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Korea/Japan 20



The 2002 FIFA World Cup, the seventeenth staging of the World Cup, was held in the Korea Republic and Japan from 31 May to 30 June.  FIFA's Executive Committee awarded the 2002 World Cup final tournament to Korean Republic and Japan as co-hosts at a meeting in Zürich, Switzerland on 31 May 1996.

Initially, the two Asian countries were competitors in the bidding process. But before the vote, they agreed with FIFA to co-host the event.  FIFA has since said that co-hosting is not likely to happen again, and in 2004 officially stated that its statutes did not allow co-hosting bids. The only rival bid came, once again, from Mexico, but the voting by acclamation, that is to say, a vote without ballot, promptly brought the World Cup to Asia for the first time. 

The Draw

FIFA's World Cup 2002 Organising Committee divided the 32 qualifying teams into eight groups for the final tournament at the World Cup Final Draw, held on 1 December 2001 in Busan, Korean Republic. Before the draw, it was arranged that the last three teams in Pot B would be drawn into four groups which did not already contain two European teams and one would be left without second European team.

Seeded Europe Asia/CONMEBOL Africa/CONCACAF
France Portugal Turkey Paraguay Mexico
Brazil England Belgium Uruguay USA
Argentina Republic of Ireland Saudi Arabia Cameroon
Italy Sweden Slovenia Ecuador Nigeria
Spain Denmark Russia China PR Costa Rica
Germany Croatia Poland   Tunisia
Japan   South Africa
Korean Republic Senegal

Ranking the Groups - Peter Young's comments

The Build-Up

MAY 13: The England squad flew from Luton to Dubai for a few days relaxation with their families, before jetting off to the Far East. Danny Murphy and Trevor Sinclair travelled as potential replacements for the injured Steven Gerrard and Kieron Dyer, both of whom stayed at home. David Beckham assured reporters that he would be fit for the first game after recovering from a broken foot, but that he would not take part in either of the warm-up games, as a precaution.

MAY 14: Gerrard withdrew from the squad in order to have treatment on his troublesome groin. Murphy was promoted to the provisional final 23.

MAY 15: The players had a light workout in Dubai. Beckham and Nicky Butt (recovering from a knee injury) went for a jog.

MAY 18: Kieron Dyer flew into Dubai to join the squad in time to catch a nine-hour flight to the island of Jeju in South Korea.

MAY 19: Nicky Butt was able to do some light training with a ball.

MAY 20: England trained at the Seogwipo Stadium.

MAY 21: Eriksson submitted his squad list to FIFA (picking Dyer and not Sinclair), and England drew, 1-1, with South Korea.

The Times: "Hargreaves sparkles amid the dross"

...technical limitations were exposed by one of the minnows of the World Cup.

Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves were exempt from criticism...

MAY 22: With Dyer named in the squad, Trevor Sinclair flew back to Heathrow. Meanwhile, Danny Murphy broke a foot in training. David Beckham trained with a ball for the first time since his injury.

MAY 24: Murphy withdrew from the squad and Sinclair was summoned back as his replacement. David Dunn and Alan Smith were placed on standby in case Beckham and Dyer failed to gain full fitness before the tournament.

MAY 26: Sinclair arrived in Japan, in time to take part in England's 2-2 draw with Cameroon, in Kobe.

The Times: "Weight of the world on Heskey's shoulders"

Heskey is playing like a man with a sackload of troubles, or rocks, on his back...

...made less imaginative runs than the linesmen.

MAY 28: David Beckham resumed full training with the squad, on Awaji Island.

MAY 31: Eriksson dismissed talk that England's priority was to build for future tournaments.

The Times: "...I don't want to hear that we are not ready...the World Cup starts now and we have to be prepared...I would say 90 per cent of the players will be available for the next World Cup, but that is another life. They must seize this moment."


First Phase Table
Group F (Japan)
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Sweden 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 5
England 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1 5
Argentina 3 1 1 1 2 2 =0 4
Nigeria 3 0 1 2 1 3 -2 1
2 June 2002
2:30pm JST - Argentina 1 Nigeria 0 [0-0]
Kashima Sakkā Sutajiamu, Kashima-shi, Kantō, Ibaraki (34,050)
6:30pm JST - England 1 Sweden 1 [1-0]
Saitama Sutajiamu Niimarumarunii, Saitama-shi, Midori-ku, Kantō, Ibaraki (62,561)
7 June 2002
3:30pm JST - Sweden 2 Nigeria 1 [1-1]
Kōbe Uingu Sutajiamu, Hyōgo-ku, Kōbe-shi, HyĊgo-ken, Kansa (36,194)
Larsson (2 (1 pen))
8:30pm JST - Argentina 0 England 1 [0-1]
Sapporo Dōmu, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo-shi, Hokkaidō (35,927)
Beckham (pen)
12 June 2002
3:30pm JST - Sweden 1 Argentina 1 [0-0]
Miyagi Sutajiamu, Rifu-chō, Miyagi-gun, Mutsu (45,777)
3:30pm JST - Nigeria 0 England 0 [0-0]
Ōsaka-shi Nagai Rikujō Kyōgijō, Ōsaka-shi, Kansai (44,864)


