France beat Portugal 1-0 and reach FIFA World Cup final

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006

World Cup 2006 logo.png

An experienced French side beat Portugal 1-0 in an unspectacular semi-final of the FIFA World Cup in Munich, Wednesday.

Allianz Arena

The team that lined up against Luis Felipe Scolari's side had an average age over 30 and after they went ahead from a 32 minute Zinedine Zidane penalty used their experience to control the game.

In the second half French tactics became increasingly defensive which saw ball possession go from a direct split at half time to 59 per cent in favour of Portugal as, at times, every French man sat back in his own half of the pitch.

There were few good chances in a slow game and in the first half Portugal were particularly guilty of wasting possession near the French box, giving Portugal's only striker Pauleta no chance.

On 23 minutes Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo swapped sides but this did not seem to help. French defending was tight and the majority of shots at goal Portugal got were from long range.

On 38 minutes Ronaldo created the best chance; on the left touchline he got passed two French and ran almost 30 yards into the penalty area. His shot was deflected away by a diving Liliam Thuram challenge.

France were also unable to get a sight of goal, confined to three efforts in the first period, to which they were to add two more in the second. The only goal came from a penalty awarded on the half hour when Thierry Henry wrong-footed Ricardo Carvalho and the Chelsea defender impeded Henry's movement with a leg.

Ricardo had saved three penalties against England in the quarter-final shootout but Zidane's low shot to his right just evaded his finger tips.

Portugal did not score in their quarter-final and they were not to score in the semi-final. They came closest to scoring on a Fabien Barthez error when the veteran of France's successful 1998 World Cup campaign failed to catch Ronaldo's driven free kick. He somehow managed also to throw the ball onto Figo's head but the Portugal captain did not keep it down.

Two minutes into added time Fernando Miera had a sight of goal at the edge of the French area but the central defender hit the ball high and wide.

It did not seem like a 100 per cent effort from the French team who might be glad that the game did not go to a punishing Extra Time. Italy awaits Raymond Domenech's side in the Olympiastadion, Berlin, on July 9.

Fifa world cup org.jpg

Semi-finals

Match 61

July 45, 2006
21:00
Flag of France.svg France 1–0 Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal Allianz Arena
Zidane 32' (pen)

Attendance: 66'000

Formations

France

Flag of France.svg
Right wing Right Center Left Left wing
Flag of France.svgFabien Barthez (GK)
Flag of France.svgWilly Sagnol Flag of France.svgLiliam Thuram Flag of France.svgWilliam Gallas Flag of France.svgEric Abidal
Flag of France.svgClaude Makelele
Flag of France.svgFlorent Malouda Flag of France.svgPatrick Viera Flag of France.svgFrank Ribery
Flag of France.svgZinedine Zidane (C) Soccerball.jpg
Flag of France.svgThierry Henry

Substitutes

  • 69' Sylvian Wiltord for Malouda
  • 72' Sidney Govou for Ribery
  • 85' Louis Saha 87'Yellow card.svg for Henry

Coach: Raymond Domenech

Soccerball.jpg denotes one goal scored.


Portugal

Flag of Portugal.svg
Right wing Right Center Left Left wing
Flag of Portugal.svgRicardo (GK)
Flag of Portugal.svgMiguel Flag of Portugal.svgFernando Meira Flag of Portugal.svgRicardo Carvalho 83'Yellow card.svg Flag of Portugal.svgNuno Valente
Flag of Portugal.svgCostinha
Flag of Portugal.svgManiche Flag of Portugal.svgDeco
Flag of Portugal.svgLuís Figo (C) Flag of Portugal.svgCristiano Ronaldo
Flag of Portugal.svgPauleta

Substitutes

  • 62' Paulo Ferreira
  • 68' Simão Sabrosa
  • 75' Hélder Postiga

Coach: Luis Felipe Scolari

Soccerball.jpg denotes one goal scored.

Officials

Flag of Uruguay.svg Referee: Jorge Larrionda Yellow card.svgRed card.svg

Flag of Uruguay.svg Assistant referee: Walter Rial

Flag of Uruguay.svg Assistant referee: Pablo Fandino

Flag of Australia.svg Fourth referee: Mark Shield

Flag of Australia.svg Fifth referee: Nathan Gibson

Related news

Italy score two late in Extra Time, hosts Germany, to play third place match

Sources

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This article is about the 2006 World Cup; for more World Cup news visit the World Cup portal.