1994 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals
Part 3

For the host nation, who were playing in the opening Quarter-Final match, they couldn't have hoped for a better opponent than Scotland. This was of course no disrespect to Scotland, but given the teams on paper and with the home advantage, Argentina looked liked a team that would surely have little trouble in beating the Scots. That said, strange things had happened in football and this Scotland team were on a high from beating their arch rivals (and now former World Champions) in the last match though it can be said that this England team was very poor.

Nonetheless both sets of fans put on a colourful display of passion and voice, though the host team looked to be by far the better team as it seemed that for Scotland the last game was their final and this was more of a bonus. Scotland failed to find a shot on target in the opening half and Argentina would take a deserved lead in the 25th minute and had many chances to add to their lead but alas they found the Scots stubborn and the first half ended with Argentina holding a slender lead.


Maradona trying one of many attempts to add to Argentina's lead
Even in the second half. Scotland just couldn't seemed to have any luck other than one attempt in the 56th minute from McCoist that was easily saved by the Argentine keeper, though Argentina carried on to torture the Scots in which their award for a second goal arrived in the 67th minute thanks to one certain Maradona who finally broke Scottish hearts with a goal that was enough to lead Argentina to victory, a victory all the more sweeter with the game being played on Argentine Independence Day.

The nation celebrated for reaching to the last four in their home country and for the Scots it was a bit of a anti-climax as after a high of beating the English, they had a low here of losing like this, though to be fair they were up against it. With that result, Scotland manager Andy Roxburgh would step down from his duties to pass on the mantel to his co assistant Craig Brown [1] and with that, another World Cup for the Scots was over.


Scotland captain Richard Gough trying to help the team find some hope

Shortly after that game, all eyes turned towards the next game which saw the United States take on Nigeria and nobody really knew who would actually come out on top here as while the Americans had improved their game a lot, Nigeria had surprised many with how well they had done and there was a feeling across Africa that this Nigerian team could be the ones to finally be the first African team to reach the last four.

It wouldn't quite go to plan for them however as the United States took the lead thanks to a stunning freekick which gave the Nigerians a lot of ground to try and recover though despite pressing and pushing the Americans back into their own half, they couldn't find a way to get back into the game and the first half ended with a 1-0 lead for the United States...could Nigeria find a way back?


American players celebrate getting the lead in the first half
To the dismay of the Americans and to the joy of Nigeria, no one wouldn't have to wait long as Nigeria scored in the 47th minute to put them back level and the game after that became an intense affair as both teams were fairly matched with neither side finding any luck to to find a way to win the game and looked like the game would be going into extra time...until Nigeria found a goal near the end which would be the winning the goal that sent both Nigeria and the whole of Africa to a World Cup Semi Final for the first time [2].

As bad it was for the Americans to have lost, they would admit that they gone further than they had expected so in some ways there was no shame there. For Nigeria, it was Cloud Nine for them and all of Africa as after so many close calls, and Africa was now a step closer to the final...question was could the miracle happen in the end?


Nigerian players during the latter stages of the second half

After the joy of Nigeria's success, pressure now lay on Cameroon to try and go on and make things better by having another African team in the last four which the mere thought of would've been something unthinkable by many. The problem was who they were up against...Brazil. Even though Cameroon had the backing of local Argentinian fans who wanted to see their arch rivals get beat, it would be a difficult task for the African side.

Cameroon did well to hold off Brazil's attacks for the most of the first half to be fair, however it was the mistake of losing a goal in the 39th minute which couldn't have come at a worse time for poor Cameroon as by then Brazil were starting to go up into gear by then and it was only a relief that the whistle for the first half which hopefully Cameroon could regroup and somehow get back into the game.


Brazil vs Cameroon at the 1994 World Cup Quarter-Final
Despite Cameroon's hopes to try and recover, Brazil only got better as the second half would be a whitewash for the African side as Brazil ended up ripping apart Cameroon with two more goals which only got worse with a sending off for Cameroon in the 63rd minute which forced Cameroon to play with 10 players. In the end it was all over by then as Brazil ran out as 3-0 winners to book a place in the last four [3].

