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Soccer News of Sunday, 24 June 2001

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WYC: Ghana 0-0 France

Ghana and France bagged the two top spots in Group F after a 0-0 draw in front of 13,000 fans at the Jose Maria Minella Stadium in Mar del Plata, with France setting up a crunch tie with their old enemy Germany on Wednesday.

Ghana meets Ecuador on Thursday

Ghana came into their tie against France off the back of two victories and France coach Raymond Domenech made six changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Paraguay on Thursday in their bid for the sole point needed to qualify.

The match was not short of action but both sides failed to find the net.

Lille striker Mathieu Maton had a ball cleared from the line after four minutes while for Ghana Empoli's Abdul Ibrahim had a fierce free-kick turned round the post by the stretching fingertips of Nicolas Penneteau

Jonathan Joseph-Augustin was stretchered of the pitch just before half-time after a clash with John Pantsil, hospital checks revealed no serious injury to the Guingamp man.

Panathinaikos striker Derek Boateng went on a mazy run on 54 but his shot only made the side netting.

The French brought on Auxerre midfield dynamo Djibril Cisse for the last half-hour to liven up the flagging tempo but in the end the stalemate suited both sides.

Group F

 1. Ghana    3 2 1 0 3 1 7 
2. France 3 1 2 0 7 2 5
3. Paraguay 3 1 1 1 5 4 4
4. Iran 3 0 0 3 0 8 0

Ghana, France and Paraguay qualify

France's Hassan Ahamada (L) battles for the ball with Ghana's Sulley Muntari

France's Gael Givet (R) battles for the ball with Ghana's Patrick Villars

France's Mathieu Delpierre (L) battles for the ball with Ghana's Patrick Villars during their first round match of the FIFA Youth World Championship in Mar del Plata's Jose Maria Minella stadium, June 24, 2001.