1990 FIFA World Cup

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1990 FIFA World Cup
Tournament details
Host countryItaly
Dates8 June – 8 July
Venue(s)12 (in 12 host cities)
Final positions
Champions West Germany (3rd title)
Runners-up Argentina
Third placeItaly Italy
Fourth placeEngland England
Tournament statistics
Matches played52
Goals scored115 (2.21 per match)
Attendance2,516,348 (48,391 per match)
Top scorer(s)Italy Salvatore Schillaci (6 goals)
Best player(s)Italy Salvatore Schillaci

The 1990 FIFA World Cup was a football (soccer) sporting event that was held in Italy from 8 June to 8 July 1990. 24 teams took part from many countries. Germany won the trophy after beating Argentina in the final.

The 1990 FIFA World Cup had the lowest amount of goals, and had 16 red cards handed out. However, the 1990 FIFA World Cup was one of the most watched sporting events of all time. This was also the last World Cup that had 2 points for a win in the Group Stage.

Qualification[change | change source]

24 teams qualified for the 1990 FIFA World Cup. Costa Rica, Republic of Ireland and the United Arab Emirates qualified for the first time.

Team Qualified as Appearance
in finals
Past best performance
 Argentina Champions 10th 5 Winners (1978, 1986)
 Austria UEFA Group 3 Runners-up 6th 1 (Last: 1982) Third place (1954)
 Belgium UEFA Group 7 Winners 8th 3 Fourth place (1986)
 Brazil CONMEBOL Group Winners 14th 14 Winners (1958, 1962, 1970)
 Cameroon CAF Final Round Winners 2nd 1 (Last: 1982) Group Stage (1982)
 Colombia CONMEBOL v OFC Play-off Winners 2nd 1 (Last: 1962) Group Stage (1962)
 Costa Rica CONCACAF Championship Winners 1st 1
 Czechoslovakia UEFA Group 7 Runners-up 8th 1 (Last: 1982) Runners-up (1934, 1962)
 Egypt CAF Final Round Winners 2nd 1 (Last: 1934) First Round (1934)
 England UEFA Group 2 Runners-up 9th 3 Winners (1966)
 Italy Hosts 12th 8 Winners (1934, 1938, 1982)
 South Korea AFC Final Round Winners 3rd 2 Group Stage (1954, 1986)
 Netherlands UEFA Group 4 Winners 5th 1 (Last: 1978) Runners-up (1974, 1978)
 Republic of Ireland UEFA Group 6 Runners-up 1st 1
 Romania UEFA Group 1 Winners 5th 1 (Last: 1970) Group Stage (1930, 1934, 1938, 1970)
 Scotland UEFA Group 5 Runners-up 7th 5 Group Stage (1954, 1958, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1986)
 Spain UEFA Group 6 Winners 8th 4 Fourth place (1950)
 Sweden UEFA Group 2 Winners 8th 1 (Last: 1978) Runners-up (1958)
 United Arab Emirates AFC Final Round Runners-up 1st 1
 United States CONCACAF Championship Runners-up 4th 1 (Last: 1950) Third place (1930)
 Uruguay CONMEBOL Group Winners 9th 2 Winners (1930, 1950)
 Soviet Union UEFA Group 3 Winners 7th 3 Fourth place (1966)
 Yugoslavia UEFA Group 5 Winners 8th 1 (Last: 1982) Fourth place (1930, 1962)
 West Germany UEFA Group 4 Runners-up 12th 10 Winners (1954, 1974)

Participants[change | change source]

Africa[change | change source]

Asia[change | change source]

Europe[change | change source]

North and Central America[change | change source]

South America[change | change source]

Group stage[change | change source]

Group A[change | change source]

