Vive la France
Host nation routs Brazilians 3-0 in World Cup final
Posted: Tuesday December 01, 1998 10:23 PM
France's coach Aime Jacquet holds the World Cup after leading the host nation France to its first-ever championship Ben Radford/Allsport|
PARIS (CNN/SI) -- The idea for the World Cup was French in origin. Sunday
night the World Cup trophy finally belonged to France.
France stunned Brazil 3-0,
thanks to midfielder Zinedine Zidane's two goals, Emmanuel Petit's late
strike, and a stifling defense, which kept the tournament's top-scoring
team from creating many chances.
Zidane headed the first in the 27th minute from Petit's leftwing corner
and his second came in the final minute of the first half this time from a
rightwing corner from Youri Djorkaeff.
Petit added the third on a breakaway in second-half injury time with
Brazil already a beaten team.
The French, playing their first ever final, had to defend its two-goal
lead without star defender Marcel Desailly for the last 22 minutes. The
center-back, who had superbly kept the Brazilian strike force quiet, was
expelled for his second yellow card.
But Aime Jacquet's team still created the best chances of the game and
Stephane Guivarc'h squandered three opportunities with goalkeeper Taffarel
"We won the final because we wanted it the most," Jacquet said. "It was
the result of hard work. We really worked as a team. There was good will
and friendship between all of us.
"We played better and better because we had confidence and we proved we
had great players."
Zidane will long be revered as the hero of the country with his two goals in the first half Stu Forster/Allsport||
Brazilian coach Mario Zagallo said his team never recovered from a slow
start and never looked like winning a fifth championship.
The man who helped Brazil win a record four world titles now is
responsible for its worst World Cup loss.
"Brazil lost the final in the first half," he said. "In the second half we
did everything we could but we were not able to make up the difference."
Zagallo saluted France for beating his superstars, but that 3-0 scoreline
is one Brazil has never experienced before in soccer's world championship.
"The whole nation was behind France," Zagallo said. "The fifth title will
have to be some other time. This wasn't our day. France was better."
The French almost made a sensational start to the final when Didier
Deschamps fired a long ball forwards from deep in his own half and Stephane
Guivarc'h held off a challenge from Junior Baiano before trying an
audacious overhead shot over the top.
In the fourth minute, Djorkaeff slipped a neat ball through to Zidane who
did well to lay it off to Guivarc'h in front of the Brazilian goal.
Guivarc'h only had goalkeeper Taffarel to beat from 12 meters but lost
control and Junior Baiano's challenge ensured his shot was both weak and
The French had another chance in the seventh minute when Zidane swung in a
free kick from the left. Djorkaeff and Guivarc'h were both unchallenged as
they went for the ball at the near post, but Djorkaeff got his shoulder
rather than his head to the ball and the Brazilians were relieved to see
the effort go tamely wide.
Barthez made several big saves on the afternoon, as he recorded his fifth shutout of the World Cup Ross Kinnaird/Allsport|
Ronaldo, who was pulled from the initial Brazilian starting lineup because
of tendinitis trouble but reinstated only 45 minutes before kickoff, sprang
into life in the 22nd minute. He dribbled past Lilian Thuram down the left
and sent over a teasing cross which Barthez struggled to hold underneath
But the French came back to take the lead in the 27th minute after Roberto
Carlos needlessly conceded a corner and got a telling off from Moroccan
referee Said Belqola for angrily kicking the corner flag in frustration.
Petit curled in the flag kick from the right hand side, and Zidane climbed
above Leonardo at the near post to head powerfully downward and past
Three minutes before halftime, the French went close to increasing the
lead when the the ball broke to Petit in front of goal but his shot was
deflected into the side netting.
Taffarel made a stunning reflex save from the unmarked Guivarc'h, and
Djorkaeff drove another corner towards the near post where Zidane ducked to
head inside the post and put the Brazilians under huge pressure for the
Wily Brazilian coach Zagallo sent on Denilson for Leonardo for the second
half, but it was Ronaldo who had a great chance to pull a goal back 11
minutes into the second half.
A left-wing cross from Robeto Carlos dropped to the Inter star at the far
post and, although he got clear of a defender, his well struck, close-range
shot was held by Barthez.
A blunder by the French keeper set up another chance in the 60th minute
when he ran to almost the edge of his area and flapped at a long throw from
Roberto Carlos. The ball dropped to Bebeto whose shot was on target, but
Desailly was back to clear with Barthez nowhere near his goal.
Ronaldo, who was pulled from the initial Brazilian starting lineup because of tendinitis trouble but reinstated only 45 minutes before kickoff, sprang into life in the 22nd minute Ben Radford/Allsport||
Guivarc'h should have scored a third for France in the 63rd when he
pounced on Cafu's weak back header but shot over the top with only Taffarel
France replaced Christian Karembeu with Alain Boghossian and sent on
Christophe Dugarry for Guivarc'h.
But the host was down to 10 players in the 67th minute when Desailly, its
best defender in the game, was shown the red card for his second caution of
the match when he scythed down Cafu. Desailly received his first early in
the second half for dissent.
Zagallo's last throw was to send on striker Edmundo for midfielder Cesar
Sampaio with 16 minutes to go and Aime Jacquet responded by taking off
striker Djorkaeff and replacing him with midfielder Patrick Vieira.
Brazil - Taffarel; Cafu, Aldair, Junior Baiano, Roberto Carlos;
Leonardo (Denilson, 46th), Cesar Sampaio (Edmundo, 74th), Dunga, Rivaldo;
France - Fabien Barthez; Lilian Thuram; Frank Leboeuf, Marcel
Desailly, Bixente Lizarazu; Christian Karembeu (Alain Boghossian, 57th),
Didier Deschamps, Zinedine Zidane, Emmanuel Petit; Youri Djorkaeff (Patrick
Vieira, 76th), Stephane Guivarc'h (Christophe Dugarry, 65th).
Referee - Said Belqola, Morocco.
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.