1986 FIFA World Cup Third-Place Match and Final
1986 FIFA WORLD CUP
Part 5

When they first met in the group stage, many had hoped that England and Scotland would play each other in the final in what would've been a nice way to mark the 1966 final and in some ways that hope did come true in that they would meet in a final game though perhaps in a match that neither side wanted to play in. The game would be played in Dallas and the sight of seeing two British teams trying to play the British way in the hot Texas sun was both a strange or amusing sight whoever you asked.

Lineker would open the scoring in the 11th minute and England did seem to have the game under control then, but that wasn't before Nicol struck back to get Scotland back into the game and the two teams both seemed to cancel each other out though England did get a goal disallowed near the end of the first half which was claimed to be offside by the referee though it didn't go down well as it was the same Tunisian referee that had made them lose the game with Argentina.

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Prepare for battle in Dallas
Scotland did pretty well to get chances yet they either went at Shilton in goal or they went well wide and in some ways felt that history was about to repeat itself like with Yugoslavia in which their failure to take chances and the more they messed the more that England got back into the game in which Beardsley popped up and slotted in the ball after some bad goalkeeping to give England the victory and thus end both British teams' American Adventure.

After the game, Alex Fergusson would resign as Scotland manager, citing that he had only taking it on after Stein's death and admitted that the team had overperformed to what many expected though many wished he stayed on though perhaps an offer from Manchester United had turned up to give him the job as manager [1]. For England, though they didn't win any World Cup, Lineker would go home with the golden boot and now many hoped that this time for 1990 that things would be different. Nonetheless, both sets of fans would look back on this World Cup fondly on getting as far as they did and maybe another final with the two would happen someday soon...

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A battle of Britain in Texas

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Final result of Third Place Match

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The day later, it was time for the final between Argentina and Yugoslavia. Argentina were hoping to defend the cup for the first time since their hated rivals Brazil had done such a feat, all that was standing in their way was a truly unknown Yugoslavian side that despite being invited at the last minute with little time to prepare, had stunned everyone to get this far though while many had expected their luck to finally run out, many had kept saying from the start and was the biggest shock about to happen?

From the start of the match however, Argentina looked by far the more deadly team in what would follow would be one of the most one-sided finals in World Cup history. Argentina would go 2-0 up before the break and not only did that look like it gave them a chance to get into a routine to find a way to put their game plan into action which meant trying to take the game to penalties, something that as a plan had gone right off the rails.

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The Argentine team for the final in Pasadena
Hopes for a Yugoslavian comeback in the second half were destroyed as Argentina ran riot to get another two goals which saw them cruising at 4-0 in what many Argentinian supporter will say was perhaps one of their finest performances ever at a World Cup which to perhaps no one's surprise would lead them to win the final by a landslide and ultimately get their hands on their second World Cup which many felt was well deserved [2]. Vice President George H.W Bush would award captain Diego Maradona with the Jules Rimet trophy and many across Argentina celebrated and Maradona would find himself, for better or for worse later one, much interested for the American media...hopefully that wouldn't go to his head.

Despite the rotten end Yugoslavia found themselves in, nonetheless their brave run in America had helped get the interest onto their country to help try fix the country's failing economy with business and trade beginning to take place [3]. Plus while many would say the better team won the final, Yugoslavia did have the best story with how they got here, their shock results and some calling them the best 'back up' team to enter a World Cup and the team would return home as heroes for going further than any Yugoslav team before and hopes now look more promising for 1990. With that though for the United States, football (or soccer) had made it's mark Stateside and things wouldn't quite be the same again [4].

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The Victorious Argentina team of 1986

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Final result of the 1986 World Cup Final

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  • [1] Even if Scotland had gotten out of the Group Stage and made it quite far IOTL, Fergusson was still going to leave as he only took it on after Stein's death which he felt uncomfortable about.
  • [2] Argentina win in a far for better fashion than what we get in OTL final, to give an example it is like OTL final with France and Croatia in which France wrecked the Croats, speaking of which...
  • [3] Here is where things start to look up for Yugoslavia in the future in which they (hopefully) still remain in one piece and the sport and politics butterflies that had effected the UK and Argentina so far ITTL now head over to Yugoslavia.
  • [4] As mentioned before, football is about to get big much earlier in American than OTL. Let's hope we see an American team go all the way here!
We made it to the end of 1986! Hope you enjoyed this and what have you liked about this football TL compared to others and how does it compared to 'All To Play For'? I do suspect that from what I'm seeing, this might have more of an international appeal as that the latter one is more of a British Wank at WC success. Still I always love to hear what you think of it so far and here is a preview of the teams for Italia '90.

