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Posted on 5 June 2002  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

David Pleat clocks up the mileage and reflects on his third game of the tournament at a space-age arena that he was rather taken with...

We then dashed (it is quite hard work at times!) to Busan, which is an hour and a quarter drive away, to be in place for the following day's game between Paraguay and South Africa.

This was played at the most wonderful stadium I have ever seen in my life. The Busan Stadium has to be seen to be believed. Today South Korea play here and the place will be jammed packed.

The Asian games are taking place here in September when it will be very hot. The incredible group of stadia that have been built to house these games are a quite amazing feat of modern architecture and engineering.

Where do they get their ideas? The Busan Stadium is like a gigantic space ship, with the most beautiful grass, wide surroundings and steep, spacious seating areas with not a barrier in sight to spoil ones' views.

Under the stadium there are facilities for the most extraordinary hordes of press, photographers, stewards, caterers, VIPs and pre-match entertainers. Indeed, at both stadiums - Ulsan and Busan - there has been an opening ceremony almost of the magnitude of the one witnessed by the world at Seoul.

The game itself was slightly disappointing, although exciting at the end. Paraguay were clearly the superior first half team with Gamarra, who has just secured a move to AC Milan, a stylish and competent defender. Arce, who I had never seen before at close quarters, is an exceptional taker of free-kicks and corners.

He is equally as adept in open play. His ball for the first goal was a wicked, fast, curving cross in the true Beckham manner. His corners were spot on, he took a magnificent free-kick in the first half, which was saved by the deputy goalkeeper and he scored the most fantastic free-kick from the left hand side of the box in the second period that put Paraguay into a seemingly unassailable position.

Already, in my view, the best player on the field, Santa Cruz from Bayern, had scored the first goal with a header.

Unquestionably, his ability to hold the ball, his power in the air and his movement, make him the best young player that I have seen so far in an attacking position. Although Diouf from Senegal has excellent trickery and pace.

Both players, incidentally, played up on their own. Their teams using a strategy of players breaking from deeper positions. Unlike England, they did not play with a pair up front - as Owen and Vassell did against Sweden.

South Africa showed great resilience but had a very sketchy first half, passing rather waywardly and only Radebe and Carnell at left back looked sound.

Fortune could not get into the game and the two front players, Benni McCarthy and Zuma were both inconspicuous.

After Arce's goal, with nothing to lose and pride to restore, South Africa responded strongly purely by throwing bodies forward and getting players into that important area - the penalty box.

After a little bout of pressure, Struway diverted a 25-yard shot from Mokoena into his own goal. Even afterwards, Paraguay looked in charge - until the last minute that was, when Tavarelli brought down Zuma.

Fortune took the weight of a nation's hopes on his shoulders and dispatched the penalty with some calm and force. The South African's went crazy and relished their moment of pleasure. It was quite some theatre.

All square, but on this evidence South Africa will not survive Group B.

More journeys to come, but well worth it in this intriguing voyage to see this festival of the top players in the world.


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