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12 June 1998 Group C Marseille - Stade Velodrome
France South Africa
The host nation France opened their World Cup Group C campaign with an impressive 3-0 victory over South Africa in front of a 55,077 crowd in the Stade Velodrome in Marseille. With a strong wind at their backs the French were in control from the outset, but constantly ran into a stubborn well organised South African rearguard. The introduction of substitute striker Christophe Dugarry for the injured Stephane Guivarc'h almost brought immediate reward, but Vonk superbly blocked his first touch on 29 minutes. However, just six minutes later he opened the scoring with a leaping glancing header from Zidane's left-wing corner as the French looked comfortable and began to totally dominate proceedings. Nevertheless, South Africa could so easily have gone in level at the break with Issa's header just scraping the woodwork in the last action before the interval. The second half saw the French conquer the difficult conditions and with Zinedine Zidane dictating affairs in the middle of the park alongside Didier Deschamps it was just a question of time before the second goal arrived. Dugarry was again involved in setting up Youri Djorkaeff as the unfortunate Issa deflected into his own net. The South Africans offered nothing up front in a desperately disappointing attacking display and Thierry Henry scored a third right on the final whistle to send the locals home happy.

(1-0) Dugarry (35). Zidane delivered the perfect inswinging corner from the left and the substitute striker lost his marker Issa to beat 'keeper Vonk with a superbly directed glancing header in off the far post.

(2-0) Issa (78, og). Blanc's long throw-in found Dugarry who did well under pressure to lay the ball off for Djorkaeff to wriggle clear and fire in a low shot that appeared to be covered by Vonk until Issa intervened to deflect the ball into his own net from four yards.

(3-0) Henry (90). The leggy Monaco striker burst through on the right side of the box following a mazy run and dinked a delicate right-footed finish from eight yards over the onrushing Vonk to find the net via a touch from Issa.

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Page created by Christakis Ioannou on Saturday, 13 June 1998
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