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Friday, 31 May, 2002, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK
Patrick Vieira clockwatch
Vieira was the pivotal player in the French team but he could not prevent defeat to Senegal
Vieira was combative in France's midfield
Stuart Roach reports from Korea

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It was the game in which Patrick Vieira said he was born to play, but destiny was not on the Frenchman's side against Senegal.

The Senegalese-born midfielder says his heart still beats for his country of origin, who were making their World Cup debut against the nation which once colonised them.

France's pulse, however, was racing for all the wrong reasons as the World Cup holders began the defence of their crown with defeat in Seoul.

BBC Sport Online clocks Vieira's beats per minute in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup.


2 mins: Vieira is involved in the game already, though his first touch is a simple switch of play in the centre circle.

8 mins: Welcome to the game Patrick. The Senegalese-born midfielder is bundled over by Pape Bouba Diop as he looks to control a bouncing ball on the half-way line.

23 mins: He may be a Rolls Royce of a midfielder, but Vieira is yet to get out of first gear. He plays a languid one-two with Sylvain Wiltord, who goes on to set up David Trezeguet for a shot, which the Juventus striker smashes against an upright.

Vieira played well but his team were poor against Senegal
Vieira evades the challenge of Salif Diao
30 mins: Vieira can do nothing to prevent Senegal's opener as El Hadji Diouf outfoxes Frank Leboeuf and crosses for Diop to score after a defensive calamity involving Fabian Barthez and Emmanuel Petit.

43 mins: Another one-two with Wiltord sends his Arsenal team-mate clear but the striker's low shot is easily gathered by Tony Sylva.

44 mins: Vieira seems to trip Diouf as he wriggles clear again, but referee Ali Mohamed Bujsaim waves play on.

56 mins: A controlled run and neat pass puts Youri Djorkaeff clear for a shot which Sylva parries, then pushes away as Trezeguet closes in. From the corner, Vieira senses his first goalscoring chance but his header is easily picked out by the keeper.

65 mins: Vieira's composure at the heart of midfield ensures the French never panic, despite their need to chase the game. His assured pass starts the move which sees Henry turn and curl a shot on to the top of the Senegal crossbar.

67 mins: Vieira comes close to an equaliser for France. He controls brilliantly on his chest, then hits a controlled volley goalwards, only to see Diop theatrically block his shot for a corner.

90 mins: His soul may beat for Senegal, but Vieira is undoubtedly the heartbeat of the French team. But even his endeavour fails to break down Senegal, who hold on to record their historic victory.

Vieira looks desperate at the final whistle, but somewhere deep inside you get the feeling there is a glimmer of pride that's warming his Senegalese heart.


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GROUP A
  P GD PTS
DENMARK 3 +3 7
SENEGAL 3 +1 5
URUGUAY 3 -1 2
FRANCE 3 -3 1

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