This is the 17th in a weekly series of World Cup history lessons brought to you by our very own “Professor” Guy Bailey. He is not actually a professor; the only professor on staff is Jamie Clary. Well, sort of.
The 2002 World Cup
The 2002 World Cup was the first to be hosted jointly between two countries – South Korea and Japan. Japan could probably have hosted the tournament by itself but FIFA politics being what it is decided to straddle the tournament, throwing open the doors to other countries in future that might not have the wherewithal to host a tournament independently themselves but would still like the odd match.
The two hosts qualified automatically along with defending champions Italy, although shamefully, this was the last time that the Champions would automatically be entered. The tournament format remained the same as the 1998 competition and would be the last competition where Golden Goals would be used to settle matches in extra time. Among the qualifiers were four debutant nations – Senegal, China, Ecuador and Slovenia.
Group A saw defending Champions France, placed with Denmark, Senegal and Uruguay. The opening match of the World Cup, renowned for shock results, threw up yet another as unfancied Senegal defeated the World Champions 1-0. The scorer, Papa Bouba Diop, went on to have a successful career in England after the tournament and introduced the jig-around-the-shirt celebration. Denmark joined the Africans on top of the group with a 2-1 win over Uruguay and the positions remained after two draws in the second matches – Denmark 1-1 with Senegal and the French goalessly with Uruguay. Denmark sent the defending champions home in the final match with a 2-0 win to seal the group, and they were justly joined by Senegal who threw away a three goal lead against Uruguay but hung on to draw 3-3.
Group B saw Spain paired with Slovenia, South Africa and Paraguay. South Africa came from two goals down to draw with Paraguay in their first match while Spain put the hurt on Slovenia 3-1. Spain then repeated the performance and the scoreline against Paraguay and South Africa got their first World Cup win beating Slovenia 1-0. Spain completed a clean sweep in the group beating the South Africans 3-2 and eliminating them at the expense of Paraguay who beat Slovenia 3-1.
Group C placed Brazil with Turkey, China and Costa Rica. Brazil repeated the result beating Turkey 2-1 while Costa Rica got off to a great start against the most populous nation on earth beating the Chinese 2-0. Brazil gave them an attacking lesson 4-0 in their second match as Costa Rica drew 1-1 with the Turks. Brazil and Costa Rica treated everyone to a South American goal fest in their final game 5-2 to Brazil, which eliminated their opponents on goal difference as Turkey’s 3-0 against China saw them through as runners-up.
Group D saw one host South Korea paired with Poland, Portugal and the USA. They got off to the perfect start beating Poland 2-0 whilst the US achieved one of their best results in the World Cup, racing to a 3-0 lead against Portugal, finally triumphing 3-2. They followed this up with a 1-1 draw against Korea whilst Portugal appeared to return to form crushing the Poles 4-0, including a Pauletta hat-trick. The final group games saw Poland unexpectedly beat the US 3-1, meaning all Portugal had to do was draw with the hosts and both would qualify for the second phase. No second half stitch-up was involved as South Korea, urged on by their fanatical red support, beat the Portuguese 1-0 to win the group, send their opponents home and let the US in through the catflap.
Group E saw Germany with Saudi Arabia, the Republic of Ireland and Cameroon. Ireland, missing captain Roy Keane who stormed off in a customary huff before the competition drew 1-1 with the Africans in their opening game whilst Germany blew a hole in the lie that there are no easy games at this level, crushing the Saudi’s 8-0 in their first match, with six different scorers although Klose helped himself to a hat-trick. Germany then found themselves held 1-1 by the Irish while Cameroon edged themselves into second with a 1-0 win over the Saudis. Germany beat Cameroon 2-0 in the final game which let Ireland in as runners-up as they dispatched the hapless Saudi Arabians 3-0 in the final game.
