VERONA, ITALY, JUNE 26 -- Midfielder Dragan Stojkovic is supposed to be Yugoslavia's star. He hadn't been anywhere near that in the World Cup -- until today.
Much criticized for his desultory performances in the first round, Stojkovic was at the top of his game today, scoring both goals as Yugoslavia won, 2-1, in overtime to reach the quarterfinals.
"These are certainly among the most important goals of my career," said the 25-year-