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France slips by Portugal


MUNICH, GERMANY -- It probably was too much to expect one World Cup to produce two great semifinals.

What France and Portugal offered here yesterday was a pale reflection of the drama that Italy and Germany had 24 hours earlier. That semifinal had electricity, it had tension, it had quality. This one had very little.

World Cup final France vs. Italy, Sunday, 2 p.m., chs. 2, 7

France vs. Italy

World Cup meetings

The series is tied, with Italy winning in 1938 and 1978, and France winning in 1986 and in 1998 on penalty kicks.

Italy in title match

Beat Czechoslovakia in 1934, Hungary in 1938 and West Germany in 1982. Lost to Brazil in 1970, and in 1994 on penalty kicks.

France in title match

Won in its only trip to the championship game, in 1998 vs. Brazil.

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