After almost eight weeks on the sidelines because of his broken foot, the captain was struggling after only 30 minutes.

Beckham's exhaustion exacerbated the malaise that began to weaken England's performance after the first 35 minutes...the defence dropped deep and the midfield...was overrun.

DAVID BECKHAM: If we have a second half like that again we will be out of the World Cup.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Sol Campbell 8/10 - Unflappable.

Daily Express: After all the hype and hope, the expressions of disappointment and deflation in failing to capitalise on an early lead was obvious in the faces of all the squad as they made their way to the team bus.

THREE LIONS IN JAPAN (FA Report): a game of three thirds

At the end of 90 gruelling minutes, the boss and his team trudged off the pitch to face the cameras and the microphones, knowing to a man that they had done just about enough to survive in the Group of Death. After all, there was a point in the bag. It was also clear that there could be no more jitters, no more complacency, if they were to re-align English yin with English yang and make proper progress in the Orient.


...triumph against all expectations...

England might have won by a greater margin...

DAVID BECKHAM: The sweetest moment of my career.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Paul Scholes 9/10 - The greatest performance of his career.

Daily Express: They outplayed the team who had come into this tournament as favourites. England defended with supreme discipline, passed and moved with wit in midfield and attacked with intensity.

THREE LIONS IN JAPAN (FA Report): another historical ghost is laid to rest

Making a dignified exit from the Sapporo arena, skipper Beckham said: "We are sportsmen and professionals. We won't react in the wrong way to this game." For the captain, in particular, the spectre of St Etienne four years earlier had been well and truly exorcised. And the singing didn't start until the dressing-room door was closed.


...there was a sense of an opportunity missed because victory would have pitted Eriksson's squad against Senegal in the easiest section of the tournament.

...after a nervous opening in which the heat seemed to make them overly cautious, England were mostly in control.

DAVID BECKHAM: It was so humid out there. I've played in Brazil before but nothing compares with today.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Rio Ferdinand 9/10 - Fast becoming one of the best defenders in the world.

Daily Express: What was most impressive about England's display, despite the stifling conditions, was how the team gelled as a unit and played with the Italian quality Eriksson defines as "furbo" - shrewdness.


Michael Owen, still to score in the Finals, said: "It was the hardest match we've played and if there's anything good about coming second in the Group, it's that we next play at night up north, rather than another African team down south in the middle of the day".

Plan B, it seemed, had worked after all.

The Second Phase

15 June 2002
3:30pm KST - Germany 1 Paraguay 0 [0-0]
Jeju Gyeonggijang, Jeju-si, Jeju, Korea (25,176)
8:30pm JST - Denmark 0 England 3 [0-3]
Niigata Sutajiamu, Niigata-shi, Chūbu-chihō, Japan (40,582)
Sørenson OG (R.Ferdinand), Owen, Heskey
16 June 2002
3:30pm JST - Sweden 1 Senegal 2 [1-1] AET [1-1]
Ōita Sutajiamu, Oita-shi, Kyūshū, Japan (39,747)
H.Camara (2 including golden goal)
3:30pm KST - Spain 1 Republic of Ireland 1 [1-0]
[1-1] & Penalties [3-2]
Suwon World Cup Gyeonggijang, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do, Korea (38,926)
Keane (pen)
Penalty Shoot-out:- Keane 1-0, Hierro 1-1, Holland crossbar, Baraja 1-2, Connolly saved, Juanfran wide, Kilbane saved, Valerón post, Finnan 2-2, Mendieta 2-3.
17 June 2002
3:30pm KST - Mexico 0 USA 2 [0-1]
Jeonju World Cup Gyeonggijang, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, Korea (36,380)
McBride, Donovan
8:30pm JST - Brazil 2 Belgium 0 [0-0]
Kōbe Uingu Sutajiamu, Hyōgo-ku, Kōbe-shi, Hyōgo-ken, Kansai, Japan (40,440)
Rivaldo, Ronaldo
18 June 2002
3:30pm JST - Japan 0 Turkey 1 [0-1]
Miyagi Sutajiamu, Rifu-chō, Miyagi-gun, Mutsu, Japan (45,666)
8:30pm KST - Korea Republic 2 Italy 1 [0-1]
Daejeon World Cup Gyeonggijang, Daejeon-gwangyeoksi, Chungcheong-do, Korea (38,588)
 Seol, Ahn (golden goal)


One goal conceded in four matches is the record of potential champions...

