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   1 June, 2002 | 1330 IST



France get the blues

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Senegal focus on next match - coach

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Senegal may have pulled off one of the greatest shocks in World Cup history with their 1-0 defeat of world champions France, but coach Bruno Metsu promised on Saturday that his players would stay focused on their next matches.

"We have a side made of warriors and we have proved it. Beating France was outstanding but we are not going to lose our minds," the French-born Metsu told reporters on Saturday following the stunning success in Seoul a few hours earlier.

"We have two more games and we have the opportunity to go through to the second round.

"Winning the first match was only a step and our main goal has always been to go as far as we could. We have dreamed about this victory. We have prepared for it and we have achieved it."

The Senegalese, who are taking part in their first World Cup finals, clinched victory with a 30th minute Pape Bouba Diop goal.

But their solid defensive performance with a five-strong midfield was the foundation of their win as the likes of top international marksmen Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet, Sylvain Wiltord and Djibril Cisse failed to break them down.

"We are now on the right tracks and we already have our minds set on the next match against Denmark on June 6," said Metsu. "Beating France is just one step. We would have been just as happy if it was any other side we had beaten.

"We came here to do something great. Otherwise we would have gone on holidays.

"We had this belief that there were no little teams any more. We have proved that any side can beat any other."


The Senegalese held a light training session for about an hour on Saturday in front of a small audience at the Mokdong stadium, in the western part of the South Korean capital.

A beaming and relaxed Metsu was welcomed by local officials as he stepped off the players' bus and was offered flowers before heading for the ground under light security.

It was a huge contrast with the overcrowded and sometimes very formal sessions France have held so far, near their luxury hotel by the Han-gang river.

Metsu said he always expected that his team could pull off a good result against the French.

"The main difference between us and the other African sides is all our guys play in the French championship. They have acquired a culture of strategy," he said. "They are disciplined and focused.

"We already had this feeling during the African Nations Cup. We reached the final there and we proved that we could do pretty well at defending. We did not concede a goal even if we lost in a penalty shootout to Cameroon."

"Our (warm-up) match against Ecuador then boosted our confidence. We knew from then that we could challenge great sides without being afraid," Metsu said.

"During the training sessions before the opening game, we could feel something was phasing in gradually."

Metsu said the players did not spend too much time celebrating their victory on Friday.

"We are not here to enjoy ourselves. Some have their wives at the hotel and the others have just watched on TV zapping from one channel to the other.

"It's amazing. Senegal were everywhere, on the BBC, on CNN, just everywhere. It's a bit hard to realise how all the world was interested in us. I would never imagine that a victory could have so great impact."

He concluded: "Of course, we were a little bit lucky on Friday, but luck goes with success. France were lucky too when they won the World Cup."

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