The all-time World Cup

April 8th 2005
Saint-Denis, Stade de France
4-0 (2-0)

      GOALS                   24'  1-0  Diego Armando Maradona
                              39'  2-0  Gabriel Omar Batistuta
                              66'  3-0  Daniel Alberto Passarella (penalty)
                              72'  4-0  José Manuel Moreno

      REFEREE                 Sergio Gonella (Italy)

      ATTENDANCE              82,000

      YELLOW CARDS            Perfumo (ARG) - Alpay, Tanju (TUR)

      ARGENTINA (Coach: Cesar Luis Menotti, system 4-4-2)

       1 Ubaldo Matildo Fillol
       2 Javier Adelmar Zanetti
      18 Roberto Alfredo Perfumo
       6 Daniel Alberto Passarella (captain)
       3 Silvio Marzolini
       7 Jorge Luis Burruchaga
       8 Osvaldo Carlos Ardiles
       4 Luis Felipe Monti
      10 Diego Armando Maradona               (-58)
       9 Alfredo Di Stefano                   (-80)
      15 Gabriel Omar Batistuta               (-64)

      14 Mario Alberto Kempes                 (+58)
      19 José Manuel Moreno                   (+64)
      22 Raimundo Bibiani Orsi                (+80)

      TURKEY (Coach: Mustafa Denizli, system 4-3-3)

      12 Turgay Seren
       2 Riza Calimbay
       5 Alpay Özalan
       4 Fatih Terim (captain)
       3 Bülent Korkmaz
       7 Tugay Kerimoglu
      17 Ogün Temizkanoglu                    (-64)
      19 Emre Belozoglu                       (-46)
      13 Lefter Kücükandonyadis
       9 Hakan Sükür
      20 Cemil Turan                          (-73)

      11 Hasan Sas                            (+46)
      22 Ümit Davala                          (+64)
      10 Tanju Colak                          (+73)


    For the pundits the question before this match was not, whether Argentina would win or not. But rather: how many goals would they score and when would the scoringmachine start to run? Well, the Argentines kept it decent with 4-0. In the opening minutes the Turks did well and managed to keep Argentina at bay, even had a few chances, but when it came to the point Argentina made short work of it.

    Turkish coach Denizli had, for many very unexpected, changed his goalkeeper. Rüstü, who did quite well against Germany, was kept on the bench and Turgay Seren was awarded the place between the sticks. Denizli thought he had two equally strong goalkeepers in his squad and wanted to give both of them the chance to play on this ultimate level. Other victims of the first match were Abdullah, Oguz and Metin. Because of the two-striker system Argentina used, Bülent was brought into the team to mark one of them. Ogün provided more security in the middle than Oguz had done, and for Metin now Cemil Turan was handed the opportunity to show what he could do. Argentina had only one newcomer and it was Roberto Perfumo who replaced Ruggeri who had conceded a knock on his ankle and was rested. For the rest Menotti was very happy with his team against Switzerland and he made no further substitutions.

    But in the first minutes the match didn't go the way Argentina wanted it. It was Turkey who took the initiative and played fresh football. Emre tested Fillol with a fierce, low shot, the goalie turned it away. Moments later Hakan won a battle in the air against Perfumo, but it was Fillol again who saved, this time with his foot. That was a warning for the Argentines but they woke up and took over the game now. Maradona started to get himself involved in the build-up and there was no one in the Turkish team that could hold him. His passes always found the open man, his dribbles unstoppable. The first chance, initiated by Maradona, came after 15 minutes. The maestro outplayed both Ogün and Riza and offered the ball to Di Stefano. The man who had found the net against Switzerland now only saw his shot saved by Turgay. After 24 minutes however Turgay was left stranded. Fatih had fouled Batistuta. Maradona took the free kick and there it went it, from the inside of the post: 1-0 to Argentina. Turkey had deserved better maybe, but the sheer class Argentina provided was simply shattering. The best player the world had ever seen had done it once more.

    Turkey now were overrun but Denizli's choice of taking Turgay this time, proved to be a good one. The goalkeeper masterly kept Batistuta from scoring and when Di Stefano, sent away by Maradona again, tried to lob the ball over him Turgay again kept it out. Not long after however, still the 2-0. Batistuta wasn't the man to keep missing chances. Passarella had built up the attack through the middle, via Burruchaga and Di Stefano the ball came to Batigol. This time no hesitation and 2-0. Turgay wasn't to blame and had Lady Luck on his side when just before the interval, Passarella rattled the bar with a thunderous header. Though starting well, Turkey in the end were not unlucky to get out of the first half two goals down.

    Denizli took off Emre and tried with the inclusion of Hasan Sas to bring still a little bit more power up front, but at the same time realized that it was a mission impossible. Turkey had to try to keep the score low and hope for that single moment that Argentina would lose their attention and Turkey could benefit. But that moment just wouldn't come. Monti, Ardiles and Burruchaga, a strong combination in midfield, intercepted any ball at an early stage. With an hour gone and no threat by Turkey at all, Menotti decided to rest some of his stars. Maradona went off and Kempes came in and in place of Batistuta it was José Manuel Moreno who entered the pitch. It brought new enthusiasm in the team. Kempes wanted to make his presence felt, he wanted to prove that he belonged in the team and could be as important as he had been in 1978. But it was Moreno who did the damage. Soon after coming in he was fouled by Alpay, who was shown the yellow card and referee Gonella pointed to the spot. Passarella came over and gave Turgay not the slightest chance: 3-0.

    If there had been anyone wondering how this game would end, this was over now. Argentina reigned the match completely, though Turkey did better than they had done against Germany. But after 72 minutes it was, just like in that Germany-match, 4-0 again. Burruchaga came through on the right side and sent his cross into the box. Moreno arrived at the far post and converted. That also was the result. At the end Di Stefano was replaced by Orsi, a controversial player because he also played for Italy in the World Cup and even scored the equalizing goal in 1934 final. But he was an Argentine of birth and eligible for Menotti. Yet another world class player who had come in and it only was the confirmation that this Argentina was a class of its own, especially against weaker brothers like Turkey.

    Argentina and Germany now had qualfiied for the second round and the match that they would play against each other in Buenos Aires only was to make sure who would finish as first in the group. Turkey and Switzerland, both stuck at zero, had one more chance to win at least a few points. Argentina today had confirmed their status as one of the favourites. But their true strength would appear against the Germans.

    From next Tuesday on, the last groupmatches will be played and they will be played simultaneously. This means that we will present you two games from a certain group at once, starting next Tuesday in group A with Soviet Union-Spain and Mexico-United States. The Soviet Union have qualified but Spain still need a result to be sure of keeping off the challenge of Mexico. The Mexicans are expected to beat the USA and finish on 4 points. Spain have a fine goaldifference but should they lose against the Soviet Union it can still be narrow. A draw however will get them through. Lobanovski, the Soviet coach, can field some players who have yet to get their first minutes. Spain surely will play in their best formation, which means that Butragueno who missed out against Mexico will be back. Soviet Union-Spain will be played in the Stade Colombe in Paris with referee William Ling, Mexico-United States is in Pasadena, so a homematch for the Americans who will try to regain some pride. The referee here is Ivan Eklind.


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