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Saturday, 24 March, 2001, 22:59 GMT
French master class
Japan's star player Nakata was no match for France
France 5-0 Japan

Japan's dreams of emulating France by winning the World Cup on home soil next year were shown to be little more than pipe-dreams on Saturday.

The World Cup holders crushed the co-hosts of the 2002 finals 5-0 at the Stade de France.

Two goals from David Trezeguet and one each from Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Sylvain Wiltord exposed Japan's limitations as France gave a commanding display.

Japan's French coach Phillipe Troussier, always under pressure when Japan lose, was shown no mercy by his countrymen, who turned on the style in the stadium where they won the trophy nearly two years ago.

It was Troussier's biggest defeat as Japan's coach.

But France, held to a 2-2 draw by Japan in Morocco last summer, were in no mood for underdog glory on this day.

They went ahead when Zidane scored from the spot after Robert Pires was brought down in the box.

And, once Henry had scored the second barely five minutes later, the outcome was never in doubt.

Teams for Saturday's friendly international between France and Japan.

France: Ulrich Rame, Vincent Candela, Frank Leboeuf, Marcel Desailly, Bixente Lizarazu, Robert Pires, Emmanuel Petit, Sabri Lamouchi, Zinedine Zidane, Christophe Dugarry, Thierry Henry.

Japan: Seigo Narazaki, Toshihiro Hattori, Naoki Matsuda, Ryuzo Morioka, Shunsuke Nakamura, Nanami, Junichi Inamoto, Tomokazu Myojin, Hidetoshi Nakata, Teruyoshi Ito, Akinori Nishizawa.

Referee: Dieter Schoch (Switzerland).

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See also:

23 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
Holland tread World Cup tightrope
23 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
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23 Mar 01 |  World Cup 2002
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