World Cup 2002 – Part 1

We’re taking a break from club football as it’s time for the festival that is the World Cup Finals. Because the game can’t handle the concept of co-hosts, South Korea aren’t given that privilege and instead it falls on Japan to put on the best party they can. Firstly, here’s the groups:

WC 02 GroupsAs ever we’ll focus on England with the important bits of the other groups thrown in. It’s a 2 parter, such is the size of the tournament. Speaking of England, here is their squad

England 02 World Cup squadHoddle has, somewhat controversially, gone with Chris Bart Williams and Nigel Quashie. Shaun Newton is also a surprise inclusion, though in a world where Alan Stubbs and Steve Haslam are stars players, nothing is a surprise any more.

Group A

In group A we have the holders, Portugal. Other than that though, there is little to shout about. Portugal beat Mexico with minimal fuss, whilst Egypt squeeze past Iran. It’s then 0-0 draws all round leaving Portugal looking very strong and Egypt just a point away.

02 Group A 2 gamesAs it is, both sides win their last games and there’s a very symmetrical look about the group, though Egypt steal top spot by hammering Mexico.

Group A finalGroup B

This is another less than captivating group but the hosts Japan are putting up a decent fight, beating Ecuador to keep their hopes alive. Sweden and Nigeria are well placed after drawing with each other, though Nigeria’s win over Japan has them in the box seat

02 Group B 2 gamesSweden though are the party poopers and beat Japan Group B Japan SwedenMeaning Nigeria secure their advancement with a point against Ecuador.

Group B finalGroup C

This is a bit of a tough group with 94 champions Brazil paired with 98 hosts France. Should be hosts South Korea are also in there, along with Bakayoko’s Ivory Coast. Brazil beat France to get themselves off to a good start and put the French on the backfoot.

brazil france 02With Brazil going on to thrash the Ivory Coast, who are also beaten by South Korea, France are left needing a win against the Ivory Coast to be guaranteed progression. South Korea need to beat Brazil

02 Group C 2 gamesFrance destroy the Ivory Coast and Brazil brush aside South Korea, ensuring France’s passage to the second round.

france 7 - 2 ICThis was definitely the group for entertainment, look at those goals for and against columns.

Group C finalGroup D

Is this Glenn Hoddle’s time to become a hero? It’s a favourable group but a less than mighty start, just about beating the USA

eng 2 - 1 usa 02You just can’t beat Steve Haslam. The USA recover to beat Jamaica, just as the Swiss already have. England vs Switzerland is the key game but England pass with flying colours

England 3 - 1 SwitzerlandWith qualification ensured, USA and the Swiss fight it out for the second spot whilst England need a point to ensure top spot

02 Group D 2 gamesJamaica are brushed aside, though they do put up a bit of a fight

england 3 - 1 jamaicaThe group therefore finishes with England on 100%, and Switzerland join them in round 2 after beating the USA.

Group D finalGroup E

Neighbours Belgium and Holland are located in this group, with Belgium surprising the Euro 2000 hosts and leading the group.

02 Group E 2 gamesIn the final game, Holland can only draw with Australia but Ghana can’t beat Belgium so it’s the two European sides who advance

Group E holland 1 - 1 australia

Group E finalGroup F

The Northern Irish are here! What’s more, they beat Bulgaria despite the great Marashliev turning out for the Bulgarians. Denmark you may remember were runners up in both major tournaments so far and they certainly mean business here.

02 Group F 2 gamesIt means that Colombia need to beat Bulgaria to have any chance of getting through…

group F colomboai bulgariaBut they can’t, despite Rene Higuita being on the bench, and that means that Northern Ireland’s defeat to Denmark is irrelevant. They’re through!

Group F finalGroup G

What a rough group this is for Ireland, with both Germany and Argentina in there. The two heavyweights are up first, with Argentina nicking the win germany argentina 02Cameroon secure a decent draw with Argentina, but look what Ireland do!

group G 2 resultsSo Germany are out with a game to spare

02 Group G 2 gamesMore remarkably, Ireland are through with a game to spare. They can get turned over by Argentina and it won’t matter in the slightest.

group G argentina EireAs it is, a tepid 1-0 secures Argentina top spot. Good show.

Group G FinalGroup H

Scotland have got another rough draw, similar to Ireland’s in many ways. Spain and Italy are feeling less charitable though, with Spain winning the battle of the giants and turning Scotland over.

02 Group H 2 gamesWith Scotland beating Saudi Arabia, they need to beat Italy to advance. They don’t.

group H italy vs scotlandGroup H FinalSpain get through with 100% record, their decision to hound out Clemente looks to be a wise one.

With the group stages done, the last 16 draw is a corker

Last 16 02 drawWho do you fancy from that? Join us next time as we run through the knockout stages and look forward to the 02/03 season.

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