Hosts Italy won Group A with a 100 percent record. They beat Austria 1–0 thanks to substitute Salvatore 'Totò' Schillaci, who had played only one international before but would become a star during the tournament. A second 1–0 victory followed against a United States team already thumped 5–1 by Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovaks ended runners-up in the group, while the USA's first appearance in a World Cup Finals since 1950 ended with three consecutive defeats.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Italy 3 3 0 0 4 0 +4 6
 Czechoslovakia 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 4
 Austria 3 1 0 2 2 3 –1 2
 United States 3 0 0 3 2 8 –6 0
9 June 1990
Italy  1-0  Austria Stadio Olimpico, Rome
10 June 1990
United States  1-5  Czechoslovakia Stadio Comunale, Florence
14 June 1990
Italy  1-0  United States Stadio Olimpico, Rome
15 June 1990
Austria  0-1  Czechoslovakia Stadio Comunale, Florence
19 June 1990
Italy  2-0  Czechoslovakia Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Austria  2-1  United States Stadio Comunale, Florence

Group B[change | change source]

Cameroon defeated reigning champions Argentina. Despite ending the match with only nine men, the African team held on for a shock 1–0 win, with contrasting fortunes for the brothers Biyik: François Omam scoring the winning goal, shortly after seeing Andre Kana sent off for a serious foul. In their second game the introduction of Roger Milla was the catalyst for a 2–1 win over Romania, Milla scoring twice from the bench (making him the oldest goalscorer in the tournament). With progression assured, Cameroon slumped to a 4–0 defeat in their final group game to a Soviet Union (in what would be their last World Cup due to the dissolution of the Soviet Union) side striving to stay in the tournament on goal difference after successive 2–0 defeats. A 1–1 draw between Romania and Argentina sent both through, the latter as one of the best third-placed teams.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Cameroon 3 2 0 1 3 5 –2 4
 Romania 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 3
 Argentina 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 3
 Soviet Union 3 1 0 2 4 4 0 2
8 June 1990
Argentina  0-1  Cameroon San Siro, Milan
9 June 1990
Soviet Union Soviet Union 0-2  Romania Stadio San Nicola, Bari
13 June 1990
Argentina  2-0  Soviet Union Stadio San Paolo, Naples
14 June 1990
Cameroon  2-1  Romania Stadio San Nicola, Bari
18 June 1990
Argentina  1-1  Romania Stadio San Paolo, Naples
Cameroon  0-4  Soviet Union Stadio San Nicola, Bari

Group C[change | change source]

Costa Rica beat Scotland 1–0 in their first match, lost 1–0 to Brazil in their second, then saw off Sweden 2–1 to claim a place in the second round. Brazil took maximum points from the group. They began with a 2–1 win over Sweden, then beat both Costa Rica and Scotland 1–0. Scotland's 2–1 win over Sweden was not enough to save them from an early return home as one of the two lowest-ranked third-placed teams.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Brazil 3 3 0 0 4 1 +3 6
 Costa Rica 3 2 0 1 3 2 +1 4
Scotland 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1 2
 Sweden 3 0 0 3 3 6 −3 0
10 June 1990
Brazil 2-1  Sweden Stadio delle Alpi, Turin
11 June 1990
Costa Rica  1-0 Scotland Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
16 June 1990
Brazil 1-0  Costa Rica Stadio delle Alpi, Turin
Sweden  1-2 Scotland Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
20 June 1990
Brazil 1-0 Scotland Stadio delle Alpi, Turin
Sweden  1-2  Costa Rica Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa

Group D[change | change source]

Group D featured the most goals of all the groups, due in part to the defensive inadequacies of a United Arab Emirates team that lost 2–0 to Colombia, 5–1 to West Germany and 4–1 to Yugoslavia. West Germany was at the top of the group after a 4–1 opening victory over group runners-up Yugoslavia.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 West Germany 3 2 1 0 10 3 +7 5
 Yugoslavia 3 2 0 1 6 5 +1 4
 Colombia 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 3
 United Arab Emirates 3 0 0 3 2 11 −9 0
9 June 1990
United Arab Emirates  0-2  Colombia Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna
10 June 1990
West Germany  4-1  Yugoslavia San Siro, Milan
14 June 1990
Yugoslavia  1-0  Colombia Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna
15 June 1990
West Germany  5-1  United Arab Emirates San Siro, Milan
19 June 1990
West Germany  1-1  Colombia San Siro, Milan
Yugoslavia  4-1  United Arab Emirates Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna

Group E[change | change source]

