Mea Copa – 1986 World Cup Semi-finals


72′    GOMES

On paper this looked like a mismatch.  Spain‘s powerful offense figured to overpower Portugal‘s defense, and if the Selecção de Futebol de Portugal were to somehow end up in the World Cup Finals, it would have been an upset.

As it turned out, the upset nearly did materialize.  The two sides battled for a full 90 minutes, and though Portugal had the against-the-odds advantage of 10 chances to Spain’s 9, the score stood tied at 1-1.

After 49 matches in this World Cup, we are still yet to see a contest determined by penalty kicks, but for a moment this semi-final looked to be heading to that end.

But Portugal’s magical run for redemption would end here.  Spain’s Andoni “Butcher from Bilbao” Goikoetxea scored what would be the greatest goal of his life, the goal that would forever cement him in Spanish football lore.

Known as one of the toughest Center Backs to ever patrol a pitch, (in 1983 Goikoetxea almost ended the career of a young Diego Maradona when he broke the Argentine’s ankle) it was unlikely but fantastic that this was the player who hammered home a 118th minute goal to send the Spanish team to the Final.

Brazil and Mexico  will face off in the other Semi-Final match for the right to face Spain in the World Cup Final.


For more information on the Mea Copa game and this replay of the 1986 World Cup, click here.
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