Day 19, 21st June 1986
The Second Round had thrown up some classic matches, such as Spain thrashing Denmark. Or should that be the Danes’ capitulation? Belgium coming out on the right side of a seven-goal thriller against the Soviet Union was another one. Brazil, England, Argentina, Mexico and France progressed without too much trouble. Both Italy and Poland were disappointing as their matches promised more. West Germany struggled to get past Morocco, needing a late goal. The Africans went home with their heads held high.
Now we’re down to the last eight. Two of the best-looking teams from 1982 were up against each other, Brazil and France. Then we had runners-up in 1982, West Germany against the hosts, Mexico.
The World Cup 1986 quarter-finals
Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, 65,000
BRAZIL (1) 1 (Careca 17)
FRANCE (1) 1 (Platini 40)
Brazil: Socrates (saved), Alemão, Zico, Branco, Júlio César (missed)
France: Stopyra, Amoros, Bellone, Platini (missed), Fernández
BRAZIL: Carlos; Josimar, Edinho, Júlio César, Branco; Elzo, Alemão, Socrates, Júnior (Silas); Müller (Zico), Careca
FRANCE: Bats; Amoros, Bossis, Battiston, Tusseau; Fernández, Giresse (Ferreri), Platini, Tigana; Rocheteau (Bellone) Stopyra
Now was not the time for tinkering, and so Tele Santana named an unchanged Brazilian side. He’d been in charge of the golden ’82 side and this time was determined to get them further this time. This meant yet again Zico was on the bench. Brazil had won every game in the competition so far.
France made one change from their Second Round win over Italy. Thierry Tusseau came into defence for William Ayache, who was suspended. Tusseau played in their opening match against Canada, but Ayache had been in all the games since then. Manager, Henri Michel resisted the option of bringing Papin back up front, preferring to go with the more experienced Rocheteau to partner Stopyra.
This was the second meeting between the two countries in a World Cup. It was coming almost exactly 28 years to the day after a hat-trick from 17-year-old Pele beat France in the Semi-Finals of Sweden ’58.
France had only ever beaten Brazil once before, back in 1978 two months before the World Cup in Argentina. Only Zico and Edinho remained in this squad from the team Brazil sent out that day. For France, Platini, Bossis and Battiston remained. Henri Michel was the French captain that day.
This was the Final many had hoped for back in Spain ’82. Even though there were more French survivors than Brazilians from those teams, it still promised to be a classic. We could dream of seeing a midfield with Socrates and Zico on one side and Platini, Tigana and Giresse on the other.
Tigana had the first real chance of the game when he pounced on a loose ball out of the Brazil penalty area. From about 25 yards out he fired a low shot which went just wide, hitting the side-netting. Socrates was presented with a good chance at the other end but he shot straight at Bats.
Then after 17 minutes, Brazil pulled the French defence apart for the opening goal. Müller and Junior exchanged passes. Junior’s run on the right of the area took the attention of the defence, leaving Careca free. Müller found him and from just inside the area he thrashed it into the net. 1-0.
It was his fifth goal of the tournament. Many believed Brazil would’ve won four years earlier had he not been injured. Either way he was playing a part in their charge towards the Semis now.
Just after the half-hour, they were almost two-up. Socrates put Careca away on the left. He got the better of Bossis and squared the ball across the six-yard area. Müller came in at the back post and his shot hit the post.
Brazil had been threatening throughout, but they were made to pay for not adding to their lead. With five minutes of the first half remaining, Giresse found Rocheteau on the right wing. His cross took a deflection off Júlio César and appeared to be a gift for Stopyra. But the Toulouse striker somehow decided to try and head the ball when all he needed to do was get a foot to it and it was in. It fooled the keeper anyway, and the loose ball was tapped in by Platini at the far post. 1-1.
It was a bit of a soft goal to concede for Brazil and brought back memories of their titanic match against Italy in Spain when their defending that day cost them.
The two sides went into half-time still level.
Midway through the second period, Santana threw Zico on. It was his third appearance off the bench in this World Cup and at last, we had Zico, Socrates, Platini, Giresse and Tigana on the pitch at the same time. Well at least until Giresse was taken off 13 minutes later.
Within two minutes of Zico entering the fray, he was involved in a move to put Brazil back in front. He played a lovely through ball to Branco with the outside of his right foot. Branco looked to take the ball round the keeper, who hurled himself to the ground bringing the Brazilian left-back down. Penalty.
Zico was given the responsibility of taking the penalty. It wasn’t the best of kicks, at a good height for Bats who guessed the right way. Careca put the rebound wide.
It was a dramatic moment, one which seemed well set for Zico to come on and be a hero. Was their luck running out?
