Ron­aldo and Co lead vic­tory dance

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FOOTBALL -

THE FIRST World Cup to be staged out­side Europe or the Amer­i­cas, the 2002 fi­nals were also the first to be shared by two na­tions, with South Korea and Ja­pan earn­ing co­host­ing rights.

The build-up was dom­i­nated by fears over se­cu­rity fol­low­ing the Septem­ber 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, and it was a sign of the times that anti-air­craft mis­sile bat­ter­ies were de­ployed around the gleam­ing new sta­di­ums.

In the event, the tour­na­ment passed off peace­fully and the only shocks were re­stricted to the field of play. Up­sets were to prove the hall­mark of the tour­na­ment from the out­set, when World Cup debu­tants Sene­gal beat hold­ers France with a 1-0 win in the open­ing match in Seoul.

France’s demise was one of the most strik­ing sur­prises of the fi­nals. They failed to score a goal and man­aged only a draw and two de­feats to crash out mis­er­ably in the first round, the worst per­for­mance by any de­fend­ing cham­pion.

But while Sene­gal’s gi­ant-killing run took them all the way to the quar­ter-fi­nals, the most no­table min­nows were hosts South Korea, who recorded wins over Por­tu­gal, Italy and Spain be­fore they bowed out in the last four to Ger­many.

A tour­na­ment char­ac­terised by up­sets ended with two of the World Cup’s great­est pow­ers – Brazil and Ger­many – meet­ing in the fi­nal.

Ron­aldo, fit again af­ter his 1998 night­mare, scored both goals in the fi­nal as Brazil clinched a record fifth crown.

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