> Sports > 2002 FIFA WORLD CUP 

   22 May, 2002 | 1735 IST


Brazil get cracking

  More Slide Shows

Djorkaeff and Cisse star in victory

E-Mail this report to a friend
Print this page Best Printed on  HP Laserjets

Veteran Youri Djorkaeff scored a hat-trick in France's 5-1 victory over Japanese first division Urawa Reds in a World Cup warm-up on Wednesday, but it was young striker Djibrill Cisse who caught the eye.

Cisse underlined his potential by setting up two goals and scoring a third for the world champions in an 80-minute game played in heavy rain in the coastal resort of Ibusuki.

"We needed to have a game like one to get some confidence as we are a little bit concerned about some players' physical condition at the momemnt," said coach Roger Lemerre.

"I'm happy with the performance the guys produced today. We needed to be reassured after last week's defeat. I was expecting no less than that."

France were beaten 2-1 by Belgium in a warm-up last weekend at the Stade de France.

"But more than the result itself I wanted to have all the squad in the best possible physical condition to face South Korea on Sunday," Lemerre said.

The France coach had hinted Thierry Henry might play on Wednesday but he continued to rest the Arsenal striker because of a knee injury.

The world champions were also without defenders Philippe Christanval and Lilian Thuram and midfielder Alain Boghossian, who are all unfit. Playmaker Zinedine Zidane arrived from France just two hours before the kick-off and did not play.


In Zidane's absence, Djorkaeff was the playmaker and the Bolton midfielder shone.

Djorkaeff volleyed home a fine cross from the right by Cisse at the far post for France's second goal in the 34th minute after Parma's Johan Micoud had opened the scoring thanks to a fine pass by Cisse in the 24th.

The French put the result beyond doubt when Cisse outpaced the Urawa Reds' defence five minutes into the second half.

"He (Cisse) is a great help to the squad," said Lemerre. "He has done pretty well against the Belgians. And today he has confirmed he is a member of the France set-up beyond any doubt."

In the second half, Lemerre made five changes as he wanted to look at as many players as possible just nine days before the World Cup's opening match against Senegal.

Outclassing their opponents, the world champions added two more goals from Djorkaeff, before the Urawa Reds saved their pride with a late goal by striker Masahiro Fukuda from the penalty spot.

France are to stay in Ibusuki until Saturday before flying to Seoul where they will face World Cup co-hosts South Korea in their last warm-up game on Sunday.

Squad: 1-German Burgos, 2-Roberto Ayala, 3-Juan Pablo Sorin, 4-Mauricio Pochettino, 5-Matias Almeyda, 6-Walter Samuel, 7-Claudio Lopez, 8-Javier Zanetti, 9-Gabriel Batistuta, 11-Juan Sebastian Veron, 12-Pablo Cavallero, 13-Diego Placente, 14-Diego Simeone, 15-Claudio Husain, 16-Pablo Aimar, 17-Gustavo Lopez, 18-Kily Gonzalez, 19-Hernan Crespo, 20-Marcelo Gallardo, 21-Claudio Caniggia, 22-Jose Chamot, 23-Ariel Oretga, 24-Roberto Bonano.

Back to top
(c) Copyright 2002 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.


(c) 2002 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.