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Match Number One — Wednesday 4th July 1990
Stadio delle Alpi, Vallette, Torino 62,628

Referee: José Ramiz Wright (Brazil)

Linesmen: Armando Perez Hoyos (Colombia) and Joel Quiniou (France)

This was England's first ever penalty shootout. For West Germany, it was their third successive World Cup to feature a shootout. They had beaten France, 5-4 on penalties, in the World Cup's first ever shootout, after pulling back a 3-1 deficit in extra time to draw 3-3 in the 1982 semi-final in Seville. West Germany then beat Mexico, 4-1 on penalties, following a 0-0 draw after extra time in the 1986 quarter-final in Monterrey, despite giving their hosts a 16-minute numerical advantage, when Berthold was sent off, before the Mexicans also had a man dismissed. They ended both tournaments by losing in the final. Their only penalties defeat in a major tournament had been at the 1976 European Championship final in Belgrade, when they lost 5-3 to Czechoslovakia, after pulling back a two-goal deficit to draw 2-2 after extra time. West Germany also lost 4-2 on penalties to Sweden in a 1988 tournament in Berlin, in which Matthaus and Voller had missed.


Peter Shilton (Derby County and England), aged 40.

Bodo Illgner (Cologne and West Germany), aged 23.

Shilton, who had taken over as England's captain, when Terry Butcher was substituted in the 72nd minute, had saved only one penalty in 124 international appearances, but it was, ironically, against Brehme in ciudad de México in 1985. Brehme had shot with his right foot, at medium height to the right and Shilton had dived to turn it round the post, with both hands.

England had conceded a penalty equaliser to Cameroon in the quarter-final in Naples, three nights earlier. Kunde had side-footed it with his right foot, high into the right corner, just beyond Shilton's dive.

West Germany had conceded a penalty to the Netherlands in the second round in Milan, ten nights earlier. Koeman had side-footed it with his right foot, slightly to the left of centre, as Illgner dived to the right.

Kickers (England):

1) Gary Lineker (aged 29) - Tottenham Hotspur

57th appearance, the equaliser was his 37th international goal and his 32nd of the season for club and country.

Had started all 6 World Cup matches and finished 5 of them, scoring 4 goals.

Finished the 1989-90 season as the First Division's top scorer, with 24 goals, 2 of them penalties.

2) Peter Beardsley (aged 29) - Liverpool

44th appearance, 7 goals, but none that season.

His 4th game of the tournament was also his first start since the opening game and his first full match.

Scored 16 goals in the 1989-90 season, 3 of them penalties, as Liverpool won the League Championship.

3) David Platt (aged 24) - Aston Villa

10th appearance, 2 goals, both scored in the tournament.

Only missed the opening game, but only started and completed the quarter and semi-finals.

Scored 24 goals in the 1989-90 season, 3 of them penalties and PFA Player of the Year.

Top scorer for Aston Villa, with 19 league goals, as they finished runners-up to Liverpool.

4) Stuart Pearce (aged 28) - Nottingham Forest

30th appearance, 1 goal.

Had completed all 6 World Cup matches.

Scored 10 goals in the 1989-90 season, 2 of them penalties.

Captained Nottingham Forest to their second successive Littlewoods Cup win.

Two years earlier, he had scored 4 penalties at Wembley (including 3 in shootouts) as he captained Forest to victory in the Football League Centenary Tournament.

5) Chris Waddle (aged 29) - Olympique Marseille

58th appearance, 6 goals, but none that season.

Had started all 6 World Cup matches and completed 4 of them, including the last 3.

Scored 9 goals as Olympique Marseille won the French League Championship.

Lineker had reversed England's 2-1 deficit to Cameroon in the quarter-final, by converting two penalties, (England's first since 1986 and their first in a major tournament since 1970) including the winner in extra time. His first was side-footed with his right foot, high into the right corner, as the Cameroon 'keeper dived to the left and his second was hit low, with his right foot, straight down the middle, as the 'keeper dived to the right.

Kickers (West Germany):

1)       Andreas Brehme (aged 29) - Internazionale

2)       Lothar Matthaus (aged 29) - Internazionale

3)       Karl-Heinz Riedle (aged 24) - Werder Bremen

4)       Olaf Thon (aged 24) - Bayern M√ľnchen

Brehme had completed 5 World Cup matches, including the last 3, and had scored his 2nd goal of the tournament against England.

Matthaus, the West German captain, had completed all 6 World Cup matches and scored 4 goals, including 1 penalty.

Riedle had come on as a 38th minute substitute for Rudi Voller for his 4th World Cup appearance, after completing 1 match.

Thon had completed his 1st match of the tournament, after 1 other appearance as a substitute.

Brehme had converted West Germany's second successful penalty against Mexico in 1986, hit low, with his left foot, slightly to the right of centre, as the Mexican 'keeper dived to the left.

Matthaus had converted West Germany's third successful penalty against Mexico in 1986, hit low, with his right foot, into the left corner. The Mexican 'keeper guessed correctly but could not reach it. In 1988, Matthaus had missed from the spot against Sweden, but put West Germany ahead against the Netherlands with a penalty in the European Championship semi-final in Hamburg. It was side-footed with his right foot, at medium height to the right, where the Dutch 'keeper had only succeeded in pushing it into the inner side-netting with both hands. The Netherlands equalised with a penalty of their own and went on to win 2-1. He also scored the only goal of the World Cup quarter-final from the spot, against Czechoslovakia in Milan, three days earlier, blasting it confidently, with his right foot, high into the right corner, as the Czechoslovakian 'keeper dived to the left.