Group F – the quintessential Group of Death – featured England, Sweden, Nigeria and old friends, Argentina. Argentina started strongly with a 1-0 over Nigeria whilst the Swedes continued to frustrate England and their Swedish manager Sven Goran Eriksson with a 1-1 draw. The Swedes came from behind to beat Nigeria 2-1 in their second match whilst David Beckham went some way to addressing the wrongs of previous World Cups, scoring the only goal from the penalty spot to finally beat the Argentines. He wasn’t wearing one of the popular t-shirts doing the rounds – “¡Mire, ningunas manos!” – “Look, No Hands!” but he finally redeemed himself in the eyes of every England fan. The final games were a nervy affair but England’s goalless draw with Nigeria and Sweden’s 1-1 draw with Argentina sent Sweden through in first with England in second but they couldn’t care less as they waved a cheerful goodbye to Argentina.
Group G saw Italy with Croatia, Ecuador and Mexico. The always strong, always underrated Mexicans beat a disjointed Croatia 1-0 in the opening fixture with Italy moving into pole position with a 2-0 win against the South American debutants. They got their first goal of the tournament in their next match against Mexico but they came from behind to beat them 2-1 and seal their qualification. Croatia threw the form book out of the window with a 2-1 win against Italy to give themselves every chance of going through in their final match. But funny thing football, Ecuador, beat them 1-0 and helped deny them both a place in the second round as Italy and Mexico shared two goals between them – Mexico going through as leaders.
Group H saw fellow hosts Japan with Tunisia, Belgium and Russia. Japan drew the first match 2-2 with Belgium while Russia got off to the best start with a 2-0 win over Tunisia. The world rocked in the second match as Japan beat the fancied Russians 1-0 and gave their fans a victory to savor whilst Belgium and Tunisia drew 1-1 in the second match. Japan sealed their home victory and the group with a 2-0 win over Tunisia and Belgium won the qualifying decider 3-2 which sent Russia home.
Germany beat Paraguay in the first knockout match with a late winner from Neuville whilst England fans enjoying lager for breakfast had something to toast as they rolled over Denmark 3-0. Senegal continued their stunning rise beating Sweden 2-1The USA beat their fierce rivals and neighbors Mexico 2-0 with goals from McBride and Donovan to seal a quarter final place for the first time; whilst a stuttering Brazil beat Belgium 2-0 to progress. Turkey eliminated one half of the hosting duo, Japan, 1-0 but South Korea held their heads high with a shock 2-1 over the Italians, Seol Ki-Hyeon, equalizing with two minutes to go after Vieri had given the Azzuri a 1-0 lead and Ahn Jung-Hwan becoming a superstar at home and risking the sack in Italy where he played by scoring the Golden Goal winner with only three minutes remaining. with a golden goal in extra time from Henri Camara who would also earn a move to the Premiership with his heroics. Ireland took Spain to penalties but couldn’t repeat their 1990 heroics as they lost 3-2.
The first Quarter Final saw Michael Owen give England a priceless lead against the Brazilians but fell asleep just before the break to allow Rivaldo to equalize. David Seaman was still napping when Ronaldino introduced himself to the world with a looping free kick that sailed over the pony-tailed one and put England on the next plane home. A typically efficient German performance saw them proceed at the USA’s expense 1-0 in the second Quarter Final. Spain and South Korea drew 0-0 in the third Quarter Final but the miracle continued as Guus Hiddink’s Koreans scored all five penalties in the shoot-out to Spain’s three to make their first ever Semi Final but there was room for only one miracle as Senegal were eliminated 1-0 by a Golden Goal from Turkey.
Party-poopers Germany added Korea to their list of enemies with a 1-0 win and Brazil overcame the Turks by the same score. Turkey overcame the joint-hosts 3-2 in the playoff match including the fastest goal in World Cup history when Hakan Sukur netted after 11 seconds.
The Final between Germany and Brazil was something of a resurrection for Ronaldo whose lackluster performance four years earlier was still surrounded by mystery. A tense first half continued until a spilled Rivaldo shot found him with a simple finish for his first. Rivaldo then repeated the favor, with a glorious dummy to allow him to seal his comeback, Brazil’s win and the Golden Boot with his 8th of the tournament and Brazil’s second. Brazil becoming the first country to win five World Championships.
Guy Bailey is a senior writer for The Yanks Are Coming. He can be reached at email@example.com.