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Wednesday, 17 April, 2002, 12:33 GMT 13:33 UK

France 1998

The World Cup of 1998 was lit up by the best football team France has ever produced.

The final itself was anti-climactic thanks to the Brazilians' subdued performance, caused by Ronaldo's fit the night before the game.

But that did not detract from the achievement by Zinedine Zidane and his team, who swept all before them on home soil.

England went out in the second round after David Beckham was sent off against Argentina, while Scotland once again failed to make it past the opening stage.

Scotland had played in the World Cup's opening match, doing their reputation no harm as they went down 2-1 to Brazil.

But a 1-1 draw with Norway and a crushing 3-0 defeat to Morocco left Craig Brown's team bottom of Group A and on the first plane home.

England progressed to the second round, victories over Tunisia and Colombia sufficient to overcome the disappointment of defeat to Romania.

Glenn Hoddle's team went through as runners-up, behind Romania, but that pitched them against their nemesis, Argentina.

A 2-2 draw included one of the best English World Cup goals ever, by Michael Owen, and one of the most infamous incidents in the shape of Beckham's red card for a kick at Diego Simeone.

The game went to penalties, David Batty missed and British interest in the competition was over.

France had to rely on a golden goal - the first in the World Cup's knockout stage - from Laurent Blanc to see them through their second-round game against Paraguay.

And, when penalty kicks settled their quarter-final against Italy, it looked like fate was smiling on Aime Jacquet's team.

Croatia, easy victors over Germany in the quarter-finals, were despatched at the semi-final stage and Paris braced itself for the mother of all parties.

Brazil had required penalties to get past Holland - themselves victors over Argentina - in their semi-final and the game had taken its toll.

Mystery surrounds the "convulsion" Ronaldo suffered the night before the game.

But he was first left off the team-sheet and then reinstated after rushing to the Stade de France when a hospital check-up gave him the all clear.

He played but was clearly not fit and France punished Brazil's dithering with a simple 3-0 win, two goals coming from captain Zidane and one from Emmanuel Petit.

Croatia beat Holland in the third-place play-off and their star striker Davor Suker won the Golden Boot with six goals.


Group A results:
Brazil 2-1 Scotland
Morocco 2-2 Norway
Scotland 1-1 Norway
Brazil 3-0 Morocco
Scotland 0-3 Morocco
Brazil 1-2 Norway

Group B results:
Italy 2-2 Chile
Cameroon 1-1 Austria
Chile 1-1 Austria
Italy 3-0 Cameroon
Italy 2-1 Austria
Chile 1-1 Cameroon

Group C results:
Saudi Arabia 0-1 Denmark
France 3-0 South Africa
South Africa 1-1 Denmark
France 4-0 Saudi Arabia
France 2-1 Denmark
South Africa 2-2 Saudi Arabia

Group D results:
Paraguay 0-0 Bulgaria
Spain 2-3 Nigeria
Nigeria 1-0 Bulgaria
Spain 0-0 Paraguay
Spain 6-1 Bulgaria
Nigeria 1-3 Paraguay

Group E results:
South Korea 1-3 Mexico
Holland 0-0 Belgium
Belgium 2-2 Mexico
Holland 5-0 South Korea
Belgium 1-1 South Korea
Holland 2-2 Mexico

Group F results:
Yugoslavia 1-0 Iran
Germany 2-0 USA
Germany 2-2 Yugoslavia
USA 1-2 Iran
Germany 2-0 Iran
USA 0-1 Yugoslavia

Group G results:
England 2-0 Tunisia
Romania 1-0 Colombia
Colombia 1-0 Tunisia
Romania 2-1 England
Romania 1-1 Tunisia
Colombia 0-2 England

Group H results
Argentina 1-0 Japan
Jamaica 1-3 Croatia
Japan 0-1 Croatia
Argentina 5-0 Jamaica
Japan 1-2 Jamaica
Argentina 1-0 Croatia

Second round results:
Italy 1-0 Norway
Brazil 4-1 Chile
France 1-0 Paraguay (aet)
(France won on golden goal)
Nigeria 1-4 Denmark
Germany 2-1 Mexico
Holland 2-1 Yugoslavia
Romania 0-1 Croatia
Argentina 2-2 England (aet)
(Argentina won 4-3 on penalties)

Quarter-final results:
Italy 0-0 France (aet)
(France won 4-3 on penalties)
Brazil 3-2 Denmark
Holland 2-1 Argentina
Germany 0-3 Croatia

Semi-final results:
Brazil 1-1 Holland (aet)
(Brazil won 4-2 on penalties)
France 2-1 Croatia

3rd/4th place play-off:
Holland 1-2 Croatia

World Cup Final:
Brazil 0-3 France


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