DAY SIX

Friday 18th June 1982

GROUP ONE, Estadio Balaidos, Vigo. (17:15)

ITALY   (1)   1   (Conti 19)

PERU   (0)   1   (Diaz 84)

Italy: Zoff; Gentile, Scirea, Collovati, Cabrini; Conti, Tardelli, Marini, Antognoni; Rossi (Causio), Graziani

Peru: Quiroga; Duarte, Olaechea, Diaz, Salguero; Velasquez, Cueto, Uribe (Leguia), Cubillas; Barbadillo (La Rosa), Oblitas

Both opening games in this group ended goalless so everyone was thankful when Bruno Conti finally broke the deadlock on nineteen minutes. Mind you, it was a goal worth waiting for. Conti began the move in the centre circle, spreading the ball out wide to Cabrini on the left. His ball inside to Antognoni allowed Conti to join up with the attack and after side-stepping a challenge he fired a right-foot shot from about twenty yards into the top corner. Conti had been the one bright spark in a hugely disappointing Italian team and his goal was richly deserved. There was an unfortunate moment during the first half when the ball was laid off to Velasquez in the centre circle who turned and completely took the referee out. Walter Eschweiler of West Germany lost everything, his cards, his whistle and he didn’t even have his dignity to hold onto.

Italy had chances to increase their lead but as the game wore on so they were less concerned with adding to their lead, than preserving it. Peru even had a perfectly good shout for a penalty turned down when Oblitas was tripped by Scirea in the box but the referee, presumably still smarting from his embarrassment earlier, just waved play on. As the game was reaching a conclusion, La Rosa somehow missed two golden chances but then with six minutes to go Peru had a free-kick on the right just outside the area. It was played square for Duarte to fire a shot from “the D” and it took a wicked deflection off Scirea and wrong-footed Zoff for the equaliser. The crowd by now seemed to be on the Peruvians side and they were delighted with the draw.

GROUP THREE, Estadio Jose Rico Perez, Alicante. (21:00)

ARGENTINA   (2)   4   (Bertoni 26, Maradona 28, 57, Ardiles 60)

HUNGARY   (0)   1   (Poloskei 76)

Argentina: Fillol; Olguin, Passarella, Tarantini (Barbas), Galvan; Bertoni, Gallego, Ardiles, Maradona; Valdano (Calderon), Kempes

Hungary: Meszaros; Martos (Fazekas), Toth, Garaba, Balint; Sallai, Rab, Nyilasi, Varga; Kiss (Szentes), Poloskei

The difference in fortunes for these two teams in their first matches couldn’t have been starker. Defending champions, Argentina, were shocked by Belgium and Hungary set a new World Cup scoring record against El Salvador. The goal difference factor was almost worth a point to the Hungarians, so Argentina couldn’t afford anything than a win in this one. Maradona was in fine form and went close on a number of occasions before Bertoni finally got Argentina’s World Cup underway. A free-kick on the left was floated into the box and Passarella’s header back across goal was turned in at the far post by Bertoni. Two minutes later he was involved again when his shot was only half-saved by Meszaros and Maradona bundled it over the line. A double strike which cemented Argentina’s dominance.

It was all Argentina and early in the second half Maradona missed a relatively easy chance and then Bertoni had a goal ruled out for offside. But it wasn’t long before the holders increased their lead as Kempes put Maradona in and his fierce low shot went under Meszaros for a three-goal lead. Three minutes Olguin, the right-back, joined in things with a rasping shot from the right-hand edge of the area which Meszaros could only parry and Ardiles was there to turn in the rebound. Poloskei got a goal back, but it was little more than a consolation. Argentina won comfortably and Hungary were proving the side to watch as sixteen goals had been scored in the two games they’d played in. The group was now wide open.

GROUP SIX, Estadio Benito Villamarin, Seville. (21:00)

BRAZIL   (1)   4   (Zico 33, Oscar 48, Eder 64, Falcao 86)

SCOTLAND   (1)   1   (Narey 18)

Brazil:  Waldir; Leandro, Luizinho, Oscar, Junior; Socrates, Cerezo, Zico, Falcao, Eder; Serginho (Paulo Isidoro)

Scotland: Rough; Narey, Hansen, Miller, Gray; Strachan (Dalglish), Wark, Souness, Hartford (McLeish); Archibald, Robertson

A famous game in Scottish World Cup folklore. One of the finest teams in international football, Brazil up against a talented an experienced and confident Scottish side. The early exchanges were were evenly matched, although Brazil looked more menacing. But in the eighteenth minute, Scotland took the lead. Souness, involved in so many of the moves, played a ball forward to Wark on the right-hand edge of the area and he nodded it down for David Narey, who’d burst forward from right-back. Narey took the ball down with his left and then fired a right-footed shot into the roof of the net from the edge of the box. It was a goal which wouldn’t have looked out of place from a Brazilian. Scottish fans were later angered by Jimmy Hill, in the BBC studio, suggesting Narey had ‘toe-poked it in’. It was a great start for the Scots, although there was a concern they had just pulled the tail of a tiger and were now about to face the consequences.

Scotland were in front for just fifteen minutes. Brazil had a free-kick in a fairly central position, about 30 yards out. Zico took two steps and then curled the ball round the wall into the top corner with Rough rooted to the spot. Brazil were definitely into their stride but couldn’t add to their tally until early in the second half. Junior swung in a right-footed corner on the left and Oscar rose highest to head Brazil into the lead, 2-1. It was one-way traffic yet the 3rd goal was beautiful. Socrates played it on to Serginho who found Eder free on the left of the area. With Rough narrowing the angle, Eder noticed him on the six-yard line so he deftly and audaciously chipped Rough for goal number three.

There was still time for a fourth and some good work on the edge of the box between Socrates and Cerezo allowed Falcao to fire a shot into the corner of the net with Rough again stranded. 4-1.

It was a great performance from Brazil who were almost through, but the Scots now knew they may have to beat USSR to go through.