given claims a corner against two Cameroon attackers in impressive manor
-('61) Alioum mishandles a dangerous corner by Irish free kick specialist Harte. Fortunately the ball falls to the feet of a Cameroonian defender
-('63) Ireland again win a header at a free kick cross and Alioum makes a desperate save to stop the ball from crossing the line after it had bounced against Songs leg
-Ireland show how and why they have eliminated the Netherlands in the qualification matches
-There has not been a promising attacking attempt by Cameroon for 10 minutes, Irish are in control of the match
-('67) Cameroon must have read it and Eto'o breaks through oon the counter attack but his eventual attempt becomes disappointing, rolls wide
-('68) Cameroon substitution: Suffo in for Mboma, who had been injured for weeks before the tournament
-('70) Suffo immediately makes an impact as he takes the ball in midfield, dribbles around two defenders and unleashes a sharp low shot from 20 meters, but considerably wide
-('73) a dangerous Cameroon corner, but the referee's whistle stops the action either for offside or foul
-('77) Ireland replace the injured Harte
-('80) huge error in the Cameroonian defence and Tschato just can strip the ball from Keane's feet inside the penalty area without causing a penalty
-Despite this counter attack Cameroon look a bit stronger now, winning more challengesand implying pressing on the Irish build up - the physical factor?
-('83) But the Irish remain terribly dangerous in counter situations: a sudden sharp shot from the left corner of the penalty area - it hits the goalpost
-('86) A Cameroon defender misjudges a cross and in successions the defence has to do hard work to keep Ireland from a clearcut opportunity
-Suddenly Cameroon under pressure again
-('89) Irish attacker Damian Duff provokes a free kick and a yellow card for Kalla with one of his dangerous dribblings - the free kick is a dangerous rocket which Alioum deflects across the bar
-('90+) constant pressure by Ireland - Cameroon find it hard to cross the midfield line
-('90+4) Song tries from 25 but fires far wide

final score 1:1
The Irish gave Cameroon a tough chase. Cameroon have not disappointed but they have seen they cannot control a game like at the African Cup Of Nations, they need more attacking attempts here. A very tough group this will be.
Mathematically this means that both teams will at least be theoretically in the race until the third match.

Danmark - Uruguay 2:1 
1st half:
The match started with a quarter of surprise attacking fireworks. Especially Uruguay approached the match daring, while Denmark were trying to rely on counter attacks from a more careful position. 
The match settled more in midfield in the following although still with a high pace. 
A bit out of the blue, a brilliant combination by the Danish provided for the Danish lead in the 45th minute, scorer Jan Dal Tomasson, who has just completed his move from feyenoord to Milan.
2nd half:
Uruguay opened the second half with a stunning 18 meter volley by Dario Rodriguez, a Penarol Montevideo midfielder, into the triangle to equalise the score.
From the goal on the match took another surprising turn: Denmark entirely dominated the match with attacking football when the Uruguayan midfield could make no impact neither attacking nor defending, perhaps thanks to a tactical shift by danish coach Olsen(?). Uruguay remained dangerous now only in few individual scenes.
It took until th 83rd minute before Tomasson eventually scored the match winner, his second goal of the day, by a perfectly timed header, soft but very precise. 
Although Danmark lost their grip more and more thanks to nervousness, Uruguay could not force any clearcut chances in the remaining 10 minutes (including injury time).

Germany  - Saudi Arabia 8:0 
1st half:
The match confirmed what has been written in the previews: Saudi Arabian football, located in a hot desert area, has not progressed since 1994 while European football has become even more intense, especially physically. The German style is especially damaging to the Saudi Arabians, with making use of the flanks, crosses and headers extensively, what Saudi Arabian are not used to in their domestic game, adding to it a relentless pressure which is poison for the much slower, usually more often and longer interrupted Arabian games.
And Germany proved to be in top form from the first minute, leaving the Saudi arabians no space to breath and no time outs to take. the two goals by attacking hope Miroslav Klose and the two more goals by Michael Ballack and Carsten jancker were the logical consequence and it could have been even more has several attempts came close and a Jancker goal was only denied by the referee.
Not more than a 45 minute training session for the three time world champions.
2nd half:
The training session continued, not in the same intensity but again successful when late in the game the Saudis got more tired. Typical situation when Klose easily just by a small physical approach shoves aside two defenders to unleash a shot (which was eventually saved). The second half goals were scored by Klose, Linke, Bierhoff, and Schneider. 
The match and the bad second half of Uruguay against Danmark raise the question: How many chances do teams who consist of players not playing in a European professional league have at all?
Attention Cameroon anyway! The African style suits the Saudi Arabian game much better than the German one.

