25th Minute, David Platt, England v Cameroon 1990 World Cup Quarter Final
England entered the 1990 World Cup under intense media pressure and scrutiny with manager Bobby Robson singled out for special criticism for announcing he would be leaving for PSV Eindhoven after the World Cup. A couple of months before the tournament England played a friendly against fellow finalists Czechoslovakia and a 23-year-old from Newcastle dominated the game and showed England fans something very different, his name was Paul Gascoigne.
England’s campaign got off to a dull and drab start as they played out a very trying 1-1 draw against the Republic of Ireland which increased the pressure further. Bobby Robson switched to a sweeper system in the next match against the Netherlands with Mark Wright as the sweeper and Gascoigne suddenly became the focal point of the side, a challenge which he relished. Although the game finished nil-nil England had been the better side and had two goals ruled out. In the next match England beat Egypt thanks to a brilliant Gascoigne free kick found the head of Mark Wright but for the knockout stages they had to do without their captain Bryan Robson.
In the second round England were heading for their first ever penalty shoot-out when Gascoigne surged up field in the last minute of extra-time and won a free-kick. His delivery once again found an England player and this time Platt volleyed home. This set up a quarter final against the tournaments surprise package, Cameroon. The Africans started the better and should have taken the lead but Omam-Biyik saw his shot saved by Peter Shilton.
England take the lead on the 25th minute thanks to an excellent cross from Stuart Pearce…
What Happened Next?
In the second half Roger Milla came on as a substitute and turned the game on its head as Cameroon took control of the game with two goals in five minutes including a penalty which Gascoigne gave away. Both sides missed good chances as England searched for an equaliser which they finally found through Gary Lineker, converting a penalty he won a few minutes before the end of the ninety.
In extra time England took the lead with another Lineker penalty, this time Gascoigne feeding the England striker who was brought down again as he rounded the goalkeeper. England claimed a somewhat fortuitous 3-2 victory but heartbreak awaited them in a semi-final where this time they were the unfortunate ones as they crashed to a penalty shoot-out defeat to eventual champions West Germany.
Platt and Gascoigne would go on to play in Serie A in Italy, partly on the strength of their performances in this World Cup.
Highlights from every England game here…
Memorable intro on the BBC for England v Cameroon on 1st July 1990