Monday 28th June 1982
GROUP D, Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid. (17:15)
FRANCE (1) 1 (Genghini 39)
AUSTRIA (0) 0
France: Ettori; Battiston, Janvion, Tresor, Bossis; Genghini (Girard), Tigana, Giresse; Lacombe (Rocheteau), Six, Soler
Austria: Koncilia; Krauss, Degeorgi (Baumeister), Pezzey, Obermayer; Hattenberger, Prohaska, Hintermaier, Jara (Welzl); Schachner, Krankl
The start of the second phase and we were down to two games a day. France and Austria met in Madrid, as both had finished runners-up in their groups. Austria was still reeling from the fallout of their arranged match with West Germany. They were also a squad struggling with injuries, whereas France had got over their loss to England in their opening game and now had a settled side.
The French were really growing into this tournament with Giresse, Tigana and Genghini pulling the strings, yet they missed Platini and you always wondered with this French team, how much better they’d be with a decent goalscorer. Ironically, the goal came from just the type Platini would’ve relished. A free-kick about twenty-five yards out on the right-hand side of the area and Genghini floated it beautifully over the wall and into the top corner, despite Koncilia’s best efforts. Schachner and Krankl offered the most threat for Austria, but the French were always a cut above and the only surprise was they didn’t score more. But they had the all important win and could sit out the next match when Austria would play Northern Ireland.
GROUP A, Estadio Nou Camp, Barcelona. (21:00)
POLAND (2) 3 (Boniek 4, 26, 53)
BELGIUM (0) 0
Poland: Mlynarczyk; Dziuba, Janas, Zmuda, Kupcewicz (Ciolek); Matysik, Buncol, Majewski, Boniek; Lato, Smolarek
Belgium: Custers; Plessers (Baecke), Renquin, Meeuws, Millecamps; Vercauteren, van Moer (van der Elst), Coeck, Cuelemans; Vandenbergh, Czerniatynski
This was an odd game. Belgium had started the tournament so well when they beat the holders, Argentina, but didn’t really follow it up against El Salvador or Hungary. After their last match they had to deal with an incident involving their keeper, Jean-Marie Pfaff. The squad had become resentful of a player who, whilst regarded as one of the best in Europe, had become a little too big for his boots. During their days off they played a prank on him by pushing him into a swimming pool. Pfaff couldn’t swim. The relationship between Pfaff and the rest of the squad was now irreparable. Manager Guy Thys simply dropped his best goalkeeper and selected Theo Custers. Custers was inexperienced but had the advantage of playing his club football in Barcelona with Espanyol.
Poland were poor in their first two matches, failing to score. Then suddenly they woke up and thumped Peru. Boniek had yet to really turn up at this tournament either, although his influence in the Peru went a long way towards their success, but this was the game when one of the best players in Europe at the time, finally joined the party. He opened the scoring after just four minutes when Lato made a good run to the bye-line on the right, pulled the ball back and Boniek fired into the top corner from the edge of the area.
Belgium just couldn’t deal with his pace and his incessant running. Twenty-six minutes in and he added a second. Zmuda crossed from right to left where Smolarek nodded the ball back for Boniek, unmarked, to head the ball over Custers, who’d strayed off his line. Boniek saved the best till last as he completed his hat-trick just eight minutes into the second half. He began the move when he picked up the ball wide on the right just inside the Belgian half and swept a ball out to the far left Smolarek was. Smolarek drifted inside, found Lato on the edge of the ‘D’ and he waited for Boniek to run past him. As he played him in, Boniek was now one-on-one with the keeper and simply rounded him and stroked the ball into the empty net for an impressive hat-trick. Belgium had simply been blown away by one man, and unless they could pull off a miraculous result against USSR, their tournament was effectively over. Poland were now a rejuvenated team and unless USSR could beat Belgium, might only need a draw to reach the Semis.
Two huge games tomorrow as Italy take on Argentina. Then England meet West Germany.