France Breaks Through in 79th Minute to Turn Back Stubborn Canadians, 1-0
Jean-Pierre Papin, frustrated all game by the spectacular goalkeeping of Canada’s Paul Dolan, put a header in the net in the 79th minute Sunday to give France a 1-0 victory in a first-round World Cup soccer game.
The Canadians, making their World Cup debut against the European champions, stayed even behind the leaping, lunging saves of Dolan. The 20-year-old from Port Moody, British Columbia, was substituting for regular goalie Tino Lettieri, who lacked outdoor training after spending the year with Minnesota of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
France broke through when Luis Fernandez’s crossing pass found Yannick Stopyra to the left of the goal. His shot trickled into the goal area with Dolan unable to stop it, and Papin headed it in.
Most of Dolan’s work came in the second half. He made a difficult diving save against Fernandez, then Alain Giresse had an open shot from 20 yards but sent it directly at Dolan, who caught it.
Papin shot wide of an open net after a tricky move freed him. Dolan stopped another long shot, by Manuel Amoros, as the French began to dominate play.
Papin broke free in close but shot wide at 62 minutes. Ten minutes later, Papin hit the crossbar with a right-footed volley, and Dolan got his hand on another shot by Papin seconds later.
The Canadians generally outplayed the favored French in the first half, particularly in midfield. Ian Bridge just missed wide on a header on a free kick by Mike Sweeney at 5:00.
Play was interrupted momentarily early in the second half when a chicken wandered onto the field and stopped in front of Dolan.