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Senegalese Tie One On With Danes, 1-1

June 07, 2002|Grahame L. Jones

Senegal, which defeated defending champion France in the opening game of the World Cup, almost earned another upset victory Thursday but in the end had to settle for a 1-1 tie with Denmark in front of 43,500 in Daegu, South Korea.

The result left both teams with a chance to advance to the final 16.

The African team, playing in its first World Cup, once again showed the ability and resolve to keep pace with top European competition. In fact, by the time referee Carlos Batres of Guatemala blew the final whistle, it was the Danes, semifinalists in 1998, who breathed a sigh of relief.

"I think we were lucky to get a point," Denmark Coach Morten Olsen acknowledged after watching his players wilt in the heat late in the game.

"They are physical," Olsen said, "and playing in 30 degrees [Celsius] is something for Africans but difficult for Europeans. Senegal was the better team in the second half."

Denmark took the lead when forward Jon Dahl Tomasson scored his third goal of the tournament, netting a penalty kick in the 16th minute after being knocked down by Senegal midfielder Salif Diao.

Diao made up for that mistake seven minutes into the second half when he scored to cap a fine counterattacking move by Senegal. But Diao also earned a second yellow card later in the match and was ejected.

That blemish aside, Senegal Coach Bruno Metsu was pleased.

"When you are 1-0 behind against a team like Denmark, it's not easy to come back," he said.

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