World Cup: France vs. Portugal in semis

Soccer: France with same lineup, Portugal back with is best team.

By
July 5, 2006 22:10

 
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France fielded the same lineup that beat defending champion Brazil, and Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari picked his strongest team for the World Cup semifinals Wednesday. France coach Raymond Domenech named the same team for the third straight match, keeping faith with the players that started in the second-round win over Spain and quarterfinal success over Brazil. Goalkeeper Fabien Barthez was set to make his French record 16th World Cup appearance, one more than defender Maxime Bossis. Zinedine Zidane, retiring from soccer after the tournament, was among six France players who would miss the next match through suspension if he got a yellow card. Five Portuguese players also risked missing the next game - the final or the third-place match - if they received a caution. Deco and Costinha returned for Portugal after a one-game suspension. Luis Figo, making his 126th appearance, and Cristiano Ronaldo recovered from thigh injuries that disrupted their training in recent days. ___ Starting lineups: Portugal: Ricardo Pereira, Miguel, Nuno Valente, Ricardo Carvalho, Fernando Meira, Costinha, Maniche, Deco, Luis Figo, Pauleta, Cristiano Ronaldo. France: Fabien Barthez, Willy Sagnol, Lilian Thuram, William Gallas, Eric Abidal, Patrick Vieira, Claude Makelele, Franck Ribery, Florent Malouda, Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry.

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