From Uruguay to Russia

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Jun 2018 10:20:27


ITALY hosted the fourteenth edition of the World Cup from June 9 to July 8 in 1990.

Teams representing 116 national football associations entered, and qualification began in April 1988. A total of 22 teams qualified from this process, along with host nation Italy and defending champion Argentina.

The tournament was won by West Germany, their third World Cup title. They beat Argentina 1–0 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, a rematch of the previous final four years earlier. Italy finished third, and England fourth, after both lost their semi-finals in penalty shootouts. This was the last tournament to feature a team from the divided Germany, with the country being reunified later in 1990, as well as teams from the Eastern Bloc prior to the end of the Cold War in 1991, as the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia teams made appearances. Costa Rica, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates made their first appearances in the finals.

The 1990 Wc witnessed the lowest goals-per-game average, a deluge of sendings-off and arguably the worst final ever seen. Just 115 goals were scored from 52 games at an average of 2.21 per game. There were 16 red cards and 164 bookings at an average of 3.46 per match, another record. In addition penalty shootouts were routine — four in total — including both semi-finals. Argentina advanced at the expense of Italy and West Germany beat England.

Appropriately it was a penalty, by Andreas Brehme for the Germans, that decided a sorry final which included two sendings off for the Argentines. It was WG’s third Wc win.
Argentina’s performance was typical of the tournament. They reached the final despite winning only two games and scoring five goals in total. Maradona finished the final in tears.
Cameroon, with the veteran Roger Milla inspired, reached the quarter-finals, while the unheralded Toto Schillaci hit
six goals for Italy to finish top scorer. —Faisel Features