Henry scores twice as France cruises past Egypt 5-0Posted: Wednesday April 30, 2003 5:55 PM
Updated: Thursday May 01, 2003 12:17 AM
PARIS (AP) -- Captain Marcel Desailly set a new record of 104 caps for France on Wednesday as Les Bleus crushed Egypt 5-0 in what was likely one of the easiest games in his distinguished career.
Desailly, 34, surpassed the record of 103 caps set by former captain and close friend Didier Deschamps -- the only players to have made 100 appearances for their country.
Desailly left the field of play in the 75th minute to a standing ovation from the Stade de France crowd, who had already been thrilled by some outstanding soccer.
The prolific Thierry Henry scored twice, with Robert Pires, Djibril Cisse and Olivier Kapo adding further strikes.
Henry perhaps stole the show, but the crowd paid homage to Desailly -- one of France's great defenders.
Since making his international debut against Sweden in 1993, Desailly has missed only 15 games for the national team.
He established himself as the cornerstone of the defense during France's victorious 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 campaigns.
Following Deschamps' retirement in 2000, Desailly -- nicknamed "The Rock" -- was appointed by then-coach Roger Lemerre as France's captain.
He had worn the armband sporadically since 1995 -- when Deschamps and Laurent Blanc were not playing -- but became its permananent owner in September 2000, during a 1-1 with England at Stade de France.
Against minnows Egypt, Desailly wore the armband for the 37th time, but he still has a way to go before overtaking record-holder Deschamps, 54, and midfield legend Michel Platini, 50.
Strangely, becoming captain was never Desailly's ambition.
Before accepting the leader's role, Desailly was a player who preferred to prepare alone for matches -- concentrating himself in the corner of the locker room and leaving the motivation to others.
In his biography, "Capitaine," Desailly admitted that becoming captain was one of the biggest achievements of his trophy-laden career.
"It was a personal challenge, a way of forcing myself against my real nature, and also a way of overcoming a slight lack of self-confidence," Desailly said.
According to Just Fontaine, France's record-breaking goalscorer, Desailly is a model captain. Someone who, in his words, "does the talking on the pitch."
Fontaine, who set a record of 13 World Cup goals in 1958 which still stands today, remembers his first meeting with Desailly -- in 1985 when Desailly and Deschamps were apprentices with Nantes.
A media friend of Fontaine's had arranged a leisurely friendly match in the Nantes region, involving four players on each side.
Fontaine was joined by Raymond Kopa, the classy former Real Madrid and France midfielder, but they found themselves two players short.
"We didn't have enough players," Fontaine said in a phone interview. "So, we had to ask Nantes if we could borrow a couple of youngsters. Guess who they were? Desailly and Deschamps."
Fontaine, who coached but never captained the French side, said the 16-year-old Desailly was totally different to the man-mountain he has since become.
"He was skinny, very shy, a bit frail, but you could tell he and Deschamps were very talented lads," he said.
"He has been a good captain, particularly the way he encourages the young players. He leads by example," Fontaine concluded.
Netherlands 1, Portugal 1At Eindhoven, Netherlands, Patrick Kluivert's 37th goal in an orange shirt equaled Dennis Bergkamp's Dutch national scoring record. The Barcelona striker picked up Roy Makaay's 27th-minute backheel and side-footed his shot through 'keeper Ricardo's fingertips and inside the post. Midfielder Simao Sabrosa equalized 12 minutes for time when he drove the ball through the legs of Frank de Boer. A bad deflection sent 'keeper Edwin van der Sar sprawling in the wrong direction.
The Dutch have won only once in eight meetings with Portugal. National coach Dick Advocaat stretched his unbeaten record to 14 games at the helm.
Spain 4, Ecuador 0Striker Fernando Morientes scored three goals as Spain cruised over Ecuador in a friendly match at the Vicente Calderon stadium.
Morientes netted in the 20th, 22nd and 64th minutes on his return to the national side after being omitted from Spain's last four matches. The Real Madrid striker was replacing the team's all-time top scorer and club teammate Raul Gonzalez, who is recuperating from an emergency appendix operation.
Midfielder Javi de Pedro netted the first goal of Spain's emphatic victory, which extended coach Inaki Saez's unbeaten record to nine games since replacing Jose Antonio Camacho after last year's World Cup finals.
Germany 1, Serbia and Montenegro 0At Bremen, Germany, Germany capitalized on a goalkeeping mistake to snap its winless streak with the victory on a goal by midfielder Sebastian Kehl. Germany, the World Cup runner-up, won for the first time in four games. It had goalkeeper Frank Rost to thank for the victory, while the error by the visitors' goalkeeper Dragoslav Jevric led to Germany's goal. Kehl picked up a loose ball and fired from some 30 meters (yards). Jevric tried to punch it away but instead diverted it inside his own post on the hour.
Czech Republic 4, Turkey 0At Prague, the Czechs scored four first-half goals and buried Turkey. Tomas Rosicky opened the deluge in the second minute with three others getting into the act: Jan Koller (20th), Vladimir Smicer (37th) and Milan Baros (38th).
Switzerland 1, Italy 2Alexander Frei gave Switzerland the lead in the fifth minute, but Nicola Legrottaglie equalized for Italy and Cristiano Zanetti got the winner.
Libya 1, Argentina 3Javier Saviola, Juan Riquelme and Pablo Aimar scored for Argentina while Tariq al-Taib had equalized for Libya in the first half.
Denmark 1, Ukraine 0At Copenhagen, Denmark, Thomas Graversen scored a first-half goal to give the Danes the victory. Claus Jensen took a corner kick in the 36th minute and Graversen, who was free of Ukrainian defenders, headed the ball past Ukraine goalkeeper Dmytro Shutkov.
Austria 2, Scotland 0GLASGOW, April 30 (Reuters) - Two first-half goals gave Austria a 2-0 friendly win over Scotland at a desolate Hampden Park on Wednesday.
Roland Kirchler stabbed home the first on 27 minutes and the visitors deservedly doubled their lead five minutes later when Dundee United goalkeeper Paul Gallacher was needlessly dispossessed by Sturm Graz's Mario Haas, who slammed into the empty net.
Hungary 5, Luxembourg 1BUDAPEST, Hungary (Reuters) - Substitute striker Imre Szabics scored twice on his debut as Hungary thrashed Luxembourg 5-1 in an international friendly on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old, who came on for the second half, netted Hungary's second on 52 minutes and added another in injury time to round off the scoring. The other goals came from Zoltan Gera, who got the first, Krisztian Lisztes and Krisztian Kenesei.
Tunisia 1, Senegal 0TUNIS, Tunisia (Reuters) -- Roger Lemerre, whose France team lost 1-0 to Senegal in the opening match of last year's World Cup finals, got a measure of revenge on Wednesday when his Tunisia side beat their African rivals 1-0 in a friendly.
Striker Najeh Braham struck in first-half injury time to give the 2004 African Nations Cup hosts victory over the World Cup quarter-finalists to help Lemerre erase the painful memory of the shok defeat suffered by France in May 2002.
Belgium 3, Poland 1BRUSSELS, Belgium (Reuters) - Belgium, still smarting from a Euro 2004 Group Eight humiliation at the hands of Croatia last month, defeated Poland 3-1 in an exciting international friendly on Wednesday.
The result offered a boost to Belgium coach Aime Antheunis after last month's 4-0 defeat.
South Africa 0, Jamaica 0CAPE TOWN, South Africa (Reuters) - South Africa and Jamaica played out a dour goalless draw in their friendly international on Wednesday, with both sides fielding experimental lineups and failing to create any clear-cut scoring opportunities.