80th Minute, Claudio Caniggia, Argentina v Brazil 1990 World Cup, Second Round
This was the third time the sides had met in the World Cup finals. The previous two encounters had finished with Brazil claiming a point in Argentina 1978 and a comfortable victory in Spain 1982. In the group stages of the 1990 World Cup Canarinho comfortably sailed through with three wins while Argentina struggled. Albiceleste started Italia ’90 with a shock 1-0 defeat to Cameroon but they did manage to beat the Soviet Union 2-0 before a trying 1-1 draw with Romania in Naples where local hero Diego Maradona received partisan support. Their great rivals Brazil were the opposition in the last sixteen and the Brazilians were hot favourites in Turin. Argentina were simply outplayed for the majority of the game as expected but A Seleção missed chance after chance and the game was heading for extra time.
With just ten minutes remaining Diego Maradona picks up the ball in midfield and gives us a glimpse of his top form in Mexico ’86 with this assist that Claudia Caniggia cooly converted…
What Happened Next?
The Brazilians accused Argentina of spiking a drink with tranquilizers then giving it to Maradona’s man marker Branco during a short break in play in the second half. However it has never been proved despite Maradona seemingly admitting it years later on a television show in his homeland where he is seen laughing and joking about it with the presenters as clips of some poor play from Branco are interspersed. Argentina beat Yugoslavia and Italy on penalties to reach the final against West Germany. It was a bad tempered affair and La Albiceleste lost to a late penalty and had two players sent off.