With five minutes to go the French left Zico unmarked in the area. Josimar found him with a cross from the right, but Zico’s header was straight at Bats.
90 minutes were up and so we had extra time. Both sides cancelled each other out during much of the additional 30 minutes. The heat was starting to take effect with many tired-looking players out there. Michel brought Bellone on for Rocheteau and Santana replaced Júnior with Silas.
Suddenly with five minutes of extra time remaining the drama exploded.
Bats pushed away a cross from the right and within two touches they found Platini free just inside the centre circle. He took one look and saw Bellone make a run. He played him in and Bellone was away and clear. As he reached the ‘D’ Carlos came out to narrow the angle. Bellone’s pace took him past the keeper, who grabbed the Frenchman. Bellone should’ve gone to ground but he made a valiant attempt to stay on his feet. As he stumbled this allowed Josimar to get back and clear the ball. Incredibly, the Romanian referee waved play on. With the French still protesting Careca ran down the right-wing and crossed it across the face of the goal. Socrates was unmarked at the far post and simply had to tap the ball in. Inexplicably, he missed his kick. One of the greatest players to have graced any World Cup and he missed an open goal. Perhaps it was justice, maybe Socrates considered it fair? Who knows?
One thing nobody knew was why the referee didn’t blow for a foul on Bellone. He was past the keeper and simply had to pass it into the net. There was no doubt Carlos’ challenge impeded him. The ref should’ve awarded a free-kick and sent the keeper off. It was an incredible decision. There were comparisons with what happened to France and Battiston in the Semi-Finals four years earlier. They didn’t get anything from the ref that night either
But it made no difference and so we headed to a penalty shootout. Only the second in the history of the World Cup, the first being France’s Semi-Final clash with the West Germans four years earlier.
There were some excellent dead-ball players on the pitch and so this promised to be a tense shootout. But there were a lot of tired players too. Maybe one of the keepers would end up the hero?
Socrates was first up. Elegant, confident, classy. He took one step and went for the top right corner. But so did Bats. Saved. First blood to the French.
No one could quite believe what they were witnessing. Zico and Socrates had both missed penalties in the same match. Or perhaps it’s fairer to say, Bats saved them both.
Stopyra was up first for the French and he hit his straight down the middle, with Carlos going to his right.
France led 1-0.
Alemão came next for Brazil. He put it in the left-hand corner and despite Bats guessing correctly, it was just out of reach.
France right-back, Manuel Amoros was up next. He scored in the shootout four years before, and he scored here too.
2-1 to France, with two kicks each.
Zico was next. He’d just missed one earlier so all the pressure was on him. He chose the same side as earlier and Bats went the wrong way.
Bruno Bellone was next for France. He took his left-footed and beat Carlos. But the ball hit the post, bounced back, hit Carlos on the head and went in. There seemed to be some sense of justice perhaps for Bellone and the French after what happened to him towards the end of extra time.
3-2 to France from three penalties each.
Branco was next for Brazil. By now the referee was becoming concerned with the condition of the penalty spot. He wanted Branco to re-spot the ball, so there was a slight delay. This can often go against the kicker as his concentration has been affected. But it made no difference to Branco and he fired it down the centre.
Platini was up for France. Few people in world football had scored as many goals from dead-ball situations than the French captain. He stepped up confidently and skied it over the bar. It wasn’t even close. Astonishing. Platini had just thrown away the advantage his team had.
3-3 from four pens each.
Júlio César stepped up next for Brazil. Much of the pressure had lifted from this kick and if he scored, all the stress would be on France’s next choice. But why wasn’t Careca taking it? He stepped forward and hit it well but it struck the left-hand post and ballooned away. Brazil had just burned the opportunity Platini had handed them.
Luis Fernández now had the chance to win it for France. Carlos tried to play mind games. He was very slow to get to his mark. When Fernández placed the ball on the spot, he hadn’t even reached the area. As he walked past the ball he made sure he stepped down on the pitch right beside it, as if to ruin the grass around the ball. This was tense stuff. Fernández was the calmest man in the stadium. He sent the keeper the wrong way and France had won and were through to the Semi-Finals.
4-3 to France on penalties.
For the neutral, it was the correct result. Brazil only had themselves to blame, much like they had four years before. France would meet the winner of the West Germany v Mexico game, which was up next.
