World Cup 1998
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 World Cup ' 98

 A Celebration of Man's Favorite Game
It was difficult to imagine when the whistle blew for the first World Cup in Uruguay in 1930 what a spell it would cast. It has grown into the globe's largest sporting event, and a television audience of 38 billion is expected to watch at least part of this year's Cup. Look back at the 15 previous World Cups and how they captivated the globe.

1994 | 1990 | 1986 | 1982 | 1978 | 1974 | 1970
1966 | 1962 | 1958 | 1954 | 1950 | 1938 | 1934 | 1930


Brazil 1, Italy 0: A superb World Cup marred only by a disappointing final, in which Brazil won on penalties after a scoreless draw with Italy. There was plenty of goals, excitement, drama and surprises, though, as the World Cup made its first visit to the United States.

  Post Coverage


Germany 1, Argentina 0: The 1990 World Cup final in Italy saw a restaging of the final pairing of 1986: Argentina faced Germany. Only this time, Germany won, joining Brazil and Italy as the only three-time winners of the World Cup. The undisputed darlings of the games was Cameroon. Headed by 39-year-old Roger Milla, Cameroon was the first African team to play a serious role in a World Cup tournament and beat defending champion Argentina in its opening game.


Argentina 3, Germany 2: Mexico was awarded the 1986 games after Colombia had pulled out and became the first country to host two World Cups. After eliminating England 2-1 in the quarter final, and Belgium 2-0 in the semi final, Argentina faced West Germany, who had made it to the final for the third time since 1974. Diego Maradona drove his team to a 2-0 lead against the Germans. Germany fought back and tied the game, but Maradona set Jorge Burruchaga free to score the winning goal in the 83rd minute.


Italy 3, West Germany 1: Two soccer giants made it to the final: West Germany, which had defeated France in a nerve-racking penalty kick shootout in the semifinals, and Italy, which had eliminated Brazil (3-2) and Poland (2-0). There was no scoring in the first half. Then, Italy — which had dominated all along — took a 3-0 lead. West Germany scored one goal back, but Italy's three goals were out of reach. With their championship win, Italy joined Brazil with three World Cups.


Argentina 3, Holland 1: The Netherlands fought its way to the championship game, where it met host country Argentina. In the 38th minute, Argentina took the lead with a goal by Mario Kempes, but the Netherlands tied the game with a heading goal by substitute Dick Nanninga. Kempes again put Argentina ahead 14 minutes in overtime, and with only 5 left, Daniel Bertoni took all sealed it for Argentina with another goal.


West Germany 2, Holland 1: The Netherlands, led by Johan Cruyff, faced host German in the championship and took a 1-0 lead in the first minute. Cruyff had been brought down in the penalty area, and Johan Neeskens scored on a penalty kick. left German's goal keeper Sepp Meier without any chance. The Germans, led by Franz Beckenbauer, tied in the 25th minute, again with a penalty kick. The winning goal was scored two minutes before halftime by Gerd Mueller, who turned on a ball in the penalty area and fired a low shot into the net.


Brazil 4, Italy 1: Although it was Brazil that won its third World Cup, it was Italy's semifinal victory over Germany that provoked the most fireworks. Germany tied the score at 1-1 with only seconds to go in regulation and took the lead after only five minutes of overtime. Italy struck back twice to take the lead back before Germany tied the score again. Gianni Rivera finally won it for Italy.


 England 4, West Germany 2: England, which invented the modern game of soccer, hosted a thriller of a World Cup and played West Germany in the final game. With only seconds left in regulation, Germany tied the score at 2-2 and sent the game into overtime. A controversial goal by Geoff Hurst gave England a 3-2 lead, and Hurst scored again seconds before overtime ended.


Brazil 3, Czechoslovakia 1 Despite the presence of Pele, Garrincha was the star for Brazil. He scored two goals in Brazil's 3-1 victory over England in the quarterfinal and two more and assisted on a third in the semifinal win over Chile. Czechoslovakia took a 1-0 lead In the title game, but Brazil fought back with Amarildo, Zito and Vava scoring.


Brazil 5, Sweden 2 The Brazilian team was the undisputed superstar of the 1958 World Cup, with their 17-year-old wonder boy Edson Arantes do Nascimento — better known as "Pele" — the center of attention. Brazil swept through group play, defeating the Welsh team in the quarterfinals and France in the semifinals. Host country Sweden had to face Brazil in the final and never had a chance, losing, 5-2, the most goals in a final. Pele and Vava had two goals each for Brazil.


West Germany 3, Hungary 2 West Germany beat Hungary in the final, 3-2, even though the Hungarians had won a first-round game. Hungary took the lead with scores by Ferenc Puskas and Zoltan Czibor, but West Germany matched those and, with six minutes left, won the game on a goal by Helmut Rahn.


 Uruguay 2, Brazil 1 Uruguay and Brazil stage one of the Cup's most thrilling finals in the first World Cup after World War II. In front of 200,000 fans in Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium, Brazil opened the scoring but Uruguay fought back and took the unexpected lead and victory.


Italy 4, Hungary 2 In the final, defending champion Italy faced Hungary, which made its way through the tournament in such an impressive manner that it was considered the odds-on favorite to win. Italy took a surprising 3-1 halftime lead, however, and won 4-2.


Italy 2, Czechoslovakia 1 qualifying rounds were used for the first time. In the final, Antonin Puc put the Czechs ahead in the 70th minute. Ten minutes later, Italy's Raimundo Orsi scored 10 minutes later and sent the game into overtime. Angelo Schiavio's score in the 95th minute marked the victory for the host country.


Uruguay 4, Argentina 2 Uruguay was the host country for the first World Cup, and 13 countries participated including the United States. In the final, Uruguay took the lead with a goal by Pablo Dorado. Argentina's Carlos Peucelle tied the score eight minutes later and took the lead with Guillermo Stabile's goal. Early in the second half, Uruguay's Pedro Cea tied the game again, then went ahead for good with goals by Santos Iriarte and Hector Castro.

  The United States Was a Soccer Power — Really

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