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World Cup 1994

Hristo Stoitchkov (BUL)
Oleg Salenko (RUS)
Romario (BRA)
Roberto Baggio (ITA)
Jürgen Klinsmann (GER)
Kennet Andersson (SWE)
Gabriel Batistuta (ARG)
Martin Dahlin (SWE)
Florin Raducioiu (ROM)
6 goals
6 goals
5 goals
5 goals
5 goals
5 goals
4 goals
4 goals
4 goals
Number of games
Total goals scored
Average per game
Sendings off
Own goals
Total attendance
Average attendance


     Many people were sceptical when the United States were awarded the World Cup. They thought most matches would be played with stadiums filled with less than half the capacity. They couldn't be more wrong. Even though the stadiums were huge, people turned up and filled the stadiums for every game in this World Cup. On the field, this World Cup was also a success. Four years after the miserable tournament in Italy, experts feared that this cup would be even more defensive and boring.

     Thankfully it didn't happen, and the tournament got underway when Germany beat Bolivia 1-0 in the opening game where Klinsmann scored the winner. USA the hosts opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw against Switzerland, both goals from superb free-kicks (Wynalda and Bregy). Brazil looked strong from the start. After a second round exit in 1990, they wanted to show the world they were much better. In Brazil's group we also found Sweden, Russia and Cameroon. The Swedes had a brilliant team and infact scored the most goals in this World Cup in total. The match between Russia and Cameroon was a game to remember, as three World Cup records were broken. Oleg Salenko scored 5 goals in the game, Roger Milla became the oldest player to participate in a World Cup match (age 42), and he also became the oldest goals corer when he scored Cameroon's consolation goal in their 6-1 defeat. In Group D Argentina with Diego Maradona looked good. Comfortable victories over Greece and Nigeria gave proves good enough. But then Maradona was caught for drug abuse and Argentina fell apart. A sad ending for may be the greatest ever footballer. In Group E, later dubbed as the "Group of Death" all teams ended on the same amount of points and goaldifference! It was the first time in World Cup history anything like that had happened. Norway finished bottom on 4 points and (1-1) in goal difference. Mexico won the group on (3-3). Saudi Arabia surprised many by finishing runners-up in Group F after Holland, but in front Belgium.

     The second round saw some great matches. Romania beat Argentina in may be the best match of the tournament, Brazil struggled against USA on their national day, but a Bebeto goal settled the game for Brazil. Nigeria had Italy on their knees until the 89th minute when Roberto Baggio levelled the game. He struck once more in extra-time and sent the Africans home. Bulgaria beat Mexico after a penalty shoot-out, Germany as usual stumbled through against Belgium, Spain trashed Switzerland and Sweden beat the brave Saudi Arabians.

     The four quarterfinals turned out to be tight games, althogh only one of them went to penalties. Italy beat Spain after Roberto Baggio once again had been the match winner. Brazil beat Holland in a dramatic match. The South Americans lead 2-0, but the Dutch pulled back both goals. Then left-back Branco fired home a marvellous free-kick to send Brazil through. Bulgaria shocked the world by beating Germany after coming from behind. A Letchkov header sent the Germans home much earlier than they had expected. And the last quarterfinal was decided on penalties, were Sweden's goalkeeper Thomas Ravelli was the hero saving two penalties.

     Italy with a sparkling Roberto Baggio looked unstoppable now after a slow start in the tournament. Roberto Baggio scored two more goals and sent Italy to the final. Romario's header 10 minutes before time settled the other semifinal between Brazil and Sweden. Sweden trashed Bulgaria in the bronzematch to take the third place. They celebrated as if they had won the cup. They had all rights to, they had been superb. Brazil won their 4th World Cup after beating Italy on penalties - the first ever shoot- out in a final. Roberto Baggio was the unlucky man to miss the last penalty. Read more about the final by clicking on the "Final" link in the left column.

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