Wednesday, July 05, 2006

World Cup Update: France Advances to the Final [J. Mark English]

MUNICH, Germany (AP) --

One more time, Zinedine Zidane stepped up to the penalty spot, 12 yards from another shot at glory for himself and France.
Dripping with sweat, Zidane converted the kick in the 33rd minute after Ricardo Carvalho was whistled for a foul on Thierry Henry, giving the French a 1-0 victory over Portugal on Wednesday night and a berth in the World Cup final.
France, which was supposed to be soccer's over-the-hill gang, meets Italy at Berlin on Sunday night in a matchup of blue -- France's Les Bleus vs. the Italian Azzurri.
The French will be making just their second ever appearance in a World Cup final -- the other was their famous 3-0 victory at home over Brazil in 1998. Italy, trying for its fourth title, will be in its sixth final.
"People were giving us a lot of stick, right at the beginning," Henry said. "I think it will be a tight game because the Italian team has the same way of playing as us."