22 June proves to be a day to forget for England.
This day has been a bit of a disaster for England in the World Cup. Maradona’s notorious ‘Hand of God’ goal for Argentina knocked us out of the 1986 tournament and Dan Petrescu’s late winner for Romania left England needing a result in their last Group G fixture in 1998.
England’s quarter-final with Argentina in Mexico City’s Aztec Stadium was a match with a ‘history’, both on and off the field. The attendance on that searing hot afternoon was recorded as 114,580 and the atmosphere was understandably electric. Terry Fenwick, the QPR defender, had been recalled after suspension and his first tackle on Maradona brought him a booking.
There was no score at the end of a tense and virtually shot-free first half, but there was a bizarre goal five minutes into the second.
Steve Hodge’s clearance looped into the air behind him and the two captains, Shilton and Maradona, jumped for the ball. The Argentinian ‘Player of the Tournament’ appeared to punch it into the net, but the Tunisian referee decided to award a goal.
Four minutes later Maradona scored a classic second after picking the ball up just inside his own half and this time there were no arguments.
With nothing to lose, England poured forward towards the end. Gary Lineker headed his sixth goal of the finals with nine minutes left but England were out of the World Cup in the most controversial circumstances.
The match with Romania in Toulouse wasn’t quite as memorable.
Michael Owen, then 18, came on for Teddy Sheringham and equalised at 1-1 on 79 minutes. The momentum with them, England were expected to go on and win but Petrescu flicked the ball between David Seaman’s legs in the 90th minute and England had lost again on 22 June.