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United States 19


Background The 1994 FIFA World Cup, the fifteenth staging of the World Cup, was hosted by United States. They were chosen at the 44th FIFA Congress by the Executive Committee on 4 July 1988 in Zürich.

FIFA's decision to hold the event in United States (ten votes) over the bids of Morocco (seven votes) and Brazil (two votes) surprised many due to the common perception that the US had a relative lack of soccer fans.  FIFA hoped that by staging the world's premier soccer tournament there, it would lead to America's growth of interest in the sport.  One condition FIFA imposed was the creation of a professional soccer league, as Major League Soccer started play in 1996.

The Draw

The 24 participating teams were divided into six groups, in which all four teams would play each other once, at a draw conducted in Las Vegas, on 19 December 1993. For the first time, three points were awarded for a win.

Pot 1 (Top 5/Hosts) Pot 2 (Europe 1-6) Pot 3 (Europe 7-12) Pot 4 (Africa/America)
United States Bulgaria Greece Cameroon
Germany Republic of Ireland Norway Morocco
Argentina Netherlands Sweden Nigeria
Belgium Romania Switzerland Bolivia
Brazil Spain Korea Republic Colombia
Italy Russia Saudi Arabia Mexico

The top two teams and the four best third place finishers from the six groups advanced to the knockout round of 16 teams.

England were in Group Two with Netherlands, Norway, Poland (again), San Marino and Turkey; six teams with two places in the United States up for grabs. Costly errors were made in drawing at Wembley against Norway and the Netherlands; the latter after being two goals up, but England also lost to Norway in Oslo, though they did manage their customary late point in Poland.

Norway led the group from start to finish, leaving England to battle with the Netherlands for the runners-up spot. When England went to Rotterdam, they were behind the Dutch on goal difference, but they still had to face San Marino in their last game. Avoiding defeat was essential to give them every chance, but a controversial incident when Koeman escaped a red card and then, a minute later, scored the first goal, proved to be the turning point and England lost 2-0.

The only hope for England on the last day (17 November, 1993) was for the Dutch to lose in Poland and for England to score seven goals against San Marino in Bologna. England did manage to score seven (despite conceding one after only eight seconds!), but the Netherlands won 3-1 and took the runners-up spot. Graham Taylor resigned in the following week.


The Second Phase

2 July 1994
12noon CDT - Germany 3 Belgium 2 [3-1]
Soldier Field, Chicago (60,246)
Völler (2), Klinsmann
Grün, Albert
4:35pm EDT - Spain 3 Switzerland 0 [1-0]
RFK Memorial Stadium, Washington (53,121)
Hierro, Luis Enrique, Beguiristain (pen)
3 July 1994
12:05pm CDT - Sweden 3 Saudi Arabia 1 [1-0]
Cotton Bowl, Dallas (60,277)
Dahlin, K.Andersson (2)
1:35pm PDT - Romania 3 Argentina 2 [2-1]
Rose Bowl, Pasadena (90,469)
Dumitrescu (2), Hagi
Batistuta (pen), Balbo
4 July 1994
12:05pm EDT -
Netherlands 2 Republic of Ireland 0
Citrus Bowl, Orlando (61,355)
Bergkamp, Jonk
12:35pm PDT - Brazil 1 United States 0 [0-0]
Stanford Stadium, Stanford (84,147)
Leonardo Clavijo
5 July 1994 - both EDT
1:05pm - Italy 2 Nigeria 1 [0-1] AET [1-1]
Foxboro Stadium, Boston (54,367)
R.Baggio (2 (1 pen))
4:35pm - Bulgaria 1 Mexico 1 [1-1]
AET [1-1] & Penalties [3-1]
Giants Stadium, New Jersey (71,030)
García Aspe (pen)
Kremenliev L.García
Penalty Shoot-out:- García Aspe over, Balakov saved, Bernal saved, Genchev 0-1, Rodríguez saved, Borimirov 0-2, Suárez 1-2, Lechkov 1-3.
Round of sixteen

Quarter Finals

9 July 1994
12:05pm EDT - Italy 2 Spain 1 [1-0]
Foxboro Stadium, Boston (54,605)
D.Baggio, R.Baggio
2:35pm CDT - Brazil 3 Netherlands 2 [0-0]
Cotton Bowl, Dallas (63,998)
Romário, Bebeto, Branco
Bergkamp, Winter
10 July 1994
12:05pm EDT - Bulgaria 2 Germany 1 [0-0]
Giants Stadium, New Jersey (72,416)
Stoichkov, Lechkov
Mätthaus (pen)
12:35pm PDT - Sweden 2 Romania 2 [0-0]
AET [1-1] & Penalties [5-4]
Stanford Stadium, Stanford (81,715)
Brolin, K.Andersson
Raducioiu (2)
Penalty Shoot-out:- Mild over, Raducioiu 0-1, K.Andersson 1-1, Hagi 1-2, Brolin 2-2, Lupescu 2-3, Ingesson 3-3, Petrescu saved, R.Nilsson 4-3, Dumitrescu 4-4, Larsson 5-4, Belodedici saved.

Semi Finals

13 July 1994
4:35pm EDT - Italy 2 Bulgaria 1 [2-1]
Giants Stadium, New Jersey (77,094)
R.Baggio (2)
12:35pm PDT - Brazil 1 Sweden 0 [0-0]
Rose Bowl, Pasadena (84,569)


Third Place Play off

16 July 1994 - 12:35pm PDT
Sweden 4 Bulgaria 0 [4-0]
Rose Bowl, Pasadena (83,716)
Brolin, Mild, Larsson, K.Andersson


The 1994 Final

17 July 1994 - 12:35pm PDT
Brazil 0 Italy 0 [0-0]
AET [0-0] & Penalties [3-2]
Rose Bowl, Pasadena (94,194)
Penalty Shoot-out:- Baresi over, Márcio Santos saved, Albertini 1-0, Romário 1-1, Evani 2-1, Branco 2-2, Massaro saved, Dunga 3-2, R.Baggio over.