World Cup: Few surprises as quarterfinals are set.By Jerry Langdon
Gannett News Service
(Tuesday, June 30, 1998) -- The 1998 World Cup has the six pre-tournament favorites in the quarterfinals. The darkhorses are Denmark and Croatia.
Most observers picked England and Spain to join Brazil, Argentina, Germany, Italy, France and Netherlands. England, though, was upset in the first round by Romania, and thus lost a second-round date against Croatia. Instead it had to meet Argentina, and lost in penalty kicks.
Spain never got out of its group, and Denmark took its predicted place in the quarterfinals by toppling Nigeria in the second round.
A brief look at the weekend quarterfinals:
Italy vs. France (St. Denis), 10:30 a.m.: Two of the elite. Goals will be scarce. French have an edge on defense, Italians on offense.
Brazil vs. Denmark (Nantes), 3 p.m. Brazil midfield play has improved, and don't be surprised to see more of Denilson. Denmark firepower lacking.
The Netherlands vs. Argentina (Marseille), 10:30 a.m.: The Dutch have awesome speed, which Argentina's defense had problems handling against England.
Germany vs. Croatia (Lyon), 3 p.m.: Tough to stop Germany forwards Juergen Klinsmann and Oliver Bierhoff. Croatia matches in spirit, but not in depth.
Croatia eliminated aging Romania, 1-0, on a penalty shot conversion by striker Davor Suker in the 45th minute today. Referee Javier Castrilli (Argentina) awarded the kick after midfielder Aljosa Asanovic tumbled after what appeared to be a modest challenge by defender Gabriel Popescu.
Suker made the shot, then had to take it again after one of his teammates was
adjudged to have encroached into the area -- and made the shot a second time.
"Croatia deserved the victory," Romania coach Anghel Iordenescu said. "They
were much better, more cohesive, and they created more opportunities."
Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at
Jerry Langdon is sports editor of Gannett News Service and can be e-mailed at email@example.com.
Round of 16Croatia 1, Romania 0
Romania -- Bogdan Stelea, Dan Petrescu (Lucian Marinescu 76), Liviu
Cibotariu, Gheorghe Popescu, Iulian Filipescu, Dorinel Munteanu, Gheorghe Hagi
(Gheorghe Craioveanu 57), Constantin Galca, Gabriel Popescu (Radu Niculescu
61), Viorel Moldovan, Adrian Ilie.