The winners of Group E were Spain, for whom Michel hit a hat-trick as they beat South Korea 3–1 in an unbeaten group campaign. Belgium won their first two games against South Korea and Uruguay to ensure their progress; Uruguay's advance to the second round came with an injury time winner against South Korea to edge them through as the weakest of the third-placed sides to remain in the tournament.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Spain 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 5
 Belgium 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 4
 Uruguay 3 1 1 1 2 3 −1 3
South Korea 3 0 0 3 1 6 −5 0
12 June 1990
Belgium  2-0 South Korea Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
13 June 1990
Uruguay  0-0  Spain Stadio Friuli, Udine
17 June 1990
Belgium  3-1  Uruguay Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
South Korea 1-3  Spain Stadio Friuli, Udine
21 June 1990
Belgium  1-0  Spain Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
South Korea 0-1  Uruguay Stadio Friuli, Udine

Group F[change | change source]

Group F, featured the Netherlands, England, the Republic of Ireland and Egypt. In the six group games, no team managed to score more than once in a match. England beat Egypt 1–0, thanks to a 64th-minute goal from Mark Wright – and that was enough to win the group.

Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 England 3 1 2 0 2 1 +1 4
 Republic of Ireland 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
 Netherlands 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
 Egypt 3 0 2 1 1 2 −1 2

The Republic of Ireland and the Netherlands finished with identical records. With both teams assured of progressing, they were split by the drawing of lots to determine second and third place.

11 June 1990
England  1-1  Republic of Ireland Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
12 June 1990
Netherlands  1-1  Egypt Stadio La Favorita, Palermo
16 June 1990
England  0-0  Netherlands Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
17 June 1990
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 0-0  Egypt Stadio La Favorita, Palermo
21 June 1990
England  1-0  Egypt Stadio Sant'Elia, Cagliari
Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland 1-1  Netherlands Stadio La Favorita, Palermo

Ranking of third-placed teams[change | change source]

Group Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
B  Argentina 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 3
D  Colombia 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 3
F  Netherlands 3 0 3 0 2 2 0 3
E  Uruguay 3 1 1 1 2 3 −1 3
A  Austria 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1 2
C Scotland 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1 2

Knockout stage[change | change source]

The knockout stage involved the 16 teams that qualified from the group stage of the tournament. There were four rounds of matches, with each round eliminating half of the teams entering that round. The successive rounds were: round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, final. There was also a play-off to decide third/fourth place. For each game in the knockout stage, any draw at 90 minutes was followed by 30 minutes of extra time; if scores were still level there would be a penalty shoot-out (at least five penalties each, and more if necessary) to determine who progressed to the next round. Scores after extra time are indicated by (aet), and penalty shoot outs are indicated by (p).

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
24 June – Turin            
  Brazil  0
30 June – Florence
  Argentina  1  
  Argentina (p)  0 (3)
26 June – Verona
    Yugoslavia  0 (2)  
  Spain  1
3 July – Naples
  Yugoslavia (aet)  2  
  Argentina (p)  1 (4)
25 June – Genoa
    Italy  1 (3)  
  Republic of Ireland (p)  0 (5)
30 June – Rome
  Romania  0 (4)  
  Republic of Ireland  0
25 June – Rome
    Italy  1  
  Italy  2
8 July – Rome
  Uruguay  0  
  Argentina  0
23 June – Bari
    West Germany  1
  Czechoslovakia  4
1 July – Milan
  Costa Rica  1  
  Czechoslovakia  0
24 June – Milan
    West Germany  1  
  West Germany  2
4 July – Turin
  Netherlands  1  
  West Germany (p)  1 (4)
23 June – Naples
    England  1 (3)   Third place
  Cameroon (aet)  2
1 July – Naples 7 July – Bari
  Colombia  1  
  Cameroon  2   Italy  2
26 June – Bologna
    England (aet)  3     England  1
  England (aet)  1
  Belgium  0  

Round of 16[change | change source]

Two of the ties – Argentina vs Brazil and Italy vs Uruguay – pitted former champion countries against each other, and West Germany met the Netherlands in a rematch of the 1974 World Cup Final.

