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France Eliminated Without Scoring; Senegal Escapes Second-Half Scare from Uruguay

France became the first defending champ to be eliminated in the first round of the World Cup since 1962 Champion Brazil made an early exit from England '66, as Denmark posted a 2-0 victory over France to send them packing with a 0-2-1 mark and zero goals scored. In today's other Group A match, Senegal squandered a three-goal lead in the second half and escaped with a 3-3 draw with Uruguay to advance to the Round of 16.


Needing a win to advance from the group, France attacked throughout the match but fell behind in the 22nd minute on a strike from Dennis Rammedahl and could not crack Denmark's defense, backed by goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen. Jon Dahl Tomasson added his fourth goal of the tournament in the 67th minute to seal the result, winning the group for Denmark and sending France to an early exit. Despite controlling possession for much of the match and dominating the scoresheet in every category in this match, France goes home without a goal, the first team since Greece in '94 to go scoreless in the World Cup Finals - and the first-ever champion to fail to score in its title defense.

France was aided by the return of star playmaker Zinedine Zidane, who added creativity to the French attack, but was clearly still hobbled by the injury to his left thigh that forced him to miss France's first two matches in this World Cup. The defending champions suffered from inadequate finishing, rarely challenging Sorensen, combined with bad luck as they hit the woodwork on two shots that did get by Sorensen.

Denmark advances as the group winner with seven points from two wins and a draw. They will meet the second-place team from Group F. Argentina, England and Sweden are currently in contention to advance from Group F.

Scoring Summary:
DEN - Dennis Rommedahl, 22.
DEN - Jon Dahl Tomasson, 67.

DEN - 1-Thomas SOrensen, 2-Stig Tofting (23-Brian Steen Nielsen, 79), 3-Rene Henriksen (capt.), 4-Martin Laursen, 6-Thomas Helveg, 7-Thomas Gravesen, 9-Jon Dahl Tomasson, 10-Martin Jorgensen (8-Jesper Gronkjaer, 46), 12-Niclas Jensen, 17-Christian Poulsen (20-Kasper Bogelund, 76), 19-Dennis Rommedahl.

FRA - 16-Fabien Barthez, 2-Vincent Candela, 3-Bixente Lizarazu, 4-Patrick Vieira (22-Johan Micoud, 71), 7-Claude Makelele, 8-Marcel Desailly (capt.), 10-Zinedine Zidane, 11-Sylvain Wiltord (6-Youri Djorkaeff, 83), 15-Lilian Thuram, 20-David Trezeguet, 21-Christophe Dugarry (9-Djibril Cisse, 54).

Misconduct Sumamry:
FRA - Christophe Dugarry (C), 8.
DEN - Christian Poulsen (C), 27.
DEN - Niclas Jensen (C), 71.


Senegal, needing a draw to advance to the Second Round in its first-ever appearance in the World Cup Finals, took a three-goal lead into halftime, but saw it disappear over the course of the second half as Uruguay draw the game even and nearly took the lead in stoppage time. A one-goal win by Uruguay would have left the teams even on points, goal difference and goals scored, going to the fourth tie-breaker - head-to-head result - which would have been in Uruguay's favor. However, Senegal escaped with the draw they needed to secure their place in the Round of 16, where they will meet the winner of Group F, which could be Argentina, England or Sweden.

Senegal scored its first goal on a penalty kick as El Hadji Diouf intercepted a back-pass from defender Paolo Montero to goalkeeper Fabian Carini. The referee ruled that Carini took Diouf down in the box and awarded a penalty, which Khalilou Fadiga scored to give Senegal the 1-0 lead at the 20-minute mark.

Papa Bouba Diop gave the African debutantes their 3-0 lead with two goals of his own, first a counter-attack goal assisted by Henri Camara in the 26th minute, then a volley over Carini and off the bottom of the crossbar in the 38th minute.

Uruguay wasted no time getting their comeback started in the second half, as Richard Morales found the net with the rebound of a Dario Silva shot in the 46th minute to make the score 3-1.

A Diego Forlan 20-yard volley cut the score to 3-2 in the 69th minute, setting up an intense final 20 minutes as Senegal sought to rebuild its lead, but Uruguay pressed for the two goals it so desperately needed to see another day in the tournament. The equalizer finally came in the 88th minute as Morales was taken down in the area on a one-two play with Silva, giving Alvaro Recoba a penalty kick that evened the score. Uruguay kept the pressure on through stoppage time, nearly getting the winner in the 92nd minute as Gustavo Varela‚Äôs 20-yard attempt caught Tony Sylva away from his line, only to have Lamine Diatta head it off the line before Morales failed to head the rebound into the empty net.

Scoring Summary:
SEN - Khalilou Fadiga (pk), 20.
SEN - Papa Bouba Diop, 26.
SEN - Papa Bouba Diop, 38.
URU - Richard Morales, 46.
URU - Diego Forlan, 69.
URU - Alvaro Recoba (pk), 88.

SEN - 1-Tony Sylva, 2-Omar Daf, 4-Papa Malick Diop, 5-Alassane Ndour (12-Amdy Faye, 76), 6-Aliou Cisse (capt.) 7-Henri Camara (14-Maussa Ndiaye, 67), 10-Khalilou Fadiga, 11-El Hadji Diouf, 13-Lamine Diatta, 17-Ferninand Coly (21-Habib Beye, 63), 19-Papa Bouba Diop.

URU - 1-Fabian Carini, 3-Alejandro Lembo, 4-Paolo Montero (capt.), 5-Pablo Garcia, 6-Dario Rodriguez, 8-Gustavo Valera, 9-Dario Silva, 13-Sebastian Abreu (18-Richard Morales, 46), 14-Gonzalo Soronodo (17-Mario Regueiro, 32), 16-Marcelo Romero (21-Diego Forlan, 46), 20-Alvaro Recoba.

Misconduct Summary:
SEN - Henri Camara (C), 2.
SEN - Omar Daf (C), 4.
URU - Marcelo Romero (C), 8.
URU - Fabian Carini (C), 19.
URU - Pablo Garcia (C), 35.
SEN - Ferdinand Coly (C), 39.
URU - Dario Rodriguez (C), 40.
SEN - Papa Bouba Diop (C), 69.
URU - Paolo Montero (C), 82.
SEN - El Hadji Diouf (C), 82.
SEN - Khalilou Fadiga (C), 87.
SEN - Habib Beye (C), 87.