Wednesday, July 4, 2012

4 July 1990 - England Pays The Penalty Against West Germany

On 4 July 1990, England suffered a tearful exit from the World Cup with two missed penalties against West Germany in a semifinal shootout.

Playing before a crowd of 62,628 at Turin's Stadio delle Alpi, West Germany took a second-half lead with a goal from left back Andreas Brehme (60'), but England forward Gary Lineker scored an 80th-minute equalizer to send the match into extra time. 

The Three Lions had already had their share of late heroics, including extra-time victories over Belgium and Cameroon in their two previous matches, but they could not find one against West Germany. With neither team scoring in the extra period, the match went to penalties.

After both sides scored on their first three attempts, left back Stuart Pearce sent a low ball down the middle, where it was saved by German keeper Bodo Illgner. Olaf Thon scored to put West Germany up 4-2, then midfielder Chris Waddle stepped up to the spot for England and sent his shot over the bar to end the shootout.

Despite the dramatic finish, the match is widely remembered for the booking of England midfielder Paul Gascoigne (pictured) in the 99th minute. He had received an earlier yellow card in the match against Belgium, so the caution against West Germany meant that he would miss the Final if England advanced. The television cameras showed him visibly distraught with tears in his eyes, which became an iconic image of the tournament.

West Germany went on to win the Final against Argentina to claim their third World Cup trophy.

 

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