Thursday 12th June 1986
After the drama of day 12, was there to be any further drama in Group D. Brazil had already qualified for the Second Round but weren’t guaranteed to finish top. They were up against Northern Ireland, who were still in with a shout of the knockout stage but they needed at least a draw. Algeria took on Spain, and they too needed at least a draw. A draw for either side would put them ahead of Bulgaria and Hungary in the third-place table, on goal difference.
This is how the group stood at the start of the day.
Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, 51,000
NORTHERN IRELAND (0) 0
BRAZIL (2) 3 (Careca 15, 87, Josimar 42)
NORTHERN IRELAND: Jennings; Nicholl, O’Neill, McDonald, Donaghy; Campbell (Armstrong), McCreery, McIlroy; Stewart, Clarke, Whiteside (Hamilton)
BRAZIL: Carlos; Josimar, Edinho, Júlio César, Branco; Elzo, Alemao, Sócrates (Zico), Júnior; Müller (Casagrande), Careca
Brazil had won both their matches so far, without setting the world alight. Tele Santana made two changes from the side which beat Algeria. Josimar came in for Edson at right-back and Muller was up front in place of Casagrande. It was Josimar’s debut for Brazil.
For Northern Ireland, their fairy tale turned a little sour when they lost to Spain. Billy Bingham made two changes from that side. Nigel Worthington and Steve Penney came in for Ian Stewart and David Campbell.
This was the first meeting between the two sides ever, and probably in front of the largest crowd many of the Irish players had ever experienced.
The first chance of the game fell to Colin Clarke, but his shot was well wide. Then Brazil had their own opportunity when Muller’s pace was too much for McDonald, but Pat Jennings smothered the shot. He was called into action again soon after when Branco shot from long-range, but the veteran keeper found it too easy to handle.
Then after 15 minutes, Brazil’s quality showed when they took the lead. Muller worked space for himself down the right wing, and his cross found Careca about 10 yards out and he hit it first time. The shot was too hot for Jennings to handle this time and Brazil were in front. 1-0.
Northern Ireland were still in the game but already they knew things were going to be tough. This was evidenced by Brazil’s continued attacking. Jennings was called into action again when Junior burst through. He didn’t gather it cleanly but his defence helped him out by clearing it. The match fell on Jennings’s 41st birthday and he was certainly the busier of the two keepers.
This was the same stadium where Brazil beat England in 1970. You remember, ‘that tackle by Moore’ and ‘what a save by Banks’. It was an iconic game. This Brazil version wasn’t a patch on that one but just before half-time, we had a goal worthy of any of the great Brazilian sides of the past.
The ball was being knocked about in midfield by the Brazilians when Josimar joined in. He had been playing an increasingly more forward role as the half went on
He was about 25 yards out on the right of the area when he unleashed a thunderous drive which flew into the top corner, with Jennings having no chance. It was a stunning strike and made more impressive as it was his debut for the national side
It was a blow for the Irish and just before half-time. But there was no blame in conceding a goal of that quality. Already people were calling it the goal of the tournament and would take a beauty to beat it.
Immediately the Irish had a chance when Stewart crossed from the left and Whiteside headed wide from seven yards out when he should at least have hit the target.
Northern Ireland never gave up. Two goals down at the break, in the second half Bingham brought on the ’82 vintage of Hamilton and Armstrong. To match this Santana sent on his own brand of ’82 quality as Zico again replaced Socrates.
As the game went on Jennings was again called into action several times. One particular moment saw him make three saves in quick succession from Casagrande (twice) and Zico.
Zico was becoming increasingly prominent as Brazil were really into their stride. He exchanged passes with Careca and once into the right-hand edge of the area, he backheeled it for Careca to fire the ball past Jennings for the third goal. It was Brazil’s best play of the tournament and they were ripping their opponents apart. 3-0.
Jennings was again called upon to keep the score down as he saved from Casagrande again. In the end Brazil won comfortably. Northern Ireland certainly didn’t disgrace themselves and Pat Jennings gave them a vintage performance to remember. But in the end they were well beaten.
