2002 World Cup revisited: The best games

In his look back at the 2002 World Cup. Paul Oberjuerge notes the best games of the tournament held in Japan and South Korea.
Manager Bruno Metsu on the bench at the 2002 World Cup with his Senegal side. Martin Rose / Bongarts / Getty Images / June 22, 2002
Manager Bruno Metsu on the bench at the 2002 World Cup with his Senegal side. Martin Rose / Bongarts / Getty Images / June 22, 2002

Senegal 1, France 0

The holders arrived in South Korea with much the same team who won the 1998 World Cup in France, minus one important man, Zinedine Zidane, who had a thigh injury. France’s attack foundered and Papa Bouba Diop’s goal in the 30th minute – struck while he was sitting on the pitch – ended the scoring to put the first of many upsets in the books. The match referee was the Emirati Ali Bujsaim, and Bruno Metsu, the future Al Ain manager, was Senegal’s coach. Zidane returned for the third game, but France went out of the tournament without scoring.

South Korea 2, Italy 1

The most controversial match of the tournament. The co-hosts won the last-16 encounter on a golden goal by Ahn Jung-hwan, but the notorious moments came earlier and bore the fingerprints of the referee, the Ecuadorean Byron Moreno, who awarded the Koreans a penalty (missed), did not overturn an erroneous offside call on what would have been a golden goal by Damiano Tommasi, and sent off Francesco Totti. Moreno later was investigated for irregularities in Ecuador matches. He was arrested in New York in 2010 while attempting to smuggle six kilograms of heroin.

Belgium 3, Russia 2

One would go to the last 16, the other would go home, and they produced a riveting, see-saw match. Johan Walem gave Belgium a lead that held to the 52nd minute, when Vladimir Beschastnykh equalised. Wesley Sonck and Marc Wilmots made it 3-1, but Dimitri Sychev’s strike made it a one-goal game in the 86th minute. A draw would have been enough for Russia, but the equaliser never came.

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Published: May 21, 2014 04:00 AM

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