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10 sleeps until the World Cup: Chapter 1 – San Marino 1-7 England

June 2, 2014

17th November 1993, and a crucial World Cup qualifier: San Marino vs England. The first England game I can remember watching, and it promised so much!

England had to win by 7 clear goals and hope Poland could beat Holland to give us any chance of qualification. My Dad assured me beating San Marino by 7 shouldn’t be a problem as they were rubbish, so I got comfy on the sofa and waited for the goals to start flying in.

I didn’t have to wait long either, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGdQvqbIexk

So just 10 seconds into my first ever England game and we’re losing 1-0 to San Marino. Smashing.

I was confused. San Marino were meant to be rubbish? I can’t remember exactly what was said on the sofa between father and son but I can imagine me asking Dad what was going on, and Dad re-assuring me that I was half-Scottish if I fancied supporting the tartan army instead.

England went onto win 7-1, but didn’t quite manage the elusive 8th for the 7-goal margin they had to win by. Poland failed to beat Holland anyway so it didn’t really matter.

Graham Taylor would resign days later, and the first World Cup I can remember would be England-less.

What a crash-course into supporting England! All that hope beforehand that we’ll win by 7. The slap across the face after 8 seconds. The inevitable disappointment and anti-climax at the end.

The hope is building before World Cup 2014, I don’t think we’ll win it but I’m confident this England side will do us proud. I’m just hoping the slap across the face doesn’t come as soon…

Before the inevitable.

BBC article on the San Marino fixture – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19900296

 


 

Memories of USA ’94

It was a dark and humid Friday evening in Burton when USA ’94 kicked off. It rained for the first time in ages as we sat and watched a typically American opening ceremony complete with Diana Ross missing a penalty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EBIDJLl7a4

Germany vs Bolivia was the opening game, Spurs-bound Jurgen Klinsmann leading the German frontline and scoring the only goal.

With no England in the tournament, people frantically checked their family tree’s to see if they had a legitimate reason to support Ireland (a bit like their English players!) but not me – their opening game vs Italy clashed with the Tom Cruise film Days of Thunder and I wanted to watch a bit of Nascar instead of Terry Phelan & co!  There was conflict in the Goldsmith household as my Dad understandably wanted to watch the game, but in the end he relented and we won the ‘Battle for the Changer’ (the name for the TV remote in the Goldsmith residence) so didn’t witness Ray Houghton’s goal and Ireland’s famous win.

The Brazil vs Italy final was on a Sunday night, but with school the next day I couldn’t wait up for extra time and penalties. GMTV on Monday morning broke the news to me that Brazil had beaten Italy after penalties, and Baggio’s penalty miss was shown repeatedly. Mr Motivator probably had his yellow and blue lycra on that day.

USA ’94 was the first World Cup sticker album I collected but I’ve no idea where it is now unfortunately; however my World Cup 2014 sticker album is safely in my wardrobe 😉

Here’s the Wikipedia page on USA ’94, all the stats & facts. 24 teams entered, 6 groups of 4, so in some groups the 3rd placed team went through to the last 16 – including finalists Italy and semi-finalists Belgium. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Cup_1994

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