29 JUNE 2000
DUTCH SUFFER TRIPLE SPOT KICK HELL
HOLLAND 0-0 ITALY
Bergkamp beautifully flicked on a ball to Cocu, Toldo flew out but Cocu lifted
the ball over the bar. Bergkamp arrived unmarked in the box to weakly meet
Van Bronckhorst's excellent cross. Bergkamp turned inside Iuliano but his
shot bounced off the inside of the post. Zambrotta picked up his first
yellow card for a criminal foul on Zenden, Zenden was booked for diving in
the box and Zambrotta received his marching orders for a stupid foul on
Zenden. Holland won the first of their two penalties for shirt tugging by
Nesta on Kluivert, very harsh to say the least. Frank de Boer tried to sell
Toldo the wrong way i.e. he looked and shaped up to hit it to Toldo's right
but shot left and Toldo made a magnificent save. Kluivert brilliantly juggled
a long pass from Frank de Boer but couldn't find the finish to match the
Second half same as the first, a little bit longer, a little bit worse.
Another penalty, for Iuliano's foul on Davids. Kluivert struck the post.
In the first period of extra time Delvecchio raced onto a superb pass from
Totti and despite getting his shirt tugged by Frank de Boer stayed on his
feet and went for the corner but Van der Sar made a spectacular save with
his left foot. Kluivert dragged a shot wide and weakly headed Van
Bronckhorst's cross wide.
Onto the shoot-out :
Di Biagio - top corner
Frank de Boer - Toldo saved
Pessotto - bottom corner
Stam - outer space
Totti - arrogantly chipped Van der Sar
Kluivert - bottom corner
Maldini - saved by Van der Sar
Bosvelt - excellent save by Toldo
Italy win 3-1 on penalties.
The problem with Holland's performance is a problem that has plagued them
for many years. Their football is too laboured, too precise and that allows
teams to get back and defend in numbers. Italy played like most Serie A
teams, lots of aimless balls downfield, lots of poor passing but their
defending was magnificent.
Man Of The Match : Toldo
Red Card : Zambrotta 33 (Italy)
28 JUNE 2000
GOLDEN XAVIER GIVES AWAY GOLDEN GOAL
FRANCE 2-1 PORTUGAL
Henry 51 Gomes 19
Zidane 117 (Pen)
Sergio Conceicao made the most of a fortunate bounce after Petit flew into a
tackle, Deschamps really should have cleared but Conceicao poked the ball
forward to Nuno Gomes who fired a spectacular half volley past Barthez.
Thuram and Anelka combined to create the equaliser, Thuram picked out
Anelka with a superb through pass, Anelka knocked a cross into Henry whose
shot deflected off Couto past Baia. Lizarazu made a spectacular headed
clearance as Gomes was about to pounce on Figo's cross. Anelka and Thuram
slipped when in good scoring positions. France also blew a couple of good
chances from corners. Barthez made a fantastic last minute save to deny Xavier
who powerfully header Figo's free kick towards the top corner.
Zidane header over a super cross from Pires. Joao Pinto shot just wide from
a counter attack. Trezeguet made a complete mess of Wiltord's centre,
Baia got a hand on the ball but only sent it as fart as Wiltord who went for
the empty net, Xavier brilliantly saved with his hand but the linesman
spotted it, penalty. Zidane blasted the ball into the top corner. Gomes was
sent off for protesting.
Awful match. Few goalscoring chances. Portugal defending deep, choking
Anelka and Henry of the space they need to utilise their pace. None of the
creative players were particularly outstanding with Rui Costa going AWOL.
Zidane performed his circus tricks in non threatening areas, just to make sure
he wins another un-deserved World player of the year award. Thuram, Lizarazu
and Viera were excellent.
Man Of The Match : Thuram
Assists : Sergio Conceicao to Gomes
Red Card : Gomes 119 (Portugal)