The World Cup entered the new century by holding the competition in Asia for the first time. The competition was also split between two host countries for the first time as Japan and South Korea welcomed the world. Another first was when teams from five different federations reached the quarter finals and it was also the last finals that had the Golden Goal rule.
The other first was a Tottenham player took part in the Final game.
199 teams entered the competition. Both host nations performed well, and the 64 matches attracted an average attendance of over 42,000. It was however the old powers that came out on top. Brazil beating Germany in the final 2-0. Ronaldo who underperformed in France four years earlier scored both and finished with eight goals, the best individual return since Muller of Germany in 1970 when he hit ten.
The tournament started with some upsets. The opening game saw Senegal beat the Holders, France 1-0. The French finished bottom of their group, without scoring. Senegal on the other hand not only reached the knock-out stages, they then beat Sweden with a golden goal before losing to Turkey in the quarter final.
Possibly the biggest shock in the groups came when Argentina failed to progress. In a group where England and Nigeria went through. Beckham who had been sent off four years earlier V Argentina scored the only goal in this game. Argentina then drew with Sweden and finished third.
England drew their other two group games. In the knock out stages they beat Denmark 3-0 before losing to Brazil 2-1 in the quarter finals. England took the lead before Brazil’s Ronaldinho lobbed David Seaman from 42 yards. Not for the only time in his career was he beaten from the half way line.
Guus Hiddink was in charge of the South Korean’s which included Lee Young-Pyo, who would join us in 2005. Korea came from behind to beat Italy in the knock out stages. In their next game they were a little lucky with some amazing referring decisions and then beat Spain in a shoot-out before losing to Germany in the semi-finals. The other host nation, Japan, topped their group. In doing so they won their first games at a World Cup finals. They then lost to Turkey.
The Republic of Ireland’s captain, Roy Keane was sent home before the finals after an falling out with the manager (1). Robbie Keane who would join us for the first time just after the competition played all four games. He scored a fabulous stoppage time equaliser V Germany. He then got one V Saudi Arabia and a 90th minute penalty in the knock out stage V Spain to take the game to extra time. The Irish would lose in the shootout.
Other future Tottenham players at the competition were Stipe Pletikosa (Croatia) and Steven Pinnear (South Africa )
Meanwhile in N17 - Tottenham under Glenn Hoddle, a manager at he last World Cup, finished in mid table
again, in 10th place. They were runners up in the Worthington (League) Cup. Christian Zeige scoring Tottenham’s goal in the final.
Notes -1 - Flying Down to Rio, Flight24.
Top Image - Teddy Sheringham - images - 1- The Guardian,
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