Thon had scored West Germany's first penalty in a losing shootout against Sweden in 1988.

Thomas Berthold would have taken the fifth penalty for West Germany. Jurgen Klinsmann had scored 3 goals in the tournament, but had missed a penalty for West Germany in a shootout against Brazil in the 1988 Olympic semi-final in Seoul, so may not have been a consideration to take any of the first five kicks.

Extra Time

In the first half of extra time, Jurgen Klinsmann had twice been close to scoring for West Germany, firstly when Shilton beat away his downward header from just outside the six-yard box and secondly when his shot flashed past the post. England's Paul Gascoigne picked up his second yellow card of the World Cup for a lunging foul and ruled himself out of the rest of the tournament. Waddle hit the inside of the post with the last kick of the first extra period and in the second half, Thon brought a diving save out of Shilton. With three minutes left, Guido Buchwald hit the post for the Germans.

The Shootout (England first)

1-0 Lineker shot right-footed, low to the left, as Illgner dived to the right.

1-1 Brehme side-footed, with his right foot, low into the left corner, past Shilton's despairing dive.

2-1 Beardsley side-footed, with his right foot, at medium height to the right, just above Illgner's dive.

2-2 Matthaus shot right-footed, at medium height to the left, just beyond Shilton's dive.

3-2 Platt side-footed, with his right foot, at medium height to the left, where Illgner could only push it into the corner, with both hands, despite having taken a step off his line before the kick was taken.

3-3 Riedle side-footed, with his right foot, at medium height to the right, just beyond Shilton's dive.

Pearce shot left-footed, straight down the middle and Illgner, having again taken a step off the line before the kick was taken, blocked it with his legs, as he dived to the left.

3-4 Thon side-footed, with his right foot, at medium height to the right, just beyond Shilton's dive, after the 'keeper had taken a fatal step to the left, which meant his spring would not allow him to reach the ball.

Waddle shot left-footed, over the bar to the left, as Illgner guessed correctly, having stepped off the line before the kick was taken.  

If Waddle had scored and Berthold then missed, who would have taken England's sixth penalty?  

Paul Gascoigne had originally been down to take England's third penalty. He had scored twice for his country, before the tournament, and had completed all 6 World Cup matches. However, because he had ended the match in tears, due to a late booking, which would have ruled him out of the final, he was moved further down the list to what would have been, the first sudden-death kick of the shootout. Whether he would have been able to compose himself by that stage, to take on such a momentous responsibility, given that West Germany would have had to have just missed a golden opportunity to clinch the tie, is something that we shall never know.

Of the England players left on the field at the end of extra time, those who had scored most goals in the 1989-90 season had been lined up to take the first six penalties. Two others had scored that season, but none from a penalty. The next highest scorer was Mark Wright, who had scored his first international goal, earlier in the tournament, against Egypt. The only other contender to have scored that season was Trevor Steven, a 72nd minute substitute for captain, Terry Butcher.

There would, undoubtedly, have been two other candidates to step up to the mark, had England not been deprived of two of their most experienced stars, due to injuries picked up earlier in the tournament. The squad's captain, Bryan Robson had scored 6 goals that season and captained Manchester United to their F.A. Cup win. He had also scored a penalty for England in 1986, but a strained Achilles tendon put an end to his World Cup career against the Netherlands. John Barnes, the Footballer of the Year, had scored 30 goals for club and country, including 7 penalties and was top scorer for League Champions, Liverpool, with 22 goals, 5 of them from the spot. Alas, Barnes limped off at half-time in the quarter-final with a groin strain and did not play again in the World Cup.

Why did England lose?

West Germany had more experience in penalty shootouts during the latter stages of a World Cup, so would have been more confident, especially as they had won both their previous World Cup shootouts. In Brehme and Matthaus, they even had the individuals who had scored tournament penalties before in pressure situations. England had Lineker, but they had not even been awarded a penalty in four years, up until the quarter-final, let alone been involved in a shootout. It was a journey into the unknown. West Germany had finished the game strongly, though England had matched them all the way. It was, however, England's third successive game to go to extra time; mentally as well as physically tiring. England were appearing in their first ever semi-final on foreign soil, whilst West Germany had reached the last two finals. Illgner must have been intimidating as he continually got away with leaving his line a split-second early. Shilton, by contrast, was slower to react. Perhaps at 40, he should not have been in that position, despite all his great experience, for he did not have a great record at saving penalties for England. However, it would have been a huge risk for Sir Bobby Robson to substitute him before the shootout, with either Chris Woods or Dave Beasant, neither of whom had played in the tournament, though both were taller than Shilton, who had failed to get a hand to any of the penalties. The six-foot-four-inch Beasant had become the first goalkeeper to save an F.A. Cup Final penalty at Wembley, two years earlier. Of the players that missed, Pearce was a competent and experienced penalty taker. Six years later, he proved that he could do it in this kind of situation. Waddle was a good dead-ball kicker, but never showed prowess from the spot, perhaps never being able to wipe away the memory of Turin.

Four nights later, West Germany won the World Cup with a penalty against Argentina, converted by Brehme.

Our thanks to Yu Oono for identifying Berthold and Gascoigne as the next two penalty takers.