Now was not the time for tampering, and so Tele Santana called an unchanged Brazilian team. He’d been in charge of the golden 1982 side and this time was strongminded to get them further this time. This meant yet again Zico was on the seat. Brazil’s football team had won every game in the World Cup so far. France made one change from their Second-Round win over Italy.
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Thierry Tusseau came into protection for William Ayache, who was postponed. Tusseau played in their opening game against Canada, but Ayache had been in all the games since then. Manager, Henri Michel battled the option of bringing Papin back up front, favouring to go with the more skilled Rocheteau to partner with Stopyra. This was the second meeting between the two nations in a FIFA World Cup.
It was coming almost precisely 28 years to the day after a hat-trick from 17-year-old Pele beat France in the Semi-Finals of Sweden in the 1958 Football World Cup. France had only ever beaten Brazil once before, back in 1978 two months before the mega event in Argentina. Only Zico and Edinho keep on in this team from the team Brazil sent out that day. For France, Platini, Bossis and Battiston continued. Henri Michel was the France football team skipper that day.
This was the Final many had expected back in Spain ’82. Even though there were more French stayers than Brazilians from those sides, it still assured to be a classic. We could dream of seeing a midfield with Socrates and Zico on one side and Platini, Tigana and Giresse on the other. Tigana had the first real chance of the game when he attacked a loose ball out of the Brazil penalty area.
From about 25 yards out he fired a low shot which went just wide, hitting the side-netting. Then after 17 minutes, Brazil pulled the France World Cup defence apart for the opening goal. Muller and Junior switched passes. Junior’s run on the right of the area took the mind of the defence, leaving Careca free. Muller found him and from just inside the area he beat it into the net for 1-0.
It was his fifth goal in the competition. Many believed Brazil would’ve won four years former had he not been hurt. Either way, he was playing a part in their charge towards the Semis now. Just after the half-hour, they were almost two-up. Socrates put Careca away on the left. He got the improved of Bossis and shaped the ball across the six-yard area. Muller came in at the back post and his shot hit the pole.
The loose ball was tapped in by Platini at the far post for 1-1 at World Cup
Brazil had been aggressive throughout, but they were made to pay for not adding to their lead. With five minutes of the first half remaining, Giresse found Rocheteau on the right-wing. His cross took a glance off Julio Cesar and seemed to be a gift for Stopyra. But the Toulouse striker somehow decided to try and head the ball when all he wanted to do was get a foot to it and it was in. It tricked the keeper anyway, and the loose ball was tapped in by Platini at the far post for 1-1.
It was a bit of a soft goal to allow for Brazil and brought back remembrances of their gigantic game against Italy in Spain when their shielding that day cost them. The two teams went into half-time still level. Midway through the second period, Santana tossed Zico on. It was his third arrival off the bench in this FIFA World Cup. For more to know about Qatar World Cup Tickets Click here.
At last, we had Zico, Socrates, Platini, Giresse and Tigana on the field at the same time. Well at least until Giresse was taken off 13 minutes later. Within two minutes of Zico ingoing the fray, he was involved in a move to put Brazil back in front. He played a lovely through ball to Branco with the outside of his right foot. Branco looked to take the ball around the keeper, who threw himself to the ground bringing the Brazilian left-back down. Penalty.
Zico was given the duty of taking the penalty. It wasn’t the best of kicks, at a good height for Bats who predicted the right way. Careca put the reflexion wide. It was a histrionic moment, one which seemed well set for Zico to come on and be a hero. Was their luck running out? With five minutes to go the French left Zico unmarked in the area. Josimar found him with a cross from the right, but Zico’s header was straight at Bats.
90 minutes were up and so we had extra time. Both sides invalidated each other during much of the additional 30 minutes. The heat was starting to take effect with many tired-looking players out there. Michel brought Bellone on for Rocheteau and Santana replaced Junior with Silas. Suddenly with five minutes of extra time remaining for the end of the World Cup game, the drama blasted.