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Apart from the more teams, something does look different in the bottom right but I can't put my finger on it...anyway who will do well in 1990 do you think? Until then, look out for the next update!
 
1990 FIFA World Cup Seeding and Group Stage
1990 FIFA WORLD CUP
Part 1


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While football might've been an alien sport to most in the United States when the World Cup went Stateside, it was the complete opposite when in 1990 the World Cup arrived in Italy, a country despite some ropey results at the World Cup in recent years [1] lived and breathed football. It was looked on as a sure fire win to host a World Cup and had the football stadia required to host a World Cup of this size, though it would see many current stadiums across Italy get upgraded for the task in mind.

With the Soviet Boycott that had befallen on the 1986 tournament, some felt that FIFA had dodged a bullet by not awarding the Soviet Union to host the 1990 World Cup for if they had done, it would have likely seen FIFA strip the USSR of their hosting rights and that would lead to much fallout in the wake of it which many didn't dare wish to think about [2].

With that all said, the 1990 would see the long awaited return of many nations such as Costa Rica, Bolivia, Sweden and the the previous boycotting nations, but also saw new teams emerge being the Republic of Ireland and a very out of place Qatar who were likely one of, if not, the smallest populated nation to ever qualify for the World Cup [3], however there was the absence of Mexico who while would've been a regular sight at the World Cup had been banned in the qualifying rounds over the incident of fielding on overage player in a youth tournament prior to the World Cup [4]. Nonetheless, the 32 teams would make the journey to Italy in the hopes of glory.

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The 32 teams of the 1990 World Cup
As what had always followed, the holders would play in the first match which would be Argentina and their opponents would be what looked like an easy Cameroon side. However Argentina had been plagued with injury problems going into this tournament as well as the problem of Diego Maradona's comments about the North/South divide in Italy in which during his time with Napoli had only made him a hate figure among those in the north and consequently, almost everyone in Italy (the north that is) wanted Argentina to fall [5].

What no one expected though was Cameroon leaving the champions red faced by beating them 1-0 in a game that was full of tackles, red card and and hostile crowd who were backing the underdog African side [6] which sadly would only be a taster of what was to be a rather dirty and lack of goals World Cup that everyone would remember 1990 for. Despite this bad loss, Argentina would respond with a 2-0 victory over United Arab Emirates (the latter ended up rock bottom of the group) and then sneaked through on goal difference thanks to a drab draw with Romania, they themselves furious of going out by such small margins. To say Argentina were very lucky would be an understatement.

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Argentina vs Cameroon in the opening match
The real stars of the World Cup would be Cameroon in which while some of their style of play might've not been free flowing, it would help them win games and Cameroon would end up getting a 100% record by winning the group and this did show that African teams now were no longer not to be messed with and could compete with the rest of the world. Some even wonder if the dream of an African team winning the World Cup before the end of the century might happen here with plucky Cameroon?

For now though, there was still a long way to go in which many more twists and turns were yet to follow...

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Final results of Group A at the 1990 World Cup

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Group B would see the return of either returning or new nations that not been at the World Cup in a long time or were making their debut. Austria may have fancied their chances but they would suffer a defeat to the Dutch before gaining a 2-0 victory over a hapless Qatar who would end being far out of their depth to finish at the bottom of the group. However Austria would end being put to the sword by Columbia that saw Austria being a flop of the tournament. The Dutch though would make amends for their frustrating exit at the last World Cup by going undefeated to finish second behind Columbia.

The Columbians themselves would turn out to be something of a cult team to many which despite not having been seen at the World Cup in years would put on a fine performance that saw them top the group on goal difference and impressed many with that crowd now feeling that maybe this team could be a dark horse to try and go all the way and show that South American was more than Brazil and Argentina.

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The Columbia team in their group stage game with Qatar

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Group C was the group that featured the host nation, but would perhaps would be better known for two teams in the same group stage together. The USA and USSR. Even since the boycott of 1986 which would've seen the United States and Soviet Union play in the group stage, many had wonder 'what if' they had done though many didn't expect that the two would be group yet again and in some ways did take the attention of the host nation who would get a 100% record by winning all their group games [7].