It was unfortunate for Cameroon but for having manged to pull two Quarter-Final appearances in a row wasn't something to sneer at but yet there was a case of what if they could join their fellow Africans in the last four. For Brazil, the hopes of getting their hands on their long awaited fourth World Cup victory seemed to be getting more promising by the day...


Brazil are victorious over Cameroon

The last Quarter-Final would be an all European affair in which an inform Italy would take on a united yet somewhat ropey German side. There is always one 'rule' of the World Cup in which is that Germany, no matter how good the side is, always either struggles or loses against the Italians and with a Germany team that was quite old as as well as an Italian team that was doing well, it looked like things were going to carry on as such.

Germany looked like a sluggish team and the Italians made life difficult for them yet despite looking like the better team, Italy found that Germany were quite strong at the back and this would somehow see the first half end 0-0 with Italy frustrated and wonder just how it had happened like this. A feeling then must've gripped the German supporters in which could their curse with the Italians finally end here?


The German team prior to the start of the match
The German hopes of victory sadly were soon destroyed when Massaro scored in the 48th minute which finally broke the deadlock and to make matters worse for Germany, the same player would score again in the 58th minute to give the Italians a quick double that looked like it would be a long way back for the Germans and despite a later consolation goal in the dying moments from the Germans, Italy were once again victorious over Germany [4].

After the pain of crashing out of the Quarter-Finals in their own backyard a few years before [5], the whole of Italy was delighted to have finally gotten back into a Semi-Final for the first time in many years and hopes were raised that maybe this could be the team that would end their long wait to get their hands on the World Cup. That is if they could only take care of the next team standing in their way...


Happy Italian players after their second goal
With that, the last four had made it and it would be quite an unusual with the feature of an African team in it, though it would be quite clear that the certain African team in question would be getting the backing of the neutrals everywhere and that more shocks could be a certainty in what had been quite an eventful World Cup. Football is a funny game after all.

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Final results of the 1994 World Cup Quarter-Finals

  • [1] Roxburgh would've stepped down after the 1994 World Cup had Scotland qualified IOTL though he stepped down earlier due to not being able to qualify.
  • [2] At last, we finally get an African team in the last four! That Nigerian team deserved better than in OTL.
  • [3] The game goes pretty much the same as OTL Group Game with the two.
  • [4] As the rule goes...Italy always beats the Germans at a World Cup! :p
  • [5] ITTL at least...
And here we are. Perhaps most results that you were all expecting. Anyway, here is our final four:
Argentina vs Brazil

Nigeria vs Italy
So who do you think will win and why is that? We are getting nearer to 1998 and you'll see quite a different UEFA list of teams in place due to some certain teams that are, well, somewhat not broke apart...

With that, see you soon!
1994 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
Part 4

The first Semi-Final would be a giant clash with Argentina and Brazil which was one the whole world was wanting to watch. There was as always great pressure on the hosts as it was the nightmare prospects didn't dare worth thinking about. It would be bad enough to lose to your arch rivals in your own backyard yet even worse if said rivals would end up winning the World Cup and having eternal bragging rights that Argentina wouldn't hear the end of.

Neither could afford to lose and the first half would end up being quite a tense affair with shaky play being seen as if no one wanted to mess up so soon and for those hoping for a game filled with blood and thunder, the Semi-Final left a lot to be desired and the first half would end goalless and many TV audiences and pundits had to wonder just when this game might pick.


Brazil vs Argentina during the Semi-Final
The second half would see both teams play better, no doubt after getting a chewing out from both managers, who now looked like they wanted to win and the first goal would arrive in the 51st minute in which Balbo managed to get a sweet volley into goal that save the hosts the lead and the stadium exploded in a carnival of colour as it looked liked the hosts were about to get to the. That was until the 83rd minute in which Brazil scored a shock equaliser that would take the game into extra-time. Argentina following that early goal from themselves had shot themselves in the foot in which they failed to add to their lead and had only led to Brazil to find some inspiration to get a goal back.

