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Denmark Edges Uruguay in World Cup Opener - 2002-06-01

Denmark has opened its World Cup football campaign with a 2-1 victory over Uruguay in South Korea.

Jon Dahl Tomasson scored both goals for Denmark in Ulsan, to give his team a 2-1 group A win against Uruguay.

Tomasson's first goal came from about eight meters out off a pass from Jesper Gronkjaer just before halftime. Dario Rodriguez equalized for Uruguay two minutes into the second half when he scored a beautiful left-footed volley, curling the shot into the upper corner of the goal. Tomasson's game-winner came on a header in the 83rd minute off a well-placed crossing pass from Martin Jorgensen.

It's very important everybody knows the first game in the World Cup for the confidence, of course, if you can win such a game," said victorious Danish coach Morten Olsen. "And I think we deserved to win it. We were the better football team the last hour, and I think physically we were the better team."

With the 2-1 win, Denmark now shares the group A lead on three points with Senegal, which shocked defending champion France here in Seoul, 1-0, in the opening match Friday night.

That huge upset had players and coaches alike believing anything is possible at this World Cup. U.S. defender Jeff Agoos said he and his teammates watched the France-Senegal game and told VOA Sports the result was not a total surprise.

"I think what it says is that the world of soccer has become quite close. Any team can beat any other team," he said. "The level from one through 20 or 30 has become quite even and anybody can beat anybody on a given day."

And U.S. soccer team coach Bruce Arena says Senegal's win over France is not likely to be the only surprise.

"I said that there's going to be upsets in the first round. I think they are all good teams in this tournament, and they're all capable of winning games in the first round, so I do not think that will be the first upset we see," Arena said.

While the U.S. soccer team continues to prepare for its World Cup group D opener Wednesday against Portugal, France is refocusing for its next group A match Thursday against Uruguay.