However it would be in the second stage of group games that saw the two Cold War rivals facing off each other in a game that had more than just politics to play for as the USA had lost narrowly 1-0 to Italy while the Soviets had won 2-0 against a hapless Bolivian team; bottom line, the Americans had to simply win to avoid an early exit. What followed would be one of the most remembered World Cup matches in history as the game would be highest view match in the United States alone and a partisan Italian crowd backing the underdog Americans.

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Italy vs United States in the group stage
The arrival of the World Cup in 1986 had done more than enough to help US Soccer get a much need boost in funding and this would help the Americans to victory against the Soviets which they won by a penalty and the aftermath would be seer euphoria for the United States with the match being known as the 'second miracle on grass' (the first being the infamous victory over England in 1950) and the match itself would be looked as akin to that if the legendary Miracle on Ice at the 1980 winter Olympics to which while many said that America hosting the World Cup in 1986 was a watershed moment, many to the average American would say that the victory over the Soviet Union would be that moment in which soccer in the United States became important [8].

Despite their victory, there was still work to do in which the United States nearly blew it against Bolivia in a 1-1 draw, however Italy would give the Americans a helping hand in which they defeated the Soviet Union that saw the latter make an exit from the World Cup and the USA going through. After the World Cup, it would be the last time the USSR would appear as the nation would collapse and some American soccer fans jokily think that the Soviet loss to the United States ultimately saw to the USSR's demise. What matter though was that Italy and the USA were through and who knew how far both would go?

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Final results of Group C at the 1990 World Cup

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Group D was looked on a group of death as it had West Germany, Uruguay and Spain with poor China looking to be the whipping boys. It would be quite a competitive group which saw the Germans and Spanish win their opening matches though it would turn out that only West Germany would leave with a 100% record by winning all their games which featured a 2-1 victory Spain and finally a 4-0 rout of China.

Second place would be fought between Uruguay and Spain in which ended in a brutal 0-0 draw in which Uruguay tried not to lose while Spain needed the victory as it would help them leapfrog Uruguay, however Uruguay got the point they needed which saw them go through by a single goal and much anger was felt in Spain that Uruguay had not covered themselves in glory.

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Aftermath of the West Germany vs Uruguay match
For Uruguay after so many close calls, they had finally gotten out of the group stage and despite being a small nation, they were not afraid to show the world that they meant business and who knows how far they might be able to do for?

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Final results of Group D at the 1990 World Cup

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Group E would be a rather diverse group that had Brazil, Algeria, Belgium and Costa Rica. It would see a rematch with Brazil and Algeria as what had been seen at the 1986 World Cup but there would be upset as Brazil would beat Algeria and subsequently win all their three group games though they were rather close games that could've gone the other way.

Algeria though despite the loss would go through thanks to a victory over Costa Rica and a 1-1 draw with Belgium, the latter having a real disappointing campaign which had seen them get off to a terrible start by drawing with Costa Rica in their opening game which pretty much set them up for them for them to fail and Belgium would leave the World Cup with a range of 'what if' questions.

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Brazil vs Costa Rica in their final Group match

For Algeria, they were now hoping to establish themselves as the master of African football as getting out of the group stage was now being seen a foregone conclusion and they would join their fellow African side Cameroon in the next round in which they hoped would see them go further than before, Who was going to deny them to think of such dreams?

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Final results of Group E at the 1990 World Cup

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Group F would see England play in a group with Tunisia, South Korea and newcomers Republic of Ireland. The group would end up being perhaps the tightest group at the World Cup which saw both games end in 1-1 draws with the game with England and Ireland being a poor game which many would describe as a slugfest which didn't impress any at all regarding their chances [9].

However England would do better by getting victories over Tunisia and South Korea which saw them win the group, but even then the battle for second place was not a foregone conclusion as even in the final round of group games saw the three other teams in the group all had a decent chance of going through however it would a plucky Irish team that despite not winning a single game would go through.

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England vs Ireland at the 1990 World Cup
Ireland's final group game was with Tunisia which saw the African side lead 1-0 throughout most of the game which a victory would have seen them go through, however the Irish came up at the end to get an equaliser which snatch the second place away from Tunisia who felt hard done by and couldn't believe how they had let the game slip away from them like that.