day 3
0530 GMTArgentina - Nigeria  1:0 (final score)
1st half
-Argentina in dark blue, Nigeria in neon green
-Argentina with a blitz start and a couple of attacks, Nigeria answers after four minutes and has two scenes inside the penalty
-Argentina look extremely focussed and the small players like Ortega can hardly be stopped by the Nigerians
-('10) Kanu has injured himself but seems to be able to continue
-('13) Ortega wins a free kick, he will be a major threat today, it seems. The Argentinians will give Nigeria a tough time, they are famous for the intensity they fight the one on one challenges and the art of winning them also against bigger guys.
-the Argentinians look strong but the Nigerians seem focussed nevertheless, yet no clearcut chance for the South Americans despite their good beginning
-('16) Ortega wins another free kick, he is a player who falls immediately after contact
-('19) error by Nigerian keeper Shorunmu who kicks a kick off right into the feet of Batistuta but saves his shot then 
-('21) Claudio Lopez and Batistuta play through but Shoronmu is out in time to clear by his foot
-('22) Kanu is down again, he seems to have difficulties to continue with some pain in the back
-('25) great midfield work by Okocha who wins space against three players and suddenly creates a good counter situation (which fades without effect)
-('27) the new attacking hope for Nigeria, Ogbeche from Paris Saint Germain, has a first conspicious scene
-the Nigerians play from a defensive basis, looking for fast counter attacks - at least most of the time the players are in the Nigerian half
-('29) Shoronmu saves a dangerous Ortega shot from just outside the penalty area for a corner
-it is a strange atmosphere: like in a circus the crowd is rather silent, talking, and applauding then to individual scenes. For most of the two fan groups the expensive trip (and stay) had been inaffordable.
-('32) Okocha with a huge scene but the Argentinian keeper can deflect his 20 meter shot to a corner, which eventually sees another attempt by Yobo, just wide
-('37) Argentina: dangerous corner by Veron finds Battistuta at the second goal post, but the angle is too tight for him to get the header on target
-('38) Aghahowa tries a bycicle kick but it takes the wrong direction
--nothing happens until halftime

halftime 0:0
Nigeria with concentrated defensive work have achieved to obstruct the area around their goal with players and to prevent the Argentinians from clearcut chances. On the other side it does not look like Nigeria could score first in this match and it remains to be seen whether it is really possible to prevent the Argentinians from exploiting at least one scene over the full 90 minutes.