The all-South American game was won for Argentina by a goal from Claudio Caniggia with 10 minutes remaining after a run through the Brazilian defence by Diego Maradona and an outstanding performance from their goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea. It would later come to light that Branco had been offered water spiked with tranquilisers by Maradona and Ricardo Giusti during half time, to slow him down in the second half. Initially discredited by the press, Branco would be publicly proven right years later, when Maradona confessed the episode in a TV show in Argentina. As for Italy, a strong second half showing saw the hosts beat Uruguay 2–0, thanks to another goal from Schillaci and one from Aldo Serena.

The match between West Germany and the Netherlands was held in Milan, and both sides featured several notable players from the two Milanese clubs (Germans Andreas Brehme, Lothar Matthäus and Jürgen Klinsmann for Internazionale, and Dutchmen Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard for Milan). After 22 minutes Rudi Völler and Rijkaard were both dismissed after a number of incidents (including Rijkaard spitting on Völler) between the two players left the Argentine referee with no option but to send them both off. As the players walked off the pitch together, Rijkaard spat on Völler a second time. Early in the second half, Jürgen Klinsmann put the West Germans ahead and Andreas Brehme added a second with eight minutes left. A Ronald Koeman penalty for the Netherlands in the 89th minute narrowed the score to 2–1 but the Germans saw the game out to gain some revenge for their exit to the Dutch in the previous European Championship.

Meanwhile, the heroics of Cameroon and Roger Milla continued in their game with Colombia. Milla was introduced as a second-half substitute with the game goalless, eventually breaking the deadlock midway in extra time. Three minutes later he netted a second after Colombian goalkeeper, René Higuita was dispossessed by Milla while well out of his goal, leaving the striker free to slot the ball into the empty net. Though the deficit was soon reduced to 2–1, Cameroon held on to become the first African team ever to reach the World Cup quarter-finals. Costa Rica were comfortably beaten 4–1 by Czechoslovakia, for whom Tomáš Skuhravý scored the tournament's second and final hat-trick.

The Republic of Ireland's match with Romania remained goalless after extra time, and the Irish side won 5–4 on penalties. David O'Leary converted the penalty that clinched Ireland's place in the quarter-finals. Ireland thus became the first team since Sweden in 1938 to reach the last eight in a World Cup finals tournament without winning a match outright. Yugoslavia beat Spain 2–1 after extra time, with Dragan Stojković scoring both the Yugoslavs' goals. England were the final qualifier against Belgium, as midfielder David Platt's swivelling volley broke the stalemate with the game moments away from a penalty shoot-out.

Cameroon 2-1 (a.e.t.) Colombia
Milla Goal 106'109' Redín Goal 115'

Czechoslovakia 4-1 Costa Rica
Skuhravý Goal 12'63'82'
Kubík Goal 75'
González Goal 54'

Brazil 0-1 Argentina
Caniggia Goal 80'

West Germany 2-1 Netherlands
Klinsmann Goal 51'
Brehme Goal 82'
R. Koeman Goal 89' (pen.)

Italy 2-0 Uruguay
Schillaci Goal 65'
Serena Goal 83'

Spain 1-2 (a.e.t.) Yugoslavia
Salinas Goal 83' Stojković Goal 78'92'

England 1-0 (a.e.t.) Belgium
Platt Goal 119'

Quarter-finals[change | change source]

The first game of the last 8 saw Argentina and a Yugoslav side, reduced to 10 men after only half an hour, play out a goalless stalemate. The holders reached the semi-finals after winning the penalty shoot-out 3–2, despite Maradona having his penalty saved. A second Argentine miss (by Pedro Troglio) looked to have eliminated them until goalkeeper Sergio Goycochea – playing because first choice Nery Pumpido broke his leg during the group stage – rescued his side by stopping the Yugoslavs' final two spotkicks.

The Republic of Ireland's World Cup run was brought to an end by a single goal from Schillaci in the first half of their quarter-final with hosts Italy. West Germany beat Czechoslovakia with a 25th minute Lothar Matthäus penalty.