Bats pushed away a cross from the right and within two dashes they found Platini free just inside the centre circle. He took one look and saw Bellone make a run. He played him in and Bellone was away and strong. As he reached the ‘D’ Carlos came out to thin the angle. Bellone’s pace took him past the keeper, who grabbed the France FIFA World Cup player. Bellone should’ve gone to the ground but he made a brave attempt to stay on his feet.
As he tripped this allowed Josimar to get back and clear the ball. Extremely, the Romanian referee waved play on. With the French still complaining Careca ran down the right-wing and crossed it across the face of the goal. Socrates was unmarked at the far post and simply had to tap the ball in. Strangely, he missed his kick. One of the greatest players to have enhanced any FIFA World Cup and he wasted an open goal. Perhaps it was fairness, maybe Socrates considered it fair? Who knows?
Why the FIFA World Cup referee didn’t blow for a foul on Bellone
One thing nobody knew was why the referee didn’t blow for a foul on Bellone. He was past the keeper and simply had to pass it into the net. There was no hesitation Carlos’ challenge obstructed him. The ref should’ve given a free kick and sent the keeper off. It was an incredible choice. There were contrasts with what happened to France and Battiston in the Semi-Finals four years earlier.
But it made no change and so we supervised a penalty shootout. Only the second in the history of the Football World Cup, the first being France’s Semi-Final clash with the West Germans four years earlier. There were some outstanding dead-ball players on the field and so this was assured to be a tense shootout. But there were a lot of exhausted players too. Maybe one of the keepers would end up the hero?
Socrates was first up. Stylish, confident, classy. He took one step and went for the top right corner. But so did Bats. Protected. First blood to France. No one could quite believe what they were observing. Zico and Socrates had both missed penalties in the same World Cup game. Or perhaps it’s reasonable to say, Bats saved them both. Stopyra was up first for France and he hit him straight down the middle, with Carlos going to his right. France led by 1-0.
Alemao came next for the Brazil World Cup side. He put it in the left-hand corner and despite Bats guessing correctly, it was just out of range. Score 1-1. France right-back, Manuel Amoros was up next. He counted in the shootout four years before, and he counted here too. 2-1 to France, with two kicks to each. Zico was next. He’d just wasted one earlier so all the heaviness was on him. He chose the same side as earlier and Bats went the mistaken way.
Score 2-2. Bruno Bellone was next for France. He took his left-footed and beat Carlos. But the ball hit the post, bounced back, hit Carlos on the head and went in. There appeared to be some sense of justice may be for Bellone and France after what happened to him towards the end of extra time. 3-2 to the France Football World Cup team from three penalties each.
Branco was next for Brazil. By now the referee was becoming worried about the condition of the penalty mark. He required Branco to re-spot the ball, so there was a slight stay. This can often go against the kicker as his attention has been affected. But it made no change to Branco and he fired it down the centre. Score 3-3. Platini was up for the France football team.
Few people in world football had recorded as many goals from dead-ball conditions as the French captain. He stepped up positively and flipped it over the bar. It wasn’t even nearby. Amazing. Platini had just thrown away the benefit his team had. 3-3 from four runs each. Julio Cesar walked up next to the Brazil World Cup side. Much of the pressure had raised from this kick and if he counted, all the stress would be on France’s next choice.
But why wasn’t Careca taking it? He stepped forward and hit it well but it hit the left-hand pole and stuffed away. Brazil had just charred the chance Platini had offered them. Luis Fernandez now had the chance to win a FIFA World Cup semi-final spot for France. Carlos tried to play mind games. He was very slow to get to his spot. When Fernandez placed the ball on the spot, he hadn’t even touched the area.
As he walked past the ball, he made sure he stepped down on the pitch right beside it, as if to collapse the grass around the ball. This was anxious stuff. Fernandez was the coolest man in the stadium. He sent the keeper the wrong way and France had won and was finished in the World Cup 1986 Semi-Finals. 4-3 to France on penalties. For the unbiassed, it was the correct outcome.
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