For the Irish however, they hadn't done bad in their first World Cup adventure though if they wanted to go all the way. Meanwhile with England, they knew that they had to do far better if they wanted to be one of the teams for the cup. Could they finally do it?

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Final results of Group F at the 1990 World Cup

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Group G would see Scotland, Sweden, Australia and Trinidad play in and little did anyone to expect how tight it would be from the moment in which all four teams start off with dull and tedious 0-0 draws which was possible a first and pretty much made many think that no one in the group gave either a chance to go forward. Things though would pick up in the next round of games in which Scotland defeated Sweden 2-1 [10] while Australia managed to get another draw over an unlikely Trinidad side that were not here to make up the numbers.

Scotland would win the group with a touch and go 1-0 victory over the Trinidadians before Australia would also join them with a 1-0 victory of their own over Sweden in which for the latter despite fancying their chances with the team they had would end up being a flop finishing bottom of the group [11] with the Swedes left reeling to try and figure out what had just happened.

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Scotland vs Sweden at the 1990 World Cup
For Scotland, under new management and a less drama filled qualification unlike last time, the team looked quite confident and who knows if maybe they could repeat their heroics of 1986 here once again by going one better? It was good to dream...

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Final results of Group G at the 1990 World Cup

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The final group featured Czechoslovakia, Israel, Egypt and the surprise team of the last World Cup, Yugoslavia. To perhaps no one's surprise, many expected the two European teams to go through and that would be the case in perhaps a one-sided group that saw them finish way ahead of their rivals in the group though it would be Yugoslavia that would win the group with a 100% record .

Czechoslovakia did well themselves for despite taking part in the 1986 boycott, they did pretty well and despite only have one loss to Yugoslavia in what was one of the best games of the Group stage, 3-2 to Yugoslavia, they themselves did fancy their chances to see if they could try and see if they could go all the way in the knockout stage.

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The Yugoslavian team celebrate after their victory over Egypt
The sight of Yugoslavia doing well was only thanks to a recent surge of economic growth in the country which saw felt that their brave run in 1986 had led to this, though it was thanks to the country now becoming a federal democracy in 1989 and some more forward thinking form of government, most nationalist tensions around the country were kept calm though could the football team help keep the feel good factor going? Time would tell with this new Yugoslavia in the years to follow...

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Final results of Group H at the 1990 World Cup
After the group stage, many did complain that the games were poor with many results be 1-0 victories and many teams trying not to lose which it was then decided for the following World Cup in order to try and encourage more positive football, wins would see teams awarded with 3 points instead of 2 [12]. For now though, it would be time for the knockout stage to begin with the final remaining 16 teams left.

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  • [1] Italy's results you'll notice ITTL have been rather poor compared to OTL so far.
  • [2] As you might know, the USSR did almost win the big to host the 1990 World Cup but lost out to Italy.
  • [3] Yes, Qatar qualify here!
  • [4] As all what happened in OTL.
  • [5] Pretty much all the drama that Argentina suffered in OTL happen here too.
  • [6] Result the same as OTL.
  • [7] As what they did in OTL.
  • [8] To give you an idea of the moment, the aftermath is pretty much like 'Miracle on Ice' in comparison and expect to see the USA do better at World Cups in future ITTL.
  • [9] Same sort of game as OTL.
  • [10] Same result as OTL.
  • [11] Poor Sweden still have the same bad luck as what happened to them as in OTL, though perhaps a little better here since they get a point while IOTL, they got nothing.
  • [12] As what will happened next just like in OTL.
And here we are, 1990 is here! I hope your nation of choice did well here as it is nice to see many reading this from all parts from around the World viewing this TL with great interest, guess mainly as many other nations have a chance here. Anyway, fixtures as always.
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Cameroon vs Netherlands

West Germany vs United States

Brazil vs Ireland

Yugoslavia vs Australia

Argentina vs Columbia

Italy vs Uruguay

England vs Algeria

Scotland vs Czechoslovakia
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So who do you think will go through and why? Plus as another question, what game would TTL you have liked to have see here? Mines would have been the USA vs USSR game just for all the drama involved. Until then though, stay safe and hope to see you soon!
 
Cameroon vs Netherlands

West Germany vs United States

Brazil vs Ireland

Yugoslavia vs Australia

Argentina vs Columbia

Italy
vs Uruguay

England vs Algeria

Scotland vs Czechoslovakia
 
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Holland. They're European Champions after all.

