Argentina and England are level in the 1998 World Cup knock out phase
Teenager Owen scores wonder goal
After sixteen minutes of this pulsating cup tie, Michael Owen scored a goal that he, and no one else watching, will ever forget.
David Beckham played the ball to him inside the centre circle and with his first touch he got goal side of his marker. He had the pace to run away from his man and bear down on goal.
The last defender attempted to jockey Owen and hold him up, but he just skipped round him as if he was a statue. With the goal in his sights Owen placed a beautiful shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.
It was an outstanding goal and, to be scored by someone so young in such an important game, really announced Owen’s arrival on the international stage.
Argentina draw level before break
England held on to their 2-1 lead until just before half time.
Argentina won a free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Two players stood over the ball and the England goalkeeper, David Seaman, organised his defensive wall anticipating a shot at goal.
Batistuta stepped over the ball and Juan Veron played the ball to Javier Zanetti, who had broken away from the England wall. Zanetti controlled the ball and lashed a shot across David Seaman into the goal.
It was a brilliantly worked free kick, with the clever movement from Zanetti surprising the England defenders.
That strike, on the stroke of half time, meant the teams would begin the second half on level terms.
Beckham loses his cool
Shortly after the half time interval came the moment for which the game is most often remembered.
The ball was played into David Beckham’s feet in the middle of the pitch. He was clattered from behind by Simeone with an ugly challenge.
Beckham was knocked to the ground and the ref gave the free kick. Simeone stood over Beckham and seemed to ruffle his hair with his hand.
While still lying on his front Beckham flicked out his boot and kicked Simeone in retaliation. It was exactly the reaction Simeone was trying to achieve with his goading.
The referee was left with little choice, he had to interpret Beckham’s actions as violent conduct and showed him the red card.
Ten men battle on
England fought hard to stay in the game and, although they conceded much of the possession and territory to Argentina, they were still very much in the game.
Alan Shearer and Michael Owen were alternating between the role of lone striker and right midfield to keep England’s defensive shape.
The whole team were playing their part and Tony Adams was immense in organising his defence to keep the Argentines at bay. Michael Owen threatened to repeat his trick from the first half, but his shot flew over after another great run into the box.
Argentina were looking a constant threat and sent on substitutes Hernan Crespo and Marcelo Gallardo in an attempt to win the game in normal time.
England fan’s feared it wasn’t their day when Sol Campbell had a goal disallowed late into the game. He rose well in the box to thump a header into the Argentine goal from a corner, after one of England’s rare ventures into the opposition half.
It looked a harsh decision for the ref to rule out the goal for a foul on the goalkeeper.
The game heads to a penalty shootout – Read more