Estadio Universitario, Monterrey, 41,700
WEST GERMANY (0) 0
MEXICO (0) 0
West Germany: Allofs, Brehme, Matthäus, Littbarski
Mexico: Negrete, Quirarte (saved), Servin (saved)
WEST GERMANY: Schumacher; Berthold, Förster, Eder (Littbarski), Jakobs, Briegel; Matthäus, Magath, Brehme; Rummenigge (Hoeness), Allofs
MEXICO: Larios; Amador (Francisco Javier Cruz), Quirarte, Félix Cruz, Servin; España, Muñoz, Boy (de los Cobos), Aguirre; Negrete, Sánchez
Rudi Völler was out for the Germans, as Beckenbauer chose to bring in Brehme to bolster the midfield, leaving Rummenigge and Allofs up front. It was still unclear how fit the West German captain was, but he started his second match of the tournament. Förster was now being employed as a sweeper.
Mexico’s Yugoslav manager, Bora Milutinovic named an unchanged side for their first match of the tournament away from the Azteca Stadium. A whole nation’s dreams and aspirations lay in the hands of Hugo Sánchez and Tomás Boy. Luis Flores was perhaps unlucky to miss out. He’d played in all the group matches but now had to contend himself with a place on the bench for the knockout stages.
These two nations had met once before in World Cups. In 1978 West Germany ran out 6-0 winners in the group stage with Rummenigge scoring twice. Both he and Sánchez were the only survivors from that game.
Mexico had only beaten the Germans once and that came 12 months before this tournament when Mexico hosted a series of matches also involving Italy and England. Negrete and Flores scored in each half in a 2-0 win.
This had been a stuttering campaign for both teams. Yet they were both 180 minutes away from the Final.
The first half didn’t have too many clear-cut chances. There were two long-range efforts from free-kicks for both sides. Tomás Boy struck his from the left but it was straight at Schumacher. Klaus Allofs bent his round the wall but just over.
Then as the first half was coming to a close West Germany produced the best move of the half. Magath floated it to the far right of the area. Rummenigge headed it back and Allofs met it full on the volley. Larios pulled off a really good reaction save. Ok, it was straight at him but it was hit well and he still had to save it.
Midway through the second half was the next piece of drama. Berthold attempted to play a one-two with Allofs down the right. As he ran to receive the pass, Quirarte got in the German’s way. The two bundled to the ground. As he fell Berthold aimed a punch at the Mexican. It was right in front of the linesman who signalled to the ref and Berthold was off. West Germany were now down to ten men.
Buoyed on by the crowd, Mexico looked to press their advantage. Negrete forced a good save from Schumacher. From the resulting corner, West Germany cleared off the line. In the following melee Mexico did get the ball into the net, but the referee had already blown for an infringement.
Mexico were rampant now and once again surged forward. Negrete chipped the ball to the far post from the edge of the area. Sánchez was waiting but Aguirre got there first. He headed it straight at Schumacher’s feet. Suddenly Mexico were just creating chance after chance.
Another cross from the right was met perfectly by Aguirre on the penalty spot. His volley was tipped over by Schumacher. The Germans eventually weathered the storm and the game went into extra time.
10 minutes into the extra period Matthäus played the ball past Aguirre in his own half. As he passed the Mexican he was clipped and fell to the ground. Aguirre, who’d been booked in the first 20 minutes, received a second yellow and both teams were now down to 10 men.
Neither side could gain any advantage over the other so we went into the second penalty shootout of the day.
West Germany were up first and Klaus Allofs took the first one. He sent the keeper the wrong way and West Germany were in front.
Allofs opposite number, Negrete was up first for the hosts. He too sent the keeper the wrong way, into the opposite corner to Allofs and Mexico were level.
Andreas Brehme was next for the Germans. All three kickers were left-footed and all three were successful. Brehme chose to go down the middle and the keeper went to his right.
2-1 to West Germany.
Fernando Quirarte was Mexico’s second kicker. Right-footed he too chose to go down the middle but Schumacher managed to save it with his legs. Advantage to the Germans.
2-1 to West Germany from two penalties.
Lothar Matthäus was next. He went to the keeper’s right. Larios guessed the right way but couldn’t get a hand to it.
3-1 to West Germany.
Raúl Servin, another defender, was next for Mexico. He simply had to score. He didn’t. He hit it straight at Schumacher who gathered it easily. Disaster for the hosts and the home support
3-1 to West Germany from three pens.
Pierre Littbarski now had the chance to win it for West Germany. He’d only come on as a substitute four minutes before the end of extra time. Against a cacophony of boos and whistles, Littbarski patiently waited for the referee’s whistle, then fired it to the keeper’s right. It was too fierce to be saved and the West Germans had won another penalty shootout.
4-1 to West Germany on penalties.
What drama, and what a day. There had only ever been one penalty shootout in World Cups. Now two had come along on the same day.
France would now meet West Germany in the first Semi-Final. A repeat of the 1982 Semi-Final.
Tomorrow we have the other two Quarter-Finals, England v Argentina and Spain v Belgium.