West Germany. Simple as that.

Brazil. It's Brazil.

Yusgoslavia

Colombia. Argentina don't seem to be any great shakes and with a partisan home crowd...

Italy. Home advantage.

England. They're going into this one with a point to prove (especially if Euro 88 went as OTL)

Czechoslovakia...just.
 
Cameroon vs Netherlands

West Germany vs United States (You always need a shocker)

Brazil vs Ireland

Yugoslavia vs Australia

Argentina vs Columbia (It will be a squeaker)

Italy vs Uruguay (and I think it will be big)

England vs Algeria

Scotland vs Czechoslovakia

Surprised England v ROI wasn’t more violent, especially seeing as this is pre Good Friday. In fact, I could say there I have a similar reaction to Israel-Egypt. And, to answer your question, either USA v USSR (the fan favorite answer), or the goal-filled Yugoslavian-Czechoslovak game.
 
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Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
No.......!!! You've butterflied away Costa Rica!!!

Which was Scotland's lowest international point at that stage until they played San Marino and the Scottish commentator realised the national side "was drawing with a mountain top." Still, at least didn't go behind to SM :D
 

Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
Surprised England v ROI wasn’t more violent, especially seeing as this is pre Good Friday. In fact, I could say there I have a similar reaction to Israel-Egypt. And, to answer your question, either USA v USSR (the fan favorite answer), or the goal-filled Yugoslavian-Czechoslovak game.

Game wasn't violent OTL. Just bloody awful quality.
 
Cameroon vs Netherlands

West Germany
vs United States

Brazil vs Ireland

Yugoslavia vs Australia

Argentina vs Columbia

Italy vs Uruguay

England vs Algeria

Scotland vs Czechoslovakia
 
I'm rooting for England to take it all, solely due to the fact that any team that has a World Cup song performed by New Order deserves to win.
 
1990 FIFA World Cup Last 16
1990 FIFA WORLD CUP
Part 2

After the majority of the games in the group stage had all turned up to be rather dull, brutal and not many goals to speak of it, many hoped that the knockout stage would see improved results. However the 1990 World Cup would end up having a lack of goals to speak of (the lowest the date [1]) but that didn't mean to say that shock results and moments of controversy would be part of this World Cup with the first being the opening match of the Netherlands vs Cameroon.

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Although this Dutch might've gone into this as European Champions [2], they weren't quite the level of the great 1974 team and the Cameroon team knew this that if they could take down Argentina like they had done then surely they could do the same with the Netherlands. However it wouldn't go quite to plan for the African side as the Dutch started the game well and got off to a good start with Gullit getting an early goal in the 27th minute which looked as that would be enough to send the Dutch through.

However Cameroon never gave up and the Dutch, much like the Argentines, would come to underestimate them as they made the big mistake of not adding to their slender lead as the longer the score remained like this then it only encouraged the Cameroons to try their luck to score and Milla would shock the the Dutch in the 78th minute and now not only was there a game, but now the game would go into extra time.

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Gullit shows a little smile, not knowing what lies next...
From the start of extra time, Cameroon suddenly looked more promising and the Dutch now looked unsure how to handle the situation as they didn't think Cameroon would come right at them and their confidence would be rewarded when Cameroon then handed the Dutch a killer blow with a second from Milla which would end up being the goal that Cameroon needed and thus, they would shock the world by dumping the European champions out of the tournament.

The result proved that Cameroon's result over Argentina was now fluke and they would move onto the Quarter-finals for the first time in their history [3] while the result would be a horrifying outcome for a Dutch side who fancied their chances and the game would live on in infamy as one of the worst in the national side's history. With the first shock already been made, how many more were to follow?

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One happy pile of happy Cameroon players after getting the winning goal over the Dutch

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Not long after Cameroon left the Dutch red faced, it was time for other game that evening which would end up being an all South American affair with Argentina and Columbia, the latter which really thought they could send the Argentines packing. They weren't alone in their support as much as the local crowd in Bari were backing the Columbians in hoping they they would be the ones that would beat Argentina.

What followed however would sadly be one of the worst games as not only no goals were scored, but it would be a vicious game of football that was more like a fight than a game of football and the East German referee would have a difficult time trying to keep the game flowing. However the referee would find himself in hot water towards the end in which Columbia had a goal wrongly ruled offside towards the end of the first half which would caused more anger across Columbia and a growing feeling that something wasn't quite right...