McClaren has come into his own as the organiser of a formidable back four.

DAVID BECKHAM: We are two games away from the World Cup Final and if we continue to perform like we have done against some of the best teams in the world, there is no reason for us to be frightened of anyone.

SVEN-GÖRAN ERIKSSON: It is good to be among the best eight teams in the world. It would be even better to be among the best four.

THOMAS GRAVESEN (Danish midfielder): England's defence was like a wall, it was so difficult to get through. Even the strikers defend brilliantly.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Nicky Butt - Grew in stature as the match progressed and chased every ball.

THREE LIONS IN JAPAN (FA Report): singing in the rain

England eliminated Denmark with a scintillating performance in a rain-soaked Second Round encounter in Niigata. The Danes, who had been so devastating in the Group A contest, seemed strangely out of sorts right from the start.

[Bobby Robson was knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.]

Round of sixteen

Quarter Finals

21 June 2002
3:30pm JST - England 1 Brazil 2 [1-1]
Shizuoka Sutajiamu Ekopa, Fukuroi-shi, Chūbu-chihō, Japan (47,436)
Rivaldo, Ronaldinho
8:30pm KST - Germany 1 USA 0 [1-0]
Ulsan Munsu Chukgu Gyeonggijang, Ulsan-gwangyeoksi, Yeongnam, Korea (37,337)
22 June 2002
3:30pm KST - Spain 0 Korea Republic 0 [0-0]
AET [0-0] & Penalties [3-5]
Gwangju World Cup Gyeonggijang, Gwangju-gwangyeoksi, Honam, Korea (42,114)
Penalty Shoot-out:- Hwang 1-0, Hierro 1-1, Park 2-1, Baraja 2-2, Seol 3-2, Xavi 3-3, Ahn 4-3, Joaquin saved, Hong 5-3.
8:30pm KST - Senegal 0 Turkey 1 [0-0] AET [0-0]
Ōsaka-shi Nagai Rikujō Kyōgijō, Ōsaka-shi, Kansai, Japan (44,233)
Ílhan (golden goal)


...they ran out of energy, organisation and invention.

...a predictable conclusion for a team that still has much to learn.

...David Beckham, their captain and inspiration, working at a maximum of 80 per cent.

...Eriksson...has begun to re-establish England as a leading force.

SVEN-GÖRAN ERIKSSON: We made a small mistake at the end of the first half and another at the beginning of the second. But that happens. At the end we were not good enough, but we will be.


...Eriksson no longer looks infallible. His weakness is inflexibility and he passes it on to his teams.

...basic 4-4-2 at its most unadventurous.

England needed to be more dynamic...

Gerrard's...forward momentum was badly missed in Shizuoka.

THREE LIONS IN JAPAN (FA Report): lion taming

With English hopes in tatters David Seaman was inconsolable. Blaming himself for the seeming error that led to the decisive goal, the 'keeper later apologised to team-mates and fans alike. Yet whether England had exited through error, through fluke or through a touch of rare genius, their adventures in the Land of the Rising Sun were over.

The Three Lions were saying Sayonara.

Semi Finals

25 June 2002 - 8:30pm KST
Germany 1 Korea Republic 0 [0-0]
Seoul World Cup Gyeonggijang, Seongsan, Mapo-gu, Seoul Teukbyeolsi, Korea (65,625)
26 June 2002 - 8:30pm JST
Brazil 1 Turkey 0 [0-0]
Saitama Sutajiamu Niimarumarunii, Saitama-shi, Midori-ku, Kantō, Ibaraki, Japan (61,058)


Third Place Play off

29 June 2002 - 8:00pm KST
Korea Republic 2 Turkey 3 [1-3]
Daegu World Cup Gyeonggijang, Daegu-gwangyeoksi, Yeongnam, Korea (63,483)
Lee EY, Song
Sükür, Ílhan (2)


The 2002 Final

30 June 2002 - 8:00pm JST
Germany 0 Brazil 2 [0-0]
Yokohama Kokusai Sōgō Kyōgi-jō, Yokohama-shi, Kantō, Ibaraki, Japan (69,029)
Ronaldo (2)