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The winners and losers at World Cup

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Team-by-team look at winners, losers and those in between at the World Cup.

The winners

BRAZIL - They didn't always look spectacular, but the Brazilians have risen above all challenges to get to the finals in search of a fifth championship.

FRANCE - Already the greatest French soccer team, it could be the first host to win since 1978. France has played with flair, despite struggling to find the net.

NETHERLANDS - Brazil's equal in the semifinals, losing in a shootout, some will claim nobody was better than the Dutch.

CROATIA - Its first Cup appearance, and a memorable trip to the semifinals for a country in its eighth year of existence.

DENMARK - Back with the elite, the '92 European champions had done little since, until upsetting Nigeria and not backing down against Brazil.

PARAGUAY - A goalie who scores was not the only news about the Paraguayans, whose defense was as staunch as anyone's.

CHILE - Lowly regarded South Americans were expected to go three and out. Instead, they went to the second round.

MEXICO - Struggling when they entered the tournament, the Mexicans were comeback kids and nearly knocked off Germany in the second round.

Moderate successes

ARGENTINA - Sought more than a quarterfinal berth, but beating England showed its strength and testing the Netherlands displayed its grit.

ROMANIA - Always in the mix for a couple of rounds, got the most out of an aging team.

YUGOSLAVIA - Touted by some as a contender, but rarely do Yugoslavs reach their potential in the World Cup. Perhaps the best team to lose in second round.

NORWAY - Much better work than in 1994, and the Norwegians even beat Brazil to advance to the second round.

IRAN - Beat the "Great Satan." Need we say more?

JAMAICA - A rookie that won a game, albeit against another rookie, Japan, and showed possibilities for the future.

JAPAN - Three close losses, including 1-0 vs. Croatia and Argentina, allow the Japanese to look forward eagerly to being co-host in 2002.

SOUTH AFRICA - A loss to France and two ties in the opening round is OK for a newcomer with little soccer history.

MOROCCO - Only a late penalty kick for Norway kept it out of the second round. The Moroccans played good open soccer.

The losers

GERMANY - Sure, they made the quarterfinals, but the Germans expect more. And they looked old, in serious need of some rebuilding.

ITALY - A major disappointment, it played tentatively after the first round, rarely going to its strength up front.

ENGLAND - The English made lots of noise about being a title contender, but they fell into some bad luck and showed they still can't handle shootouts.

NIGERIA - Olympic champions with great natural skills, the Nigerians fell apart against the Danes in the second round.

SPAIN - A nation that was supposed to challenge for its first championship, instead it flopped in the first round.

BULGARIA - Just awful, after a stunning run to the semifinals four years ago, the Bulgarians often looked like they didn't care.

BELGIUM - Couldn't get by weak South Korea when presented with the possibility of advancing. That says a lot about the state of Belgian soccer.

COLOMBIA - Kicked out its best scorer for criticizing coach, then was eliminated by England in the opening round.

CAMEROON - Once the rising stars of Africa, the "Indomitable Lions" looked like kittens.

SCOTLAND - Now 8-for-8, going out in the first round of the World Cup every time.

AUSTRIA - Perhaps the dullest style in the entire tournament, but the Austrians did find the net late twice for ties.

SAUDI ARABIA - Went to the second round last time. Fired its coach after two games this time.

TUNISIA - Didn't measure up in a tough group with Romania, England and Colombia.

SOUTH KOREA - Also canned coach before the third game, which it tied. The 2002 co-host doesn't have the happy memories the Japanese do.

UNITED STATES - The real football season starts in September.