2nd half
-('46) Kanu begins the half in obvious pain and has to get treated again, the Nigerians are down to ten and Argentina has a very dangerous corner, almost a goal, but Battistuta misses close
-('48) Ikedia in for Kanu
-('49) the next Argentinian corner which gets Nigeria into trouble, played indirectly and the Ver0on cross finds Sorin who misses wide
-('50) Ortega wins a free kick in perfect position, 20 meter central to the goal
-('51) Battistuta fires - just over tha bar
-('52) Nigeria: free kick from 25 meters, Okocha trioes a low shot through the wall but the ball gets stuck
-('58) Nigeria: Aghahowa displays his speed as he wins a race against two defenders, passes to Ogbeche but he fires high across the bar
-('59) and again Argentina is dangerous on a corner, winning the header, but it goes wide
-('61) huge save by Shoronmu against a Sorin shot from close range
-although the Nigerian defending style is much more power saving than the Senegalese one (no pressing in midfield, only positional defending) it looks like the Argentinians are successful in tiring the defenders, perhaps a conseqence from the fact that the midfield can not stop the Argentinians before the penalty area)
-('63) but the biggest problem remain the corners: Verons corner, again to the second goal post, again sharp and close to the goal, again finds Battistuta and this time he scores from close angle. The ball goes over the head of a small player positioned at that goal post into the net - 1:0
-('67) Arg: same corner, same pattern, almost successful again
-Argentina remain in total control of the midfield as the Nigerians seem to refuse to take chances. Typical scene: Argentinian midfield is in possession but it is not the Nigerian midfielders challenging themm but the outnumbered attackers, this is how far drawn back the Nigerians play.
The consequence: more Argentiniaan attacking scenes and half chances 
-('73) Nigerians show twice they are still there and it is Okocha who unleashes a shot wide across the bar
-('76) Aghahowa gets dangerous, but he is outnumbered by the defenders
-('77) Argentinian midfield 'Harry Potter', Pablo Aimar, who had a tremendous second half season with Valencia, comes in for Veron
-('78) He immediately wins a free kick, Battistuta unleashes a terrible shot, just saved by Shoronmu
-('79) Nigeria has a very good counter situation on the response but plays a little inaccurately, so it does not lead to a clearcut opportunity
-('80) Argentina: Crespo in for Battistuta
-('82) Nigeria finally show they have attacking potential, but playing through the Argentinian defence is not easy
-('83) at least one half dangeroous corner for the Africans
-('85) Argentina win the ball against the Nigerian build up and Crespo curves it just across the bar
-('86) huge error by the Argentinian keeper but Aghahowa heads the dropped ball against the outside of the net - it seems the referee has decided offside anyway (unclear)
-('90) Argentinian counter attack almost decides the match but Shoronmu can save
-('90) Aimar and Okocha put the keeper to a last test on both sides

final score 1:0
After the match it is always easy to talk: maybe Nigeria should have taken more chances, the Argentinian keeper did look everything else than convincing. But maybe this would have led only to a defeat by a bigger margin, who knows. A decent defending match by Nigeria against Argentinians who sugegsted they have a lot of options when bringing on a second explosive package in Aimar and Crespo.

0730 GMT South Africa - Paraguay  2:2 (final score)

1st half
-the stadium is half empty, the kneelong Paraguay shorts are another fashion highlight 
-('1) Paraguay surprise South Africa after just 10 seconds and Roque Santa Cruz falls over the South African keeper in a one on one situation but the referee says play on
-('4) South Arfica: a first exclaimation mark by #6 Sibaya who fires from 20 meters, just wide
-South Africa find into the game more quickly than expected, acting more than reacting
-('7) Paraguay seems completely surprised by the South African attacking approach and a half chance for Mokoena  leads to a corner
-('9) South Africa: yellow card against Issa and dangerous free kick by Chiqui Arce, just saved for a corner by Arendse
-instead of the feared defensive battle it looks like it will become a very entertaining match, South Africa cannot stop Paraguay when in attack but themselevs display a lot of attacking potential, Zuma conspicious from the start
-('22) half chances on both sides but Paraguay have been most dangerous by a long ball on Santa Cruz
-('26) South Africa have to replace injured Issa by Mukasi and look odd in defence in two situations after a free kick cross and a corner
-('32) Arendse with a good save against a header by Santa Cruz
-Paraguay looks to be a team switching bewtween a lot of tactical options in the match and has won some grip on the match
-('39) free kick cross finds the head of Roque Santa Cruz who scores into the deserted goal as Arendse had unsuccessfully tried to reach the ball - 0:1
-('42) Arendse this time stays on the line and saves a Santa Cruz header

halftime 0:1
the defensive blunders of the South Africans yet have made the difference. But there is also a general tendency of Paraguay taking over the match

