World Cup Today
World Cup Today
Jun. 18, 1998
PARIS (AP) _ Day 9 of the World Cup:
THURSDAY'S RESULTS: In a match filled with red cards (three) and yellows (seven), Denmark tied South Africa 1-1 in Group C.
France moved into the second round, joining Brazil, when it beat Saudi Arabia 4-0 in another tightly called game. The Saudis became the first team eliminated from the tournament.
STARS OF THE DAY: Benni McCarthy scored the first World Cup goal for newcomers South Africa in its 1-1 tie with Denmark.
Thierry Henry, the best player for France in its opener, scored two more goals against Saudi Arabia, tying him for the tournament lead with three.
INJURIES: French striker Christophe Dugarry tore his right hamstring vs. Saudi Arabia ... Bulgarian defender Ivaylo Iordanov aggravated an abdominal muscle injury and will miss Friday's game with Nigeria ... England central defender Gary Southgate has an ankle injury that required treatment Thursday, even though it was a day off for the team.
CARD CRAZY: Colombian referee John Jairo Toro Rendon handed out two red cards to Denmark and one to South Africa. Those accompanied seven yellow cards, including four for time-wasting, after FIFA president Sepp Blatter complained this week that referees were too lax.
Not to be outdone, Arturo Brizio of Mexico handed out two reds and four yellows in the France-Saudi Arabia match.
LOOKAHEAD: Spain, the favorite in Group D heading into the tournament, now faces a dangerous situation against Paraguay in Saint-Etienne. After losing to Nigeria, the Spanish can do no worse than a day and probably need a win against the South Americans, who tied Bulgaria 0-0. Spain, which never has played Paraguay, is making its sixth straight World Cup appearance, but has disappointed in most of those. This is considered one of its strongest teams, led by Fernando Hierro (a goal and an assist in the opener) and striker Raul. Paraguay showed almost no offense in its first game, except for a brilliant free kick by goalie Jose Luis Chilavert that almost found the net.
The Nigerians won the Olympics with a wide-open attack, and they showed it once more against Spain in a comeback 3-2 victory. They say they won't lay back against the counter-attacking Bulgarians, who did little vs. Paraguay. Nigerian players will earn $15,000 a man in bonuses from their federation if they win at Parc des Princes. Bulgaria will try to slow things down and look for Hristo Stoichkov to set up its offense.
QUOTEBOOK: ``I think all of us understand the implications of the game and we're excited about it. It's an opportunity for the sport of soccer to bring two nations together. It's the beauty of the World Cup.'' _ Eric Wynalda of the U.S. team on the impending game with Iran.