Thursday, June 11, 2015

11 June 2002 - Adieu, Les Bleus

On 11 June 2002, defending World Cup champions France were eliminated from the 2002 tournament with a 2-0 loss to Denmark in their final group stage match before a crowd of 48,100 at Korea's Incheon Munhak Stadium. Les Bleus finished at the bottom of their group with a single point, having gone scoreless in all three matches.

France started the day still in contention for the group's second place, needing a win against Denmark and a Uruguay win over Senegal. The French attack, however, was impaired by the absence of prolific striker Thierry Henry, who had been sent off in the previous match after a dangerous sliding tackle. And despite the presence of other French stars on the pitch, including Zinedine Zidane, Marcel Desailly, Patrick Vieira, and David Trezeguet, Les Bleus struggled to create pressure on the Danish goal.

The Danes had no such problem, taking a 22nd-minute lead with a strike from PSV winger Dennis Rommedahl (pictured, top). Striker Jon Dahl Tomasson (pictured, bottom), who had scored the match-winner for Feyenoord in that year's UEFA Cup, added a second in the 67th minute to seal the win.

Denmark advanced only to be eliminated by England 0-3 in the first knockout round.

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