Finals 1982
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Mexico 19

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Background

Colombia were originally chosen as the thirteenth hosts by the FIFA Executive Committee on 9 June 1974 in Stockholm.  However, the Colombian authorities declared in November 1982 that they could not afford to host the World Cup under the terms that FIFA demanded.  Mexico were selected on 20 May 1983 in Zürich as the replacement hosts, with unanimous votes ahead of Canada and USA, Brazil had also pulled out, and became the first nation to host two World Cups. 

However, a severe earthquake in September 1985, eight months before the tournament, cast doubt over Mexico's ability to organize the event; however, the stadiums were not affected and it was decided to go ahead with the preparations.

The Draw

The 24 participating teams were divided into six groups, in which all four teams will play each other once, at a draw conducted at Televisa television studios in Ciudad de México on 15 December 1985.
Pot 1 (seeded) Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Mexico England Algeria Belgium
Italy USSR Canada Bulgaria
West Germany Argentina Denmark Hungary
Poland Spain Iraq Northern Ireland
France Paraguay Morocco Portugal
Brazil Uruguay Korean Republic Scotland

The top two teams and the four best third place finishers from the six groups advanced to the knockout round of 16 teams.

 

The Build-Up

MAY 7: 18 members of the World Cup squad flew from Gatwick to Colorado for altitude training. The remaining four Everton players stayed at home in preparation for the FA Cup Final, three days later.

MAY 11: England beat a US Air Force team, 11-0. Bryan Robson and Ray Wilkins were the only players not to take part in the game. Robson had strained an Achilles tendon running around the hotel pathways, whilst Wilkins had damaged knee ligaments. Glenn Hoddle was particularly impressive, causing his manager to acclaim his talent.

The Times: "His delivery and his touch were immaculate...Over the next three or four weeks he is in a position to prove himself to be one of the best natural two-footed players in Europe, if not in the world."

MAY 12: Robson and Wilkins went cycling, whilst the rest of the squad played golf. The four Everton players arrived in the evening to make up the full squad of 22.

MAY 13: The squad trained, without the Everton players, but with Robson and Wilkins.

MAY 14: England beat South Korea, 4-1, at the Fountain Valley School. Both Robson and Wilkins played, without any concerns, but Beardsley, Hateley, Hoddle and Hodge all picked up injuries. Trevor Steven was the only Everton player to appear.

MAY 16: Beardsley, Hateley and Hoddle were all named in the squad to face Mexico in Los Angeles, but Hodge had damaged ankle ligaments and was to stay in Colorado, along with Gary Bailey (recovering from a cartilage operation) and three Everton players (Lineker, Reid and Stevens), who were still acclimatizing to altitude.

MAY 17: England beat Mexico, 3-0, in Los Angeles.

The Times: 'Robson's chosen men have thrown down the gauntlet'

...it took England a mere 37 minutes to dismantle the defence, the record and the esteem of the Mexicans.

MAY 19: Bobby Robson submitted his squad to FIFA, four days early, despite concerns over the fitness of Gary Bailey and Steve Hodge.

MAY 20: Potential replacements for Bailey and Hodge (Martin Hodge and Stewart Robson), were put on standby.

MAY 21: England's upcoming international with Canada was switched from an artificial surface, at Vancouver, to a grass pitch in a smaller stadium, at Burnaby, because Bobby Robson did not want to increase the risk of any of his players twisting or jarring anything. Steve Hodge, meanwhile, passed his fitness test.

MAY 22: Whilst Gary Bailey passed his fitness test, Bobby Robson expressed concern that Bryan Robson had been unable to train since the game against Mexico.

The Times: ''Neither of us can tell whether he will break down when he comes back."

MAY 23: The squad arrived in Vancouver.

MAY 24: England beat Canada, 1-0, in Burnaby.

The Times: 'Even the scare proved insipid'

In the first half England were listless.

MAY 26: The squad flew from Vancouver to Monterrey, their Mexican base for the first round group. Gary Lineker's left wrist was heavily strapped after severely straining it against Canada.

MAY 27: England trained at Saltillo in 36-degree Celsius heat. Lineker trained with his arm in a sling and Robson trained separately to the rest of the squad.

MAY 28: England's second string beat Monterrey, 4-1.

MAY 30: Lineker trained with a fibreglass cast on his wrist.

MAY 31: England played a light-hearted half-hour game against a team of eleven-year-olds in Saltillo and drew, 5-5!