2nd half
-('46) South Africa: Zuma with a good opportunity from close range, just saved
-('48) Paraguay: Gamarra from 20 meters, just wide
-('52) South Africa: Zuma with a shot across the bar from a dangerous loocking attack
-('55) Francisco Arce surprises Arendse with a free kick from the left into the first corner. Arendse might have expected a cross but should have seen from the way Arce approached the ball that it would be bent the other way - 0:2
-('63) South Africa put a lot of pressure on Paraguay and eventually score by a deflected shot from 16 by Mokoena - 1:2
-('66) South Africa continue to attack and have another half chance - Paraguay seems to bit surprised of the resilience by the Africans
-('77) Paraguay have regained stability and the match has passed on without goal scenes
-('84) South Africa: a rare opportunity after a corner but the Radebe header flies right into the open arms of the keeper
-('85) Two more scenes follow but South Africa without luck here
-('90) Suddenly Paraguay offer space for a counter attack and Zuma falls over the keeper - penalty
-('90+1) Quinton Fortune into the right corner - 2:2
-('90+5) some last attacking attempts by South Africabut they cannot get through

final score 2:2
A bright match by the South Africans who before conceded avoidable goals. Paraguay lost grip on the match when they were too sure they were able to just defend the lead. Jomo Sono maybe should consider a switch on the goalkeeper position.


0930 GMT  England - Sweden 1:1 (final score)
1st half
England focusssed, Sweden harmless. Sol Campell provided for the score as he reached a cross before the swedish keeper.
2nd half
Sweden now with a great run while England disappeared. After the equaliser in the 59th minute (Alexandersson) several huge occasions for the Swedisch who suddenly start to play very good looking football. Beckham substituted after 60 minutes.
In the following an exciting match developed in which both had opportunities when, not at last thanks to their substitutions, England found back into the match. Premier League football at its best, not perfect technically but with high impact.
Then two minutes into extra time Hendrik Larsson has the match ball after a defensive error but fires wide

1130 GMT  Spain-Slovenia 3:1 (final score)
1st half
It took until deep into the half before Spain found into the game while Slovenia looked quite safe in the beginning. But the Spanish game improved and eventually Raul found the net in the 44th minute.
2nd half
The second half was more entertaining with the Slovenians still resilient. The match seemed decided when Valeron added the second Spanish goal in style after 73 minutes.
But Slovenia came right back into the match (Citirotic, '80) before the referee gifted Spain with a penalty which Hierro converted for the decider ('87).
A first weak match of a referee who seemed to judge several scenes wrong, at least in the end all critical decisions were in favor of Spain.

day 4
Jun 3 0630 GMT  Croatia - Mexico 0:1
Is it a fairytale or an anachronism thatt this Mexican footbal, which has kept so much of the innocence of the game children play, again and again plays its part in those world tournaments?
Mexico, in height and size even more inferior to Craotia than the Saudi Arabians to Germany passed the ball around, tired the Croats and won the match by a genius artist who often appears everything else but a modern footballer, Cuauhtemoc Blanco.
Both halfs featured the same pattern: Croatia intented to apply their physical advantage but got tired in the climate and the Mexicans more and more took over the game and chased the Europeans around with their passing sequences. The match was predecided when Blanco, after a fine one-two, broke through into the penalty area and was fouled by Zivkovic with the logical consequence of penalty and red card.
Blanco himself converted the penalty and the Mexicans were able to keep the score.

Jun 3 0900 GMT  Brazil - Turkey 2:1
A very good match. Turkey at their best with a lot of running fighting and playing and good number of some very impressive players. Brazil with a lot of attacking potential but without a determining grip on midfield. Their captain Emerson, a key midfield player, had injured himself the day before the kick off and will be missing out the entire World Cup.
After the very good Turkish keeper Rüstü had saved several good opportunities for the record world champions from South America, Turkey took the surprise lead at the end of the first half when the won the ball against the Brazilian build up and stroke a brilliant counter attack, Bastürk set up Hasan Sas.
But Brazil came back with Ronaldo who is already in relative very good form, regarding his long absence.
Nevertheless Turkey might have got away with the draw if not ironically Rüstü had played a ball directly into the feet of the Brazilians. Defender Alpay tried to hold Luizao?, who was running at the goal, at his shirt and got the red card. A controversial decision was the penalty as many wanted to have seen the foul outside the penalty area. Rivaldo converted and Brazil won.