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The Columbian team prior to the game with Argentina
It would be a cruel game for Columbia as despite being by far the better side they just couldn't seem to break down Argentina who were now defending throughout the game and this negative style of play would end up with the game going into extra time. Even with that though, the game dragged on well into the night with even then no breakthrough being found and the the memorable sound of the final whistle going and the crowd jeering and whistling loudly at such an awful game of football which now had to be decided on penalty kicks.

It would end up being a shoot out that went one way and the other with in the end seeing Argentina winning the shootout by 3-2 [4] and moving onwards to the next round and leaving a Columbian side who despite everything had crashed out and many felt should've gone through. This of course only adding to Argentina being the villains of this World Cup by many for their negative style of play but across Argentina couldn't care less as they were on a missing to keep their crown no matter what it took.

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The Argentine team celebrating after their victory over Columbia

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After the first two games, many hoped that things would pick up and with it saw Italy take on Uruguay in Rome in which many fully expected that Italy would see off Uruguay here. Uruguay had not been at this stage in a World Cup in 20 years [5] and they hoped that with them not being the favourites that they would use this to their advantage to help them try and get a shock result over the hosts.

However being backed by a home crowd pretty much saw Italy take apart Uruguay in a game that was looked on as being of better quality than the last two and with the victory saw Italy win the game by 2-0 [6] and not only were worthy of going through but had now booked their place in the last eight in which a country celebrating believing that after many bad results over the previous tournaments would finally have luck this time round.

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Italy vs Uruguay in Rome

Despite their disappointment of finishing in the way that they did, most Uruguayans were relieved that they had gotten further than before and now the hope would be that from here on out that Uruguay would not only keep up this momentum but hopefully and someday would return to their glory days in future. For now though, they made the long journey home.

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In what was the first meeting between West Germany and the United States at a World Cup, many did suspect that the Americans would be no match for the much fancied Germans yet riding on the high of their victory over the USSR and the feel good factor that came with it, the United States would actually take the game to the Germans and German arrogance looked like it was going to become their undoing.

The Americans did have a good few shots to speak of with perhaps the best coming in the 18th minute which had to be saved which had it not, it would've gone in and the Germans could breath a sigh of relief. While it looked good for the United States, they just couldn't find the breakthrough and the by the time it reached half time with the scores still deadlocked, they felt annoyed that their efforts had come to nothing.

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The United States team before the match with West Germany
To make matters worse for the Americans, West Germany started to play much better and began to push the Americans back into their own half and now looked the more likely team to score. However like their opponents, they couldn't seem to find the breakthrough and then with five minutes to go, things became infamous for any American soccer fan as American forward Bruce Murray, while breaking through on a rare counter, was tripped in the box which looked like a penalty yet the referee made a howler of a mistake to instead booked the stunned American player.

And just a few minutes later, another penalty incident happened, this time being rewarded on the other side to the Germans which left Americans across the world livid as that penalty not only gave the Germans to lead but win the game to dump the unlucky Americans out of the World Cup [7]. The cries of being cheated out were heard by many and the dream of what could've been would be debated for years after. For West Germany, onto the next round.

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Happy German players celebrate their victory over the USA

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The next day was the game between Brazil and the plucky Irish who had gotten their far despite not winning a single game. To say no one gave the Irish a chance was pretty much an easy thing to say and the Brazilians would end up pulling and pushing the Irish apart yet like many other teams just couldn't seem to find the back of the net as the Irish knew they couldn't compete with Brazil so instead went all out on the defence.

Incredibly, Ireland held on to keep the score at deadlock at halftime with some fearing that if this could carry on, the Irish might be able to take this to spot kicks and beat Brazil there. However that plan was not to be as in the 65th minute, Brazil would finally get the breakthrough they deserved thanks to Careca and that would end up being what all that Brazil needed to go on and win the game to put the Irish out.

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Careca before getting the winning goal
Despite the loss, the Irish had done far better than what anyone expected they by getting this far as well as not getting routed that many predicted. It would also see the Irish supporters enjoy much appreciation from local Italians who loved how much their brought much colour to the World Cup. The Irish team would leave for home where they would be given a heroes' welcome and now the thoughts of making it to their second World Cup in 1994 felt likely.