Extra time would end up being quite a slog in which neither side seemed to go in for the kill and win the game, instead both seemed interested in taking the game to penalties in which after a gruelling watch of extra-time, it would soon be decided on spot kicks. It would start as a tense time as Brazil would go first and both sides would put away their first three penalties, however the fourth spot kicks would see both miss and it was anyone's game...then Massaro went up to take his penalty and he missed. Advantage Argentina and who better to take it than one certain Diego Maradona who would fire in the shot that would send Argentina to the final.


Praise the lord, Maradona following his penalty that sent his country to the final
For many Argentines, it would be one of those 'where were you?' moments and the penalty celebration following Maradona's spot kick would be well remembered for him 'flipping the bird' up at a press box, no doubt wishing to show his anger at the media who had nearly caused him to be kicked out of the World Cup [1]. Nonetheless, the country celebration well into the early hours of the next morning for not only reaching the final but taking down your arch rivals in the process. What could be more better than that?

The following day would see the other Semi-Final take place in which Italy would take on Nigeria and the latter were the ones everyone wanted to win. With all the other African teams gone and this being the first time and African team had got this far, they not only had a whole continent behind them but perhaps every neutral fan in the world on their shoulders which might've have been more harmful than good in terms of pressure.

Speaking of which though, most of the pressure was on the Italians who many expected as it had been a long time since they were in a Semi-Final and even more for the last time they were seen in a final. However it wouldn't go to plan for the Italians as it would be Nigeria who took an early lead in the 26th minute from a corner kick and things only got worse for Italy as they were reduced to 10 men thanks to a sending off for Zola. Was the miracle going to happen...?


Italy vs Nigeria in the Semi-Final
Italy started to panic throughout the rest of the game as they hadn't anticipated Nigeria's fighting strength and the when the first half ended 1-0 to the Africans, everyone knew that Africa's greatest football moment was only another 45 minutes away though Italians would know it as their most embarrassing moment if they couldn't get back into this game. Slowly through the second half though, Italy did start to get back in the game though it was looking very scary into the final moments of the game for Italy in which the heart stopping ending looked possible for Nigeria...then Roberto Baggio came up in the 89th minute to save Italy and drag the game into extra-time.

It was a crushing blow for Nigeria who had played so well yet just had come up so short in that they had to mess up at the final moment which would've been all they needed to get into the final. Then it got worse in Extra-time in which Italy won a penalty in the 101st minute that was scored by Roberto Baggio, now his second. Despite Nigeria trying all they could to get back into the game, it was too late with Italy going on to win the game [2] and reach the final for the first time since 1938 [3].


Baggio celebrates for getting Italy into the final
Despite everyone in Italy celebrating for reach a long awaited final, many in Nigeria and perhaps all over Africa, it was utter heartache for losing like this with Baggio becoming a hate figure in Nigeria being known as the man who robbed Nigeria's chance of reaching their, and perhaps all of Africa's, first World Cup final [4]. With that though, the final would be a rematch from the last World Cup in which Italy would face Argentina in their own backyard. Would there be revenge...?

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Final results of the Semi-Finals of the 1994 World Cup

  • [1] Knowing Maradona, it is likely something he would do! :p
  • [2] Pretty much the exact same as OTL Last 16 game.
  • [3] In TTL at least...
  • [4] The whole reaction is pretty much like how Suarez became hated in Ghana after his handball moment in 2010.
And there we are, suspect it is something that you expected. Anyway we are now near the end of 1994 and 1998 will soon be upon us soon. For a wee question before we go onto the final is where do you think this football TL rank among many on the forums here? Until then, see you soon!


