World Cup: France and Denmark are easy victors; Paraguay, Bulgaria draw.
By Jerry Langdon
Gannett News Service
(Friday, June 12, 1998) -- France and Denmark rolled to easy victories today in the World Cup, while Paraguay and Bulgaria battled to a 0-0 draw.
The hosts, France outclassed South Africa, 3-0, in Marseille in its opener. The French, one of a few teams given a chance to win the World Cup, didn't give their foes a chance to breathe, and broke open the game with two goals in the final 13 minutes, one the third own goal in the tournament.
Substitute Christophe Dugarry headed in a corner kick from Zinedine Zidane for the first goal in the 35th minute, nine minutes after he had come on to replace Stephane Guivarc'h, who limped off injured. The 26-year-old forward played the last half season for Olympique Marseille and struggled after transferring from Barcelona (Spain).
Coach Aime Jacquet was criticized in some quarters for his inclusion of Dugarry, some saying only his close relationship with Zidane earned him a place on the squad.
Denmark had a decided edge against Saudi Arabia, winning 1-0, but didn't get the goal until Marc Rieper scored in the 68th minute, heading in a cross from Brian Laudrup.
"We created a lot of chances, so we should have won by a bigger margin," he said.
Paraguay goalkeeper Jose Luis Chilavert nearly stole the show, barely missing a 25-yard free kick in the 78th minute that would have given his team an upset victory. He curled a left-footed blast over the wall, but Bulgarian counterpart Zdravko Zdravkov leaped high to his right to punch away the shot.
Bulgaria dominated most of the first half -- Hristo Stoichkov hitting the goalpost in the 35th minute _ but the last 50 minutes of the match was controlled by Paraguay.
Paraguay 0, Bulgaria 0
at La Masson, Montpellier
Paraguay - Jose Luis Chilavert, Carlos Gamarra, Celso Ayala, Pedro
Sarabia, Roberto Acuna, Carlos Paredes, Miguel Benitez, Julio Cesar Enciso,
Carlos Morales (Denis Caniz 45), Jose Cardozo (Cesar Ramirez 70), Jorge
Campos (Juan Yegros 77).
Denmark 1, Saudi Arabia 0
at Stade Felix Bollaert, Lens
Denmark - Peter Schmeichel, Marc Rieper, Jes Hogh, Soeren Colding,
Michael Schjonberg, Thomas Helveg, Morten Wieghorst (Allan Nielsen 66),
Martin Joergensen (Per Frandsen 74), Michael Laudrup, Brian Laudrup (Jan
Heintze 84), Ebbe Sand.
France 3, South Africa 0
at Velodrome, Marseilles
France - Fabien Barthez, Lilian Thuram, Laurent Blanc, Marcel
Desailly, Bixente Lizarazu, Didier Deschamps, Emmanuel Petit (Alain
Boghossian 74), Zinedine Zidane, Youri Djorkaeff (David Trezeguet 83),
Stephane Guivarc'h (Christophe Dugarry 26), Thierry Henry.
Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at