JUNE 1: The squad trained in the Estadio Tecnológico, with Bryan Robson appearing closer to full fitness.

JUNE 2: Bryan Robson was declared fit and ready to face Portugal...

 

First Phase Table
Group F
Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Morocco 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 4
England 3 1 1 1 3 1 +2 3
Poland 3 1 1 1 1 3 -2 3
Portugal 3 1 0 2 2 4 -2 2
 
2 June 1986 - all 4:00pm CST
Morocco 0 Poland 0 [0-0]
Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Monterrey, Nuevo León (19,694)
 
3 June 1986
Portugal 1 England 0 [0-0]
Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey, Nuevo León (19,998)
Carlos Manuel
6 June 1986
England 0 Morocco 0 [0-0]
Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey, Nuevo León (20,200)
 

Wilkins

7 June 1986
Poland 1 Portugal 0 [0-0]
Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Monterrey, Nuevo León (19,915)
Smolarek
11 June 1986
England 3 Poland 0 [3-0]
Estadio Tecnológico, Monterrey, Nuevo León (22,600)
Lineker (3)
Morocco 3 Portugal 1 [2-0]
Estadio Tres de Marzo, Guadalajara, Nuevo León (18,000)
Khairi (2), Krimau
Diamantino

JUNE 4: Daily Express - ENGLAND'S SAD FLOPS

The Portuguese goal...came after England had failed to take advantage of a sustained period of second half pressure.

They probably did not deserve to lose the game but...England did not produce the kind of quality through the side that we had all anticipated.

Defeat now leaves England with a serious uphill challenge...

...Robson seemed unable to come to terms with the flow...

FOOTBALL MONTHLY - A Worrying Start - With Missed Chances Galore!

After dominating the game impressively, though squandering several good chances, a momentary lapse in defence at a critical moment gave the game away.

BOBBY ROBSON: Of course it's a disappointment...If we play as well as we did today - but take our chances, of course - we can still go through.

JUNE 7: Daily Telegraph - DISGRACE FOR WILKINS IN ENGLAND DRAW

For much of the first half, the Moroccans had looked technically superior to England and had emphasized that they were far from tactically inept.

...well directed, intelligent passes, in order to make England waste precious energy trying to get the ball.

The Moroccans, apparently content with a point, made little attempt to capitalize on their numerical superiority.

FOOTBALL MONTHLY - A Draw With Underdogs Puts England On Thin Ice!

England pressed the self-destruct button again in Monterrey and, but for a courageous second-half performance, might already have been eliminated from the tournament at this early stage.

JUNE 12: Daily Telegraph - SLICK ENGLAND CONFOUND THEIR CRITICS

...significantly reshaped team swept Poland out of their path...

The widely criticized 4-3-3 formation was abandoned...in favour of four men in midfield and two up front.

...a younger, better-balanced look...

...exhilarating first-half football...

FOOTBALL MONTHLY - England Click And Win Their Reprieve!

England soared into the second phase of the World Cup with an exhilarating display of attacking football that demolished Poland in little more than half an hour.


The Second Phase

15 June 1986
12:00noon CST - Mexico 2 Bulgaria 0 [1-0]
Estadio Azteca, Santa Úrsula, ciudad de México (114,580)
Negrete, Servin
4:00pm CST - Belgium 4 USSR 3 [0-1] AET
Estadio León, León de los Aldama, Guanajuato (32,277)
Scifo, Ceulemans, Demol, Claesen
Belanov (3 (1 pen))
16 June 1986
12:00noon CST - Brazil 4 Poland 0 [1-0]
Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Jalisco (45,000)
Sócrates (pen), Josimar, Edinho, Careca (pen)
4:00pm CST - Argentina 1 Uruguay 0 [1-0]
Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Heroic Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla (26,000)
Pasculli
17 June 1986
12:00noon CST - France 2 Italy 0 [1-0]
Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Ciudad Universitaria, Coyoacán, ciudad de México (71,449)
Platini, Stopyra
4:00pm CST - West Germany 1 Morocco 0 [0-0]
Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Monterrey, Nuevo León (19,800)
Matthäus
18 June 1986
12:00noon CST - England 3 Paraguay 0 [1-0]
Estadio Azteca, Santa Úrsula, ciudad de México (98,728)
Lineker (2), Beardsley
4:00pm CST - Spain 5 Denmark 1 [1-1]
Estadio La Corregidora, Querétaro, Querétaro (38,500)
Butrageño (4 (1 pen)), Goikoetxea (pen)
J.Olsen (1 pen)

JUNE 19: The Times - LINEKER PUTS ENGLAND IN LAST EIGHT

...they assumed control in midfield where the less-disciplined Paraguayans were outnumbered and eventually overrun.

