France qualify with 2-0 win over Togo in Group G
Friday, June 23, 2006
Patrick Viera and Thierry Henry scored second half goals to give France a 2-0 win over Togo in Group G, Friday.
A win that should have been a rout but for the number of almost unwatchable misses racked up by David Trezeguet and Frank Ribery. The lack of French execution in front of goal had fans in the crowd jeering when they were 2-0 up.
This was very unfair on the French team, and particularly the brilliance of Patrick Viera, who were totally dominant as an attacking side and were much the better team in all areas - only to be let down by nerves in front of goal.
Before the game France were third in Group G with two points from two matches to Korea Republic's and Switzerland's four. France had to win the game to get into the round of sixteen and the pressure seemed to be evident in the first half.
Out of seventeen French shots at goal nine found the area guarded by Kossi Agassa but the keeper did not have to produce a spectacular performance. Togo did not play as much as a team as the French a fact reflected in their attack which forced Fabien Barthez to make just two saves.
Patrick Viera, on his 30th birthday, got the necessary goal on 55 minutes. Ribery ran at the Togo defence and slipped a pass to Viera. Inside the area with his back to goal, the Juventus man turned his defender and hit the ball hard to Agassa's left.
A striker's goal from a midfield player.
Viera's presence was noted by the eight fouls he suffered in the game; his excellence by the fact he conceded no fouls. He also got an assist on the second goal when he flicked a header to Henry in the penalty area. A typically clinical finish, Henry's first touch put the ball in a position to shoot before his marker could react.
Raymond Domenech's side win earned a round of sixteen match against Group H winners Spain.
|June 23, 2006|
- 16 F Barthez
- 05 W Gallas
- 13 M Silvestre
- 15 L Thuram
- 19 W Sagnol
- 07 F Malouda (Substituted: 73' S Wiltord)
- 06 C Makelele 30'
- 04 P Vieira (Substituted: 81' A Diarra)
- 22 F Ribery (Substituted: 77' S Govou)
- 20 D Trezeguet
- 12 T Henry
Fifa World Cup Group G table June 23, 2006
- "France 2-0 Togo" — , June 23, 2006
- "Fifa match report" — , June 23, 2006
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