The most intriguing match of the quarter-finals was between England and Cameroon. Apart from anything else, it was the only quarter-final to produce more than one goal. Despite Cameroon's heroics earlier in the tournament, David Platt put England ahead in the 25th minute. At half-time, Milla was brought on. In the second half, the game was turned on its head during a five-minute stretch: first Cameroon were awarded a penalty from which Emmanuel Kunde scored the equaliser; then in the 65th minute Eugene Ekeke put Cameroon ahead. Cameroon came within eight minutes of reaching the semi-finals before then they conceded a penalty, which Gary Lineker converted. Midway through extra time, England were awarded another penalty, and Lineker again scored from the spot. England were through to the semi-finals for the first time in 24 years.

Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland0-1 Italy
Schillaci Goal 38'

Czechoslovakia 0-1 West Germany
Matthäus Goal 25' (pen.)

Cameroon 2-3 (a.e.t.) England
Kundé Goal 61' (pen.)
Ekéké Goal 65'
Platt Goal 25'
Lineker Goal 83' (pen.)105' (pen.)

Semi-finals[change | change source]

The first semi-final featured the host nation, Italy, and the world champion, Argentina in Naples. 'Toto' Schillaci scored yet again to put Italy ahead in the 17th minute, but Claudio Cannigia equalised midway through the second half, breaking Walter Zenga's clean sheet streak throughout the tournament. There were no more goals in the 90 minutes or in extra time despite Maradona (who played for Naples in Serie A at the time) in showing glimpses of magic, but there was a sending-off: Ricardo Giusti of Argentina was shown the red card in the 13th minute of extra time. Argentina went through on penalties, winning the shoot-out 4–3 after more heroics from Goycochea.

The semi-final between West Germany and England at Juventus's home stadium in Turin was goalless at half-time. Then, in the 60th minute, a shot from Andreas Brehme was deflected by Paul Parker into his own net. England equalised with 10 minutes left, Gary Lineker was the scorer. The game ended 1-1. Extra time yielded more chances and Klinsmann was guilty of two glaring misses while both sides struck a post. England had another Platt goal disallowed for offside. The match went to penalties and West Germany went on to win the 4-3.

Third-place match[change | change source]

The game saw three goals in a 15-minute spell. Roberto Baggio opened the scoring after a rare mistake by England's goalkeeper Peter Shilton, in his final game before international retirement, presented a simple opportunity. A header by David Platt levelled the game 10 minutes later but Schillaci was fouled in the penalty area five minutes later, leading to a penalty. Schillaci himself got up to convert the kick to win him the tournament's Golden Boot for his six-goal tally. Nicola Berti had a goal ruled out minutes later, but the hosts claimed third place. England had the consolation prize of the Fair Play award, having received no red cards and the lowest average number of yellows per match.

Italy 2-1 England
Baggio Goal 71'
Schillaci Goal 86' (pen.)
Platt Goal 81'

Final[change | change source]

The final between West Germany and Argentina has been cited as the most cynical and lowest quality of all World Cup Finals. In the 65th minute, Argentina's Pedro Monzon was sent off for a foul on Jürgen Klinsmann, the first player ever to be sent off in a World Cup Final.

Argentina, weakened by suspension and injury, offered little attacking threat throughout a contest dominated by the West Germans, who struggled to create many clear goalscoring opportunities. The only goal of the contest arrived in the 85th minute when Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal awarded a penalty to West Germany, after a foul on Rudi Völler by Roberto Sensini. Andreas Brehme, who later said there was no foul, converted the spot kick to settle the contest. In the closing moments, Argentina were reduced to nine after Gustavo Dezotti received the second yellow card of the game when he hauled Jürgen Kohler to the ground during a stoppage in play. The 1–0 scoreline provided another first: Argentina were the first team to fail to score in a World Cup Final.

With its third title (and three second-place finishes) West Germany – in its final tournament before national reunification – became the most successful World Cup nation at the time. West German manager Franz Beckenbauer became the only man to both captain (in 1974) and manage a World Cup winning team, and only the second man (after Mário Zagallo of Brazil) to win the World Cup as a player and as team manager. It was also the first time a team from UEFA won the final against a non-European team.

West Germany 1-0 Argentina
Brehme Goal 85' (pen.)
Attendance: 73,603

Goalscorers[change | change source]

2 goals[change | change source]

1 goal[change | change source]

References[change | change source]