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I have a sneaking suspicion it will rank somewhere between the worst one on the forum and the best one on the forum.

I continue my hatred of Italian Football players.
1994 FIFA World Cup Third-Place game and Final
Part 5

There was a great deal of sadness for both Brazil and Nigeria as their greatest chance reach a final had been dashed. Brazil were heartbroken that once again there wouldn't be a chance to get their hands on the cup while Nigeria knew that this was perhaps their best chance of reaching a final and it was hard to imagine if they could ever repeat such heroics again.

The Third-Place game would be quite an uneventful game which nothing of note happened other than the Brazilians getting an early goal in the 8th minute and they could've had more goals had it not been for a stubborn Nigerian defence who played for their lives to keep Brazil out yet at a cost of failing to find a single shot on target and it was said that Brazil's keeper had very little to do.


Brazilian players celebrate after taking the early lead
Even in the second half, the score remained the same in which Brazil would be victorious in a rather anti-climatic game, though it was mere scant consolation for not winning the World Cup For Nigeria, they would return home as heroes for going further than any other African team and their run did not go unnoticed by FIFA as from the next World Cup onwards there would be now five African teams [1].

The World Cup would get just a little bit more global at that point...for Brazil they wondered if their bad luck of recent years for not winning the famous trophy would end and they would have to wait for 1998 to see if their luck would ever change.

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Final result of Third-Place match
At long last came the day of the final and across Argentina, a country waited in the hope that they would be able to win their third title in front of their own fans which surely would've been something quite incredible. That said, they were up against the Azzurri who had been, according to their fans, long overdue for victory and this game had the extra factor of being a rematch of the Quarter-Final in which Argentina had defeated Italy in their own backyard and the Italians were out for revenge.

What followed would be one of the dramatic World Cup finals in living memory as Argentina took the lead thanks to a penalty and looked to have gotten a second goal in the 27th minute but for some strange reason was ruled offside much to the disgust of the home crowd as to make matters worse, Roberto Baggio scored in the 39th minute to put Italy equal before the break. Not quite a walkover for Argentina...


Wonder what happens next? Argentina players just after the first half whistle
Fears of an Italian fightback proved to be all for nothing as in the 54th minute, Maradona scored to put his country back in front and it was the said that the stadium rocked to it's foundations and once again the hosts look set to win the game. However it would be less than 10 minutes later in which the game turned on it's head yet again in which Baggio once again scored to get Italy back level yet again and with that the momentum was with Italy.

To make matters worse for Argentina, Maradona would get injured and forced to go off leaving Argentina to lose their train of thought as Italy would carry on to find that goal that would surely win and that would happen in the 75th minute in which Massaro would fire in the goal that would go on to win the game for Italy to claim their long awaited third World Cup and leave the Estadio Monumental into complete silence. Revenge was sweet for Italy in what was said to be by many one of the greatest World Cup finals ever [2].


Joy for Italy
It would mark the end of an era for Argentina as it would turn out to be Maradona's last game for Argentina and his hope to end his career on a high didn't turn out the way he wanted. Despite bad ending for the hosts, Argentina had put on a great World Cup that year and had shown the world that they were on the verge of of become a major country in the upcoming years.

For Italy, the country could finally celebrate that finally they had gotten their hands on the cup after so long and who knows if they could repeat the same process in France 1998?

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Final result of the 1994 Final

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Final results of the Knockout Stage of the 1994 World Cup

  • [1] Five African teams for 1998 as in OTL.
  • [2] Compared to OTL's final which I still consider the worst final ever for just sheer boredom.
And thus, Italy are the champions and no bad penalty for Baggio here. Anyway hope you enjoyed this final update for 1994 and we shall move into 1998 soon when things in OTL start to catch up with TTL. Here are the teams for 1998 which does look quite different from OTL slightly...

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Who do you think will do well in TTL's France 1998, you'll notice some teams didn't quite, er...breakup as with OTL. Until then, catch you later for that update whenever it might be! :)