News
|16 Jun|5 mins

5 of the Greatest World Cup Moments

No list would be complete without some Socceroos classics
Nick Banks
16 Jun
Share:

1. Fearless Cameroon beat world-champions Argentina – World Cup Italy 1990

The opera, the tears, the terrible Euro-pop official anthem (below)… Italia ’90 was everything a World Cup should be. The drama began while Pavarotti was still clearing his throat, as Cameroon – a motley band of virtual unknowns – overcame world-champions Argentina 1-0 in the opener thanks to a Francois Omam-Biyik header. To cap it all, they did it with nine men, after Andre Kana-Biyik and Benjamin Massing were sent off – the latter for the kind of wild foul that summed up the crazy, chaotic, die-hard spirit that Cameroon showed throughout a World Cup they began as no-hopers and ended – in true Hollywood style – as everybody’s new favourite team.

News
|16 Jun|5 mins

5 of the Greatest World Cup Moments

No list would be complete without some Socceroos classics
Nick Banks
16 Jun
Share:

1. Fearless Cameroon beat world-champions Argentina – World Cup Italy 1990

The opera, the tears, the terrible Euro-pop official anthem (below)… Italia ’90 was everything a World Cup should be. The drama began while Pavarotti was still clearing his throat, as Cameroon – a motley band of virtual unknowns – overcame world-champions Argentina 1-0 in the opener thanks to a Francois Omam-Biyik header. To cap it all, they did it with nine men, after Andre Kana-Biyik and Benjamin Massing were sent off – the latter for the kind of wild foul that summed up the crazy, chaotic, die-hard spirit that Cameroon showed throughout a World Cup they began as no-hopers and ended – in true Hollywood style – as everybody’s new favourite team.

2. Zidane sensationally headbutts Italian player – World Cup Germany 2006

A player with one of the deftest touches in the game; a midfielder who could pass around corners, cleaving open defences and making world-class opponents appear useless; above all, France’s captain and talisman. Zinedine Zidane was all these things and much more. And yet he’ll just as likely forever be remembered for a single moment of madness. In his final game for his country, which just happened to be the World Cup final against Italy, Zidane lost it after copping a mouthful of abuse from Marco Materazzi and charged the defender like a rutting stag, smashing him head-first in the chest. The world gasped, Zidane saw red, and France crashed out at the last.

3. Maradona scores two jaw-dropping goals for Argentina against England – World Cup Mexico 1986

The first, a moment of deceit that would cause even David Warner to blush, jumping highest to handle the ball past England keeper Peter Shilton and into the net. The second, a full ten seconds of fluid brilliance, of dribbling and jinking and sprinting half the length of the pitch, to score what would come to be known as ‘the goal of the century’ — it was that good. This was Diego Maradona in his prime; a man who could anger and frustrate and mesmerise and enchant, all at once. A cheat in one moment, a genius in the next, as he inspired Argentina to victory over England in the quarter finals, and then carried them all the way to a final they would also go on to win.

4. Germany utterly humiliate Brazil in their own country – World Cup Brazil 2014

It was supposed to be a glorious night for hosts Brazil - but it turned out more one sided than a Trump-Turnbull phone call. The five-time winners were playing the World Cup semi-final on their own turf with huge home support, confident of taking another step towards soccer’s premier prize. Two hundred million Brazilians were ready to celebrate. But after just 30 minutes they were 5-0 down – shell-shocked, decimated, devastated. Supporters in yellow and green burst into tears as Germany laughed their way to the final, swaggering in another couple of goals in the second half to make it 7-1 and complete the humiliation.

5. Cahill nets an incredible double against Japan – World Cup Germany 2006

No World Cup best list would be complete without some Socceroos classic moments, most of which feature Tim Cahill. Just pipping his bar-busting screamer against the Netherlands in 2014 were his back-to-back strikes against Japan in 2006, Australia’s first ever goals at a World Cup finals. If that achievement wasn’t enough, Cahill’s two-goal contribution – having come on as a second-half substitute – inspired the Socceroos to come from 1-0 down with just six minutes to play to pull off an eventual 3-1 win – again, the country’s first at soccer’s biggest tournament. Not content to rest on his laurels, Cahill’s been bossing the Aussie midfield ever since.

Nick Banks
Writer
Related Articles