30 days to go: Diop sinks Les Bleus
15 May 2018
The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ is drawing ever nearer – with just 30 days to go! Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.
30 - the number of minutes that had elapsed on the clock at the Seoul World Cup Stadium on 31 May 2002 when Senegal’s Pape Bouba Diop scored the only goal of their Group A match against France, capitalising on a mix-up between Emmanuel Petit and Fabien Barthez.
The goal went down in history as Senegal’s first at the FIFA World Cup™ and it allowed the Lions of Teranga to mark their tournament debut with a famous victory against the reigning world and European champions, who went into the competition as firm favourites.
It was a defeat that weighed heavy on Roger Lemerre’s men. Denied the services of Zinedine Zidane, who had picked up a thigh injury a few days earlier, the French also went without scoring in their next two matches and finished bottom of the section. As for Bruno Metsu’s charges, they took second place in the pool behind Denmark and enjoyed further success by reaching the quarter-finals, where they faced Turkey and went out to an extra-time golden goal.