Jun 3 1130 GMT  Italy - Ecuador 2:0
Italy began very concentrated and mastermind Totti set up Vieri already after 6 minutes for the first goal. Vieri then displayed his power and looked unstoppable in a one one chase for a long through ball which he eventually converted for the second goal after 28 minutes. 
In the second half Italy concentrated on keeping the scoreline. Ecuador were showing some nice moves and should not be counted out yet. Italy looked like a World Cup favorite, just doing the necessary.

day 5
Jun 4 0630 GMT  China - Costa Rica 0:2
A very concentrated first half by both teams. There were only few big chances, to some extend a credit to the rather defensive Chinese tactics. The Asians always attacked the player with the ball with at least two players and tried counter attacks on their fast forward Chen Yang.
Costa Rica, similarly concentrated, applied a pressing already on the Chinese defenders at their build up and continously attacked when in possession, yet unsuccessful.
When in second half Chinese lost some concentration, perhaps due to their energy consuming game, Costa Rica were ready to punish any errors and two strikes within a few minutes ('61, '65) decided the match.
The Chinese confidence was obviously shattered and after a sole quick chance to get back into the game, the Asians seemed to resign. China seemed potent on set pieces which hardly occured because of the originally defensive approach. Costa Rica had more opportunities against a Chinese defense, now in shambles, but did now seem unconcentrated in shooting. 

Jun 4 0900 GMT  Japan - Belgium 2:2
Japan went into the match as slight favorites but they faced a determined Belgium squad from the first minute. The Belgians looked like a copy of the Germans in their match against Saudi Arabia, applying their physical advantage, using flanks, crosses and the edge in the air, playing similarly strong as they did at Paris when beating France in the preperation match shocker in May.
In 1999 Japan won the silver medals at the World Youth (Under 20) Championships at Nigeria thanks to a stunning short pass festival and a striker from rare physical impact for a Japanese player. Takahara, the striker, is a surprise absentee from this squad and the short passing game, with which the Mexicans yesterday frustrated the physically inferior Croats, seems abandoned for a more diverse approach.
This might also be credited to some nervousness among the Japanese players and the very agressive Belgian pressing.
The logical consequence sooner or later had to be the Belgian lead after one of the inoumerous high balls flying into the Japanese penalty area. Wilmots was successful with a spectacular bycicle kick.
But just as the match seemed decided the home team got a huge confidence boost when a big error in the Belgian defence gifted Suzuki with the equaliser after 57 minutes.
Suddenly Japan was free of all the nervousness that characterised their actions before and when Inamoto broke through on the left hand side after 65 minutes he scored the second goal by a sharp diagonal shot into the second corner.
Now the Japanese, who had been lucky early in the second half that Morioka did not see his second yellow card, seemed to fly away. But it was in the aftermatch of an again dangerous corner that the Belgians beat the offside trap of the Japanese and Vanderheyden scored by a beautiful lob after 74 minutes.
Japan were unlucky when another Inamoto goal was ruled foul and lucky when Belgium striker Sonck fell over the feet of a defender and the keeper in a difficult to rule situation inside the Japanese penalty area so that both went away with a point each from a game that would have rather deserved two points each.

Jun 4 1100 GMT  Korea - Poland  2:0
1st half:
Poland began very focussed like Germany and Belgium had tought and had several opportunities in the opening of the match. But the Koreans did what was the lessons of the games so far: if you are smaller your only chance is to monopolise the ball and ochase the others around by short passing. (The Koreans are still a lot taller than the 'smallest' team Mexico) 
More and more they took over the match and punished a defensive mismatch by a masterly directly played goal.
After the goal, fired up by an ecstatic crowd, they played on in a terrible pace, seeking chances rather too fast, obviously tiring themselves, too.
2nd half:
In the beginning of the half Korea remained in control and their best player Sang Chui Yoo provided the second goal. Unfortunately he injured himself a few minutes later and had to be replaced.
Poland now began to take the initative and pressured the Korean goal.
In the final 10 minutes the Koreans freed themselves again of the pressure and were closer to a third goal.

