Friday 2nd July 1982
GROUP C, Estadio Sarria, Barcelona. (17:15)
BRAZIL (1) 3 (Zico 12, Serginho 67, Junior 75)
ARGENTINA (0) 1 (Diaz 89)
Brazil: Waldir; Leandro (Edevaldo), Luizinho, Oscar, Junior; Socrates, Cerezo, Falcao, Eder; Zico (Batista), Serginho
Argentina: Fillol; Olguin, Passarella, Barbas, Tarantini, Galvan; Bertoni (Santamaria), Ardiles, Calderon, Maradona; Kempes (Diaz)
Italy had beaten Argentina and this was becoming a frustrating tournament for the 1978 winners. Beaten in their opening game, they had got passed Hungary and El Salvador to reach this stage, but with their minds on events back home they looked an ageing side which even the great Diego Maradona couldn’t motivate enough. Brazil were playing some champagne football, and some of the best football seen in any World Cup. They were confident of beating their arch rivals and then taking on Italy.
Argentinian defender Juan Barbas, one of the few members of the squad new from 1978, arrived late to force Waldir Peres into a smart save from a header. But then in the twelfth minute Brazil had a free-kick about 30 yards out. Eder ran up and fired a left-foot shot against the underside of the bar and as it bounced down, Zico reacted far quicker than the Argentines and bundled the ball over the line for the opening goal. Eder’s shot was hit with the outside of his left foot and bent and curled, with Fillol doing well to get a hand on it to knock it onto the bar but he was let down by his defence as no one rushed back with Zico or Serginho to stop Zico getting to the ball first.
Falcao then fired just over after taking down a pass from Leandro with consummate ease. After Zico did the same, Falcao again shot over after a lovely move on the edge of the Argentinian area. Brazil still lead at half-time thanks to Zico’s goal and as the second half wore on, Maradona became increasingly frustrated with the treatment handed out to him by the Brazilians. He has a good shout for a penalty when Cerezo brought him down on the right-hand edge of the area, but the ref was having none of it. Cerezo had a fierce drive from a free-kick just tipped over as many of the shots were coming from outside either penalty area. Brazil eventually had their reward in the 67th minute after Passarella was dispossessed in midfield. Eder played it inside to Zico, who in turn found Falcao with space on the right. His cross to the far post was headed in by Serginho. Often seen as the weak link in this vastly attractive attacking side, Serginho was a prolific goalscorer at domestic level but received much criticism during this tournament for missing too many chances.
Brazil looked to have killed off Argentina, although Maradona showed some lovely skill to create a chance for Diaz, who put it wide. But almost immediately, Brazil put together another fantastic move as they toyed with their opponents. Junior ran forward from the back, played a one-two with Zico and ran on to slide the ball past Fillol. It was a lovely exhibition of football and the most attacking full-back in the game earned a deserved goal. Passarella tried to single-handedly pull his team back into it with a couple of chances but Brazil were in complete control.
Maradona chipped just over and then minutes later his World Cup was over in ignominious circumstances. Soon to be a Barcelona player, he left the pitch to a chorus of derision. As the ball bounced around in midfield, Maradona was far too high and late with a kick on Batista which landed on the Brazilian’s thigh. He received a straight red card and it summed up Argentina’s tournament. Diaz did get a goal back with a fine strike from the edge of the area but the champions were well beaten.
Brazil now had a goal advantage over Italy, so a draw on Monday would be enough to see them reach the Semi-Finals.
GROUP B, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid. (21:00)
SPAIN (0) 1 (Zamora 81)
WEST GERMANY (0) 2 (Littbarski 50, Fischer 75)
Spain: Arconada; Camacho, Alexanco, Tendillo, Gordillo; Alonso, Urquiaga, Zamora; Juanito (Lopez-Ufarte), Santillana, Quini (Sanchez)
West Germany: Schumacher; Kaltz, K-H Forster, B. Forster, Stielike, Briegel; Littbarski, Breitner, Dremmler; Fischer, Rummenigge (Reinders)
In England’s group, West Germany had played out a cagey 0-0 draw with England in the first match. This gave them a great chance of going through if they could beat the hosts. Spain had struggled to get through their group, losing to Northern Ireland. The home crowd was nervous yet desperate for success, knowing themselves that a win in this game would leave them only needing to avoid defeat against England, to progress.
The first half again was cagey and then five minutes into the second half, Dremmler’s shot from outside the area was too hot for Arconada to handle and as it rolled clear of the Spanish keeper, Pierre Littbarski was on hand to turn it in. The Germans were now able to exert some pressure on the game, with them holding many aces in the group. They should’ve added to their tally after good work down the left from Fischer saw him rob Tendillo but the eventual shot from Briegel too high. Spanish centre-back, Alexanco, had a couple of efforts which may have promised more. One, a header from a free-kick which bounced straight at Schumacher, and then he fired wide with a shot from long range.
But with fifteen minutes to go, West Germany played their final card and it would prove decisive. Breitner, ever industrious in midfield, played a good ball into Littbarski, who’d run ahead of the defence into the area, and as Arconada came out, the German turned 180 degrees and played in Fischer. Klaus Fischer then had the simple challenge of walking the ball into the net for a 2-0 lead and that was effectively game over. It was a sucker punch for the home side, who had been enjoying a fairly good period, but after only playing one match in the Second Phase, they were out.
With a minute to go, a cross from Sanchez on the right was headed in at the far post by Jesus Zamora to give the Spaniards a glimmer of hope. They’d left it too late and the hosts had been eliminated.
England looked on anxiously as they would now need to win by two goals to go through.
Tomorrow Groups A and D are decided. Poland take on USSR. A draw is enough for the Poles to go through on goal difference. The Soviet’s have to win.
France and Northern Ireland meet. France have the advantage of being a point ahead. The Irish must win.