Japan earned their place in the Yokohama Final with a one-goal win over a superior Australian side in a downpour in the same stadium on Thursday evening. Hidetoshi Nakata's second-half free-kick was enough to separate the teams, even though the Aussies had the better of the game.
In the second semi-final in Suwon, France's captain Marcel Desailly got a second-half winner against a Brazil side gradually finding its new identity under coach Leao. "We can be very happy with our performance," said Desailly, "Brazil showed that they are on the way to becoming a world-class side again."
The World Champions' win over their 1998 World Cup Final victims left the Brazilians with a third place play-off against the remarkable Australians on Saturday in Ulsan.