...the Paraguayans...committed more than a few cynical fouls off the ball...

FOOTBALL MONTHLY - England Power Through To The Quarter-Finals...

Rejuvenated England, with the electrifying Gary Lineker once again illuminating the tournament, shocked the impressive Paraguayans into submission and strode confidently into the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

Round of sixteen

The six third place teams from the Group phase were (A) Bulgaria (B) Belgium (C) Hungary (D) Northern Ireland (E) Uruguay and (F) Poland.
Hungary and Northern Ireland were the two teams that finished with the poorest records in comparison with the other third-placed teams and failed to progress to the second phase.

Quarter Finals

21 June 1986
12:00noon CST - France 1 Brazil 1 [1-1]
AET [1-1] & Penalties [4-3]
Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Jalisco (65,677)
Platini
Careca
Penalty Shoot-out:- Sócrates saved, Stopyra 1-0, Alemão 1-1, Amoros 2-1, Zico 2-2, Bellone 3-2, Branco 3-3, Platini missed, Júlio César hit post, Fernandez 4-3
4:00pm CST - West Germany 0 Mexico 0 [0-0]
AET [0-0] & Penalties [4-1]
Estadio Universitario, San Nicolás de los Garza, Monterrey, Nuevo León (44,386)
  

Berthold Aguirre

Penalty Shoot-out:- Allofs 1-0, Negrete 1-1, Brehme 2-1, Quirarte saved, Matthäus 3-1, Servín saved, Littbarski 4-1
22 June 1986
12:00noon CST - Argentina 2 England 1 [0-0]
Estadio Azteca, Santa Úrsula, ciudad de México (114,580)
Maradona (2)
Lineker
4:00pm CST - Belgium 1 Spain 1 [1-0]
AET [1-1] & Penalties [5-4]
Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Heroic Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla (45,000)
Ceulemans
Señor
Penalty Shoot-out:- Señor 1-0, Claesen 1-1, Eloy saved, Scifo 1-2, Chendo 2-2, Broos 2-3, Butrageño 3-3, Vervoort 3-4, Victor 4-4, L.Van der Elst 4-5.

JUNE 23: The Times - ENGLAND SENT TUMBLING OUT BY MARADONA

...if justice was to play a cruel role in their eventual downfall, there can be little doubt that they were beaten by a superior side.

England...can have no complaints about effectively being knocked out by a moment of pure and irresistible genius.

JUNE 24: The Guardian - ROBSON IS HAPPY TO BE STAYING ON

England have left the World Cup with a dignity born of experience.

Bobby Robson: ...there is no doubt in my mind that I'm a better international manager now than when I started four years ago.

"This is a unique job," he explained, "so different to club management. It takes you two years to get used to it."

Robson proved sufficiently astute to recognise the need for a tactical change that the bulk of his squad wanted.

...not enough to survive against a better side possessing the outstanding player of the tournament...

FOOTBALL MONTHLY - Robson's Men Bow Out With Honour...

At the end of the day, the better team won. There is little point, now, in reflecting upon what might have transpired had the referee been in a position to spot Maradona's illicit first goal.

GARY LINEKER: ...I have to say that as a striker I would probably have done the same thing.

Semi Finals

25 June 1986 - 12:00pm CST
West Germany 2 France 0 [1-0]
Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara, Jalisco (47,500)
Brehme, Völler
26 June 1986 - 4:00pm CST
Argentina 2 Belgium 0 [0-0]
Estadio Azteca, Santa Úrsula, ciudad de México (110,420)
Maradona (2)

 

Third Place Play-off

28 June 1986 - 12:00pm CST
France 4 Belgium 2 [2-1] AET [2-2]
Estadio Cuauhtémoc, Heroic Puebla de Zaragoza, Puebla (21,500)
Ferreri, Papin, Genghini, Amoros (pen)
Ceulemans, Claesen

 

The 1986 Final

29 June 1986 - 12:00pm CST
Argentina 3 West Germany 2 [1-0]
Estadio Azteca, Santa Úrsula, ciudad de México
(114,580)
Brown, Valdano, Burruchaga
Rummenigge, Völler

The morning after England's defeat - Daily Express headline.

 

 

CG/GI