Spain v Italy_94

The date is 9th July 1994 and the competition is the World Cup in USA.

These two were up against each other in the Quarter-Finals in Foxboro.  During that tournament, Italy had lost their opening game to Republic of Ireland but went through to the knock-out stage despite finishing 3rd in their group.  Remarkably, all 4 teams finished on 4pts, and FIFA had a surprisingly simple way of working out who finished above who.  It was based on goals scored.  Italy then needed extra time to get past Nigeria in the Second Round.  Spain had been equally as unpredictable in their group.  Leading 2-0 with 5 minutes to go against South Korea, they proceeded to end up with just a point, but then held Germany to a draw.  Their 3-1 win over Bolivia got them to the Second Round, where they cruised past Switzerland.

25 minutes in and Massaro had the ball out wide on the left, he turned inside and found Dino Baggio who took one touch and then thumped the ball from 35 yards out past Zubizarreta for the opening goal.  Both side had chances to score during the rest of the half but Italy were still 1-0 up when they went into the break.

Midway through the half and a flowing move saw Sergi lay the ball square to Caminero on the edge of the area and his shot deflected off a defender and into the net for the equaliser.  Goikoetxea then hit a fierce shot which Pagliuca parried wide.  Hierro then shot just over with a shot from 30 yards out.  Spain certainly looked the more likely to win it as they poured forward, but that allowed Italy to hit them on the break.  It was one of those counter-attacks which saw Roberto Baggio clear, he rounded the keeper and his shot beat Abelardo on the line and with just 3 minutes to go, Italy had won it.

Italy’s prize in the Semi-Finals was to meet Bulgaria, who had surprised everyone by beating Germany in the Quarter-Finals.  Italy won the Semis, 2-1 with both of their goals coming from Roberto Baggio.  Baggio was again to figure in the Final,, but only because it was his penalty which gave the trophy to Brazil when he blasted over the bar in the shootout.

ITALY: Pagliuca; Benarrivo, Costacurta, Tassotti, Maldini; Albertini (Signori), D. Baggio, Conte (Berti), Donadoni; R. Baggio, Massaro

GOALS: D. Baggio (25), R. Baggio (88)

SPAIN: Zubizarreta; Ferrer, Abelardo, Alkorta, Nadal, Otero; Goikoetxea, Bakero (Hierro), Sergi (Salinas), Caminero; Luis Enrique

GOAL: Caminero (58)