Estadio Tecnologico, Monterrey, 23,980
ALGERIA (0) 0
SPAIN (1) 3 (Caldere 15, 68, Eloy 70)
ALGERIA: Drid (El Hadi); Guendouz, Megharia, Kourichi, Mansouri; Kaci Said, Maroc, Harkouk, Zidane (Menad); Belloumi, Madjer
SPAIN: Zubizarreta; Tomás, Camacho, Victor, Goikoetxea; Michel (Señor), Calderé, Francisco, Gallego; Butragueño (Eloy), Salinas
In the same stadium where England lost to Portugal and were held to a draw by Morocco, Spain took on Algeria. Four years before Algeria had been a revelation in coming very close to becoming the first African side to make the second stage of a World Cup, after beating West Germany and Chile. This side weren’t able to reach those heights, but a good result here would change things.
Manager Rabah Saadane made four changes from the side which lost 0-1 to Brazil. Out went Salah Assad, Djamel Menad, Haim Benmarbrouk and Abdellah Liegeon. In came Kourichi, Karim Maroc, Djamel Zidane and Rachid Harkouk. Harkouk was playing his football with Notts County, after spells at Crystal Palace and QPR.
Spain had banished the Irish demons from 1982 when they won five days before. Manager Miguel Muñoz made just the one change. Ramón Calderé came in for Rafael Gordillo in midfield.
After the early exchanges, Algeria suffered a blow when their keeper, Drid, who’d been in good form against Brazil, picked up an injury when trying to collect from a corner. Minutes later Spain took advantage when Calderé gave them the lead. Salinas was played through down the right and he cut it back in towards the penalty spot and Calderé, playing under Terry Venables at Barcelona, ran on to put it in. 1-0.
Drid eventually had to go off. He was replaced by Larbi El Hadi, who’d played in their opening game against Northern Ireland. Almost immediately he was called upon to pull off a fine save. Calderé crossed from the right wing and Francisco was free in the area. His header was good and El Hadi did well to push it away.
Algeria had a chance or two themselves, particularly through Madjer, but it was mainly all Spain.
In the second half, Victor should’ve scored but El Hadi pulled off another good save from close range. Then Algeria’s best chance came from Harkouk. He played Maroc in on the left, then got on the end of the cross only to see it go just over.
Algeria were making a decent fist of things and could consider themselves unlucky to go further behind. Particularly when Madjer seemed to be kicked to the ground by Francisco. The referee waved play on and to compound things for the Algerians, Francisco went on and put Eloy away when the Africans tried to play offside. Eloy was one-on-one with the keeper and calmly played it square to Calderé who slipped it into the empty net. 2-0.
Within minutes the Algerians gave the ball away just outside their area. Again they tried unsuccessfully to play offside and Eloy had the simple task of beating El Hadi from a few yards out. 3-0.
Spain had been largely dominant although the Algerians had probably contributed to their own downfall when trying to play a high line.
Brazil topped the group with the Spanish in second as many had predicted from the start. For Northern Ireland and Algeria they had given everything but it just wasn’t enough. There would be no repeat of their heroics from 1982. Defeat for the Irish also left them out of the top four third-place teams so that was the end of the road for them.
GROUP D – FINAL TABLE
THIRD PLACE TABLE
Winning the group meant Brazil were waiting to see which team would be the second-best third-place team. Spain were waiting to see how Group E ended up as they were due to meet the runners-up.
SECOND ROUND DRAW
|Argentina||v||Third place (4)|
|Group E winner||v||Spain|
|USSR||v||Third place (1)|
|Morocco||v||Group E runner-up|
|Mexico||v||Third place (3)|
|Brazil||v||Third place (2)|
Tomorrow sees the conclusion of the first round as Group E concludes their business. Scotland are up against Uruguay needing to win to reach the second stage for the first time in their history. Everyone was looking forward to Denmark against West Germany. The Danes had been utterly enthralling when they thrashed Uruguay, yet they were up against the efficient Germans. Should be a great prospect.