“Four years on from the quarter-final of Maradona’s deception, England enter Maradona’s den.”
The great Barry Davies was as on the money as ever on a hot, sultry night in July 1990 as England faced Cameroon in the last eight of the World Cup.
Now, rewind the clocks to a time of Art Attack, of Vogue and of Pavarotti. Come with us this Sunday to the birthplace of pizza, to Maradona’s city of Naples and relive the match all over again.
England had come through a dreary group and seen off Belgium thanks to David Platt’s extra-time winner. Cameroon had shocked the holders Argentina in the opening game in Milan and were the sensation of the tournament.
Surely Bobby Robson’s men were heading through? Join us for live text commentary and full TV coverage of the game from 14:30 BST on Sunday, 10 May.
Milla time again?
All eyes were on Cameroon veteran Roger Milla.
The 38-year-old – who made his international debut in 1973 and had retired in 1988 before a call from the president asking him to head to Italy – had lit up the World Cup with four goals during the run to the last eight.
The flamboyant forward came off the bench to score twice in extra time against Colombia in the last 16 to book a return to Naples against England.
Still only on the bench, and rather confusingly listed as Miller on the Fifa on-screen graphics, could the dancing superstar hurt England?
Thirty years ago Cameroon were the first African side to reach the quarter-finals of the World Cup. Truly groundbreaking stuff.
The genius of Gascoigne
While Cameroon had their own eye-catching maverick in the ranks, England had a genius in midfield who was capturing hearts and arguably helping to change the game forever during the tournament.
At 23 Paul Gascoigne was the heartbeat of Robson’s England with his driving runs, Cruyff turns and brilliant dead-ball delivery. He had set up the winner for Platt – handed a start in Naples as a result – just a few days earlier and would again be the creative hub for the Three Lions.
Would he have enough to unlock the Indomitable Lions? Watch and find out.
This was the final quarter-final, with the winners knowing that they had a semi against West Germany to look forward to. Every other quarter-final had failed to deliver more than one goal…
Lineker on the spot
England, World Cup, penalties…
There was no curse to worry about in 1990, thankfully. Gary Lineker had been England’s designated penalty taker for four years by the time the tournament kicked off but incredibly had never had one to take in a match.
Robson got wind of a spy in the training camp before the game and told Lineker to practise his penalties accordingly. The England striker put all of his penalties in training to the goalkeeper’s right.
What happened on the big night itself? And would it prove decisive?