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Irish manager Jack Charlton enjoys the loved shown by the Irish supporters following the loss to Brazil

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Later on that day saw England begin the knockout stage in which standing their way was Algeria and after a somewhat ropey group stage, many felt that England had to do better and Algeria were no pushover as they wanted to win. The African side would indeed show that they meant business and gave England a lot of trouble throughout the second half and it looked like they were going to go in with the scores, like the others before, goalless.

Yet right on the death of injury time, Wright would come up and get the opening goal that gave England the lead and this was the worst timing for poor Algeria as that pretty much shattered their confidence. The Second half would see England begin to cause many problems for Algeria in which by sweeping system [8] which had it not been for some offside moments could've gotten a number of goals yet only managed to get a second thanks to Lineker which was all that they needed to win the match.

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England players after the first goal
Once again, Algeria had the frustration on crashing out at this stage once again and began to wonder if someday they'd ever repeat their 1982 glory. For the time being, England marched onwards for the Quarter-Finals when things began to get tougher...

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The final day of knockout game would see plucky Australia take on the surprise package Yugoslavia who had stunned many in the last World Cup to be runners up. Despite most saying that Yugoslavia were going win, it was by a very close margin. Australian hopes of finally reaching the last eight for the first time since 1978 were dealt an early blow in the first which only got worse with a second in the second half that seemed to put an end to those hopes.

However Australia managed to get a goal themselves near the end and that goal caused a surge of confidence to see if the Aussies could shock the Yugoslavs by getting another goal that would take the game into extra time. Yugoslavia though would hold on despite sweating near the end and thus Yugoslavia progressed and Australia had fallen yet again at the last 16 stage.

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Yugoslav players after their victory over Australia
The feel good factor in Yugoslavia would roll on and after stunning many last time, who was to say that they could actually pull off the unthinkable and win the cup. With the team that they had though, it wasn't something to joke about and that would be something many would debate over.

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The final game of the last 16 would bring Scotland and Czechoslovakia together in a match that was too close to call by many. What followed would be what many expected as both sides did have good chances yet couldn't seem to find a good finish to score and the first half ended 0-0 (see a pattern forming?) with many wondering when things would change for the better.

The game however would become infamous for the Scots goalkeeper Jim Leighton who in the 81st minute managed to make a save but fumbled the ball which saw the Czechs come up and put away what would be the breakthrough goal and saw the iconic image of a frustrated Leighton kicking the goalpost in frustration [9]. Poor Leighton would get a lot of stick from the Tartan Army claiming him to be the one responsible to make them lose and now Scotland had to focus their attention for 1994 while the Czechs were in the last eight.

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The Scotland team before the goal that finished them off
With that came the end on what had been mostly rather poor 1-0 results and the feeling that nothing had changed for the best after the group stage. Some did hold on that things would finally pick up in the last eight yet most were now resigned to the fact this was how things were going to be for this World Cup.

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Final results of the 1990 World Cup Last 16

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  • [1] Italia '90 still has a lack of goals as like OTL here.
  • [2] As in OTL.
  • [3] As with OTL.
  • [4] The game is pretty much the same as the OTL Argentina/Yugoslavia game though this time in the last 16.
  • [5] Uruguay are not quite as good here ITTL due to various qualifying games as such.
  • [6] Game is pretty much the same as OTL result.
  • [7] It's pretty much the same thing as the 2002 incident in which the USA don't get a penalty though much earlier here.
  • [8] They adopt the sweeper system that they played against the Dutch in OTL for this game here.
  • [9] The game is like OTL Scotland vs Brazil though it's got the Czechs this time and poor Leighton still fails here (My Dad still hates him because of that moment!)
So there we are. Not many good games as you can see but then again this is Italia '90 so I had to make the games realistic and boring as possible with any match being something like a 8 goal thriller for this would be ASB :p Anyway, Quarter-Finals:
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Cameroon vs West Germany

Brazil vs Yugoslavia

Argentina vs Italy

England vs Czechoslovakia
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Not a bad line up you've got to say, anyway until then, what do you think so far and do you think we'll see a nation outside Europe and South America lift the cup? That would be nice...

Until then, stay tuned!
 
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Cameroon. West Germany were shaky and Cameroon are riding high.

Brazil. It's Brazil.

Italy. Partisan home crowd against the villains of the tournament and a chance to put Maradona in his place.

England. I reckon they have enough about them.
 
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