Argentina 2-2 England Penalties

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Argentina and England would have to settle their World Cup tie on penalties

Paul Ince Copyright Justin Hartman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 2
Paul Ince

Argentina 2-2 England
Owen scores
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Both teams tried and failed to find a winner in extra time, and so the tie would have to be settled with a penalty shootout.

England could consider themselves both proud to have hung on against such class opposition, and unfortunate not to have pinched the game without the need for penalties.

Argentina were frustrated they hadn’t put themselves into the quarter finals already.

Sergio Berti placed his spot kick into the corner beating Seaman who had gone the right way. Alan Shearer put his penalty in the same spot as he had in normal time to make it 1-1.

Both Crespo and Paul Ince tried to side foot their penalties to the goalkeeper’s left, but both keepers guessed right and made the save. Each team had taken two penalties and scored one.

Next up for Argentina was Juan Veron who smashed his shot into the roof of the net. Paul Merson, who had come on earlier to replace Scholes, matched Veron to keep England on level terms.

Gallardo coolly put his shot into the bottom left corner beyond David Seaman’s dive. Then the youngster, Michael Owen, stepped forward for England.

He put a brilliant penalty into the top left corner without any signs of nerves, belying the gravity of the situation. 3-3 after four penalties each, it was effectively now sudden death.

Roberto Ayala Copyright unkown and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence 2
Roberto Ayala

The responsibility for Argentina was handed to Roberto Ayala who strode forward and put the ball into the bottom right corner far beyond Seaman’s reach.

David Batty had to score to keep England in the competition but his shot was too close to Roa in the Argentine goal. The goalkeeper leapt to his right and palmed away Batty’s weak effort.

Argentina had done it and progressed to the next round. England were beaten on penalties for the second tournament in succession, having lost in the same way to Germany at Euro 96.

Blame game

David Beckham was vilified and persecuted by both the English media and fans after the tournament. He was made the scapegoat for the shortcomings of the national team.

It would take some time, and inspirational performances in an England shirt, before Beckham won back the fans affection.

However, it is true that after Beckham’s dismissal, England looked just as likely to win the game as Argentina. Ultimately, they lost because they couldn’t hold their nerve in the penalty shootout, as so often seems to be the case.

Argentina 2-2 England
Owen scores
More Classic Matches

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