Go to contents

France Wins, Cheers and Respect to Cameroon

Posted June. 30, 2003 21:51,   


The ‘Blue Army’ has been vindicated from their defeat in last year`s World Cup disqualification and the “Indomitable Lions” have paid tribute to their fallen comrade with a second place trophy.

On June 30, the FIFA Confederation Cup 2003 was held in Saint-Denis Soccer Stadium in Paris, France. After 7 min. into overtime, Thierry Henri of France scored a golden goal and his team won the game 1-0.

With today`s victory, France has achieved her first consecutive victory since 2001. Cameroon has to remain satisfied as the first African team to reach the finals.

Both teams paid tribute to the fallen soccer player, Vivian Poe (Cameroon), who died suddenly during the Cameroon vs. Columbia match on the 27th. The French and Cameroon players entered the soccer pitch with black ribbons on their left arms. They also gave a moment of silence in respect to Vivian Poe before the match.

When the whistle for the start of the match sounded, the Cameroon players showed surprising skill going shoulder to shoulder with the French.

France threatened the Cameroon goalpost with Henry`s left footed shot at 18 min. and Djibril Cisse`s header at 22 min. into first half. Cameroon`s counterattack was also as fierce. Euntiapi`s sliding kick at 35 min into the first half failed penetrate the defense guarded by French goalkeeper, Fabien Barthez.

At 11 min into the second half, Henry made a sharp attempt with his shot. Cameroon answered with Samuel Athoo`s one on one with the French goalkeeper but failed to score.

After 90 min. of fierce fighting, the match ended with no victor and led to overtime, where the clear victor was eventually decided.

In the second half, the French team reformed their battle line with their playmaker Pires and at 7 min. into overtime, with the assistance by Lilian Thuram, Henry`s soft right footed shot finally penetrated the Cameroon goal post. It was a hard won victory after 97 minutes.

However even after their hard won victory instead of cheering, the French players paid their condolences to the Cameroon players which moved the spectators.

With today`s golden goal, Henry has recorded a total of four goals and was voted MVP. The fallen Cameroon player Poe was also on the MVP vote list ranked 3rd.

Sang-Ho Kim hyangsan@donga.com