day 6
Jun 5 0630 GMT  Russia - Tunisia  2:0 (final score)
1st half:
-'1-'10  Both teams have begun the match with very entertaining attacking football and scenes in front of the goals on both sides. An encouraging start for the Tunisians who start the match everything else than shy and show some good combinations. They have a little more of the game yet but they cannot stop the Russian counter attacks and look nervous in defence.
-'11-'20  Russia have found better organisation in midfield and dominate the match now. The number of goalscenes has decreased as the Tunisians are further drawn back and are exclusively on the russian side now. The Tunisian defence still looks nervous.
-('21) Tunisia: Most exciting scene yet, through ball on Gabsi, two defenders challenge him, deflect the ball which just rolls wide with the keeper beaten. Russia answer with a long range shot, saved by Boumnijel.
-'21-'40 Slight Russian dominance, but the most conspicious scene was a foul against Tunisian attacker Jaziri that was rewarded a yellow card
-'41-'45 It could have been predicted that the weather factor speaks for the North Africans but an alarming scene shows the Tunisian defenders outnumbered when their midfield colleagues do not run back to support defensive work against a this time unconventional Russian attacking formation. Also the Tunisian keeper seems easy to provoke.
A nice through ball attempt is all Tunisia achieve in the rest of the half while Russia have a huge opportunity when Karpin despite a crowded penalty area is free at the 16 meter line but targets narrowly wide
halftime 0:0
1st half:
-'45-'55  Russia with the first attacks, but it is Tunisia who have two very good chances within two minutes ('52)('54)
-('59) one big mistake spoils the Tunisian match just when it looked like the North Africans could take over the match: Tunisians in possession of the ball after a corner, easily give it away to the Russians who catch Tunisia on the way forward, so that Titow unchallenged scores from 16 meters - 1:0
-('63) a Russian counter, contact between Jairi and an attacker, penalty: Karpin converts - 2:0
-'65-'75 the match now more open, Tunisia attacking and Russia with counter attacks
-('75)  the cynisms of football play tough on the Tunisians: Jaziri starts to get a through ball, is pulled at his shirt, makes a dive so that the foul should become more obvious for the referee and sees the yellow card for diving
-'75-'90 Tunisia take chances by replacing Badra with Zitouni and run some nice attacks but it is Boumnijel who almost gifts the Russians with a third goal. Jaziri falls again in the Russian penalty but it remains unclear whether it was a dive or a penalty.
Best chance for Tunisia in the 90th minute after one of a few inspired attack but the crowded Russian defence always has a leg in.
final score 2:0
In a match between two almost equally strong sides the one lost who made the more costly mistake(s).

Jun 5 0900 GMT  Portugal - USA 2:3 (final score)
1st half:
USA confident and positive, surprising an unsettled Portuguese defence right in the beginning with the first goal (O'Brien '4) and a few more attacks. Portugal began to take over the match but the hard working Americans defended their lead until they had all the luck on a now rare counter attack when a cross was deflected by a Portuguese defender into his own goal ('29).
The Portuguese who were quoted to target a win with 'many goals' before the match were obviously surprised by the American confidence in scoring themselves and had little to answer against the now repeatingly damaging American attempts. A great but almost unchallenged third goal by McBride, a header after a cross from the right, was almost logical.
The Portuguese, aware of their attacking potential, did not seem to resign and scored immediately by Beto after a corner ('39).
They had three opportunities but the Americans escaped into halftime.
They will know that three goals might not be enough to defeat those very dangerous Portuguese and continue attacking themselves. Portugal have paid for their arrogance in defence (reminded of the match Danmark-Nigeria at 1998) and have to change their attitude here.
2nd half:
Just when the Portuguese seemed completely frustrated, an own goal by the Americans came to their help ('71).
Although hardly with a chance the Americans resisted the following pressure. In the last 10 minutes they gained a physical superiority, won the ball repeatingly in midfield and kept it perfectly in the Portuguese half.
The Portuguese obviously were totally exhausted and did not only lose the points but also consumed a lot of energy in this match.
The Americans, a typical cup team, always with a positive approach about trying it.

> match 17-32

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