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Rovers' World Cup Countdown - 2002

Posted: Fri 13 Jun 2014
Author: rover.co.uk

A handful of Rovers top stars turned out at the 2002 World Cup, hosted by South Korea and Japan.

Midfield maestro Tugay, who had joined Rovers the previous summer, enjoyed a hugely successful tournament as his Turkey side finished in third place. 


Tugay started every game for his country as they reached the semi-finals, before they were halted by eventual champions Brazil. 


Another Rovers legend, Brad Friedel, who spent eight glorious years at Ewood Park, featured in all three group games for the USA. 


Victory over Portugal and a draw against South Korea, saw Bruce Arena’s men reach the last 16, where they dispatched rivals Mexico to set up a quarter-final date with Germany. However, Friedel’s side were knocked out by the eventual finalists after a narrow 1-0 defeat.


Rovers duo Damien Duff and Alan Kelly were both selected in the Republic of Ireland squad and whilst goalkeeper Kelly failed to get any game time, Duff started all three group games and scored in the final match against Saudi Arabia to secure passage though to the next round.


The Irishmen pushed Spain all the way in their last 16 encounter, before falling at the final hurdle of a penalty shoot-out.