Group matches at France 98 played on Wednesday, 17th June.
Chile vs Austria in St. Etienne (1:1).
Italy vs Cameroon in Montpellier (3:0).
Whoever comes second in this group now know that they
will have to play Brazil in the next round; incentive enough to get the three points, I
Pfeffer conceded a salty free-kick on Zamorano, outside
the D, in the ninth minute. The dead ball, laid off to Margas, was blasted wide of the top
Chile looked slightly more threatening around the
Austrian area, with their subtle recipe served up by masterchef Zamorano; yet the beefy
Austrians muscled in on their attempts to create any clear-cut carne.
Austria had a dangerous looking free-kick in the 25th
minute but failed to use the height advantage of Pfeffer and Polster in the air; rolling
the ball across to the corner of the area instead.
The Austrians whipped up a little more pressure towards
the end of the first half, but the cream was sour.
Austria started stronger in the second half, yet Chile
were still hot on the counter attack: Zamorano ran through the wide open midfield to
release Villarroel on the right. A good high strike, pushed away by the left hand of
Rojas had a magnificent game on the left; covering well
and creating many important runs.
On the hour, Chile started to look spicy again. Another
fast move on the left; with Konsel cutting out a threatening low cross into the box, meant
for a fast approaching Zamorano.
Herzog tried to thread the ball through for Polster; the
Austrians tried long range shots; but again Chile were on the loose.
Zamorano climbed high above two Austrian defenders to
head in aggressively. Drama on the goal-line: Konsel blocked the header from Zamorano, but
Salas pounced to claim his third goal of the tournament. The Austrian goalkeeper, on the
floor, still had the ball in his hands and tried to roll it back over the line.
In the dying minutes, the Austrian substitute Vastic
received the ball on the D, and side-footed firmly into the top right of the goal. No
chance for the goalkeeper, or for Chile.
Our Man of the Match:
The minute's silence for the France 98 co-President
was not even over before the Italian fans started making a noise.
Vieri gave Cameroon their first scare around the fifth
minute, coolly knocking the ball over the advancing goalkeeper; hooked away by a defender.
Three minutes later, Di Biagio headed in from Roberto
Baggio's cross. Italy didn't want to listen to Samba in Paris too early. Cameroon just
shaked their heads and tried to push up again.
On the twenty-fifth minute, Songo'o saved at point blank
range from Vieri once more.
The Italians also made plenty of mistakes but the
Africans were not able to make their chances count.
"Guarda! Guarda!" shouted Cesare Maldini from
The Australian referee, who didn't fall for the Italian
dives and caught plenty of their sneaky tricks, made no hesitation in showing Cameroon's
Kalla the red for a two footed challenge on Luigi Di Biagio, just before half-time.
The Italians lacked a collective spirit in the team,
early in the second half; had something of the coach's neurosis rubbed off on his son?
With only ten men, and Mboma in a head bandage, Cameroon
had the support of the French fans.
Maldini took off Albertini and Roberto Baggio for Di
Matteo and Del Piero, with just over twenty minutes to go.
Italy started to control the game in the closing fifteen
minutes. At the end of a well worked move, Vieri scored from the edge of the box without
thinking for a second to touch the ball twice.
The Italian fans, who had behaved so disrespectfully at
the start and cat whistled their own team for most of the second half, roared
"Italia!" for once.
Within a couple of minutes, Songo'o tipped the ball over
the bar twice; to try and keep the scoreline respectable.
But in the last minutes, Del Piero and Vieri both entered
the Cameroon area with two defenders at their legs. A couple of lucky bounces and the ball
was at Vieri's feet; who managed to shake off the hard working Wome and beat Songo'o
Our Man of the Match:
Brazil, Morocco, Norway, Scotland.
Austria, Cameroon, Chile, Italy.
Denmark, France, Saudi Arabia, South Africa.
Bulgaria, Nigeria, Paraguay, Spain.
Belgium, Holland, Mexico, South Korea.
Germany, Iran, United States, Yugoslavia.
Colombia, England, Romania, Tunisia.
Argentina, Croatia, Jamaica, Japan.
1998 World Cup Finals -
Group Tables - Leading
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