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World Cup 1990

Salvatore Schillaci (ITA)
Tomas Skuhravy (CZE)
Michel (SPA)
Roger Milla (CMR)
Gary Lineker (ENG)
Lother Matthäus (GER)
6 goals
5 goals
4 goals
4 goals
4 goals
4 goals
Number of games
Total goals scored
Average per game
Sendings off
Own goals
Total attendance
Average attendance



    On May 19th 1984, Italy were unanimously chosen as hosts for the 1990 World Cup, only the second nation after Mexico to be awarded two tournaments. England, the Soviet Union and Greece also had bids, but failed to live up to the standard of the Italians. As many other hosts before them, the Italians were well behind schedule in terms of rebuilding the stadiums, but they were all ready in time for kick-off in June 1990.

     When talks come to great World Cups, this tournament held in Italy will certainly not be mentioned. Even if all previous champions were present, very few teams relied on attacking football, not even Brazil. Cameroon was the team who would cause surprise. On the tournament's opening day, they beat defending champions Argentina by 1-0. The South Americans relied heavily on Maradona and his new attacking partner up front, Claudio Caniggia. Italy was also an exception. They played some great attacking football in the 1st round and won all their games without conceding a goal. A new star also was introduced - Salvatore Schillaci. Brazil also won all their 1st round matches, but not convincingly. West Germany trashed UAE and Yugoslavia before Colombia stole a point from them in the last match to go through as well. In Group F lottery was needed as Ireland and Holland were on equal points and goals. Both went through and Holland unfortunately drew the Germans in the second round. Ireland "escaped" with Romania.

     Cameroon made history as being the first African nation to reach the quarterfinal, when they beat Colombia after extra-time. A 38 year old substitute called Roger Milla scored both goals in their 2-1 win. He took his tally to four in the tournament. Tomas Skuhravy scored a hat-trick as a brave Costa Rican team was knocked out by the Czechs. 10 secs of Maradona brilliance was enough to send Argentina through against Brazil when he set up Caniggia to score the winner shortly before the end. West Germany beat Holland in a classic match in Milan, Italy had no problems beating Uruguay and David Platt sent England though when he scored the winner against Belgium in the last minute of extra-time. Ireland beat Romania on penalties after two hours without a goal.

     More drama involving penalties in the quarterfinals. Argentina beat Yugoslavia on penalties after the two stars Maradona and Stojkovic had missed in the shoot-out. Matthäus scored the only goal of the match against Czechoslovakia on a penalty, and England stopped the popular "Lions" from Cameroon by winning 3-2 in extra-time. Three of the goals came from the penaltyspot. Italy won the last quarterfinal against Ireland after a goal from Schillaci, not from a penalty infact.

     Both semifinals were decided on penalties. Italy let in their first goal of the tournament against Argentina after a header from Caniggia. That was about to cost them. Donadoni and Serena missed in the shoot-out for the hosts and Argentina won the game played at Maradona's homeground in Naples. The other semifinal also ended 1-1 after extra time and in the shoot-out, the Germans kept their nerves under control. Pearce and Waddle missed for England and the Germans were through to their third consecutive World Cup final! Italy won the bronzematch by 2-1, with Schillaci scoring his 6th goal giving him the golden boot as top - scorer of the tournament.

     In every World Cup final from 1930-86, at least three goals had been scored. In this final, only one! And it was once again from the penaltyspot. Brehme converted it and gave West Germany their third title. Argentina who had played miserable during the tournament had 4 players suspended in the final and got two players sent off in the final. Read more about this final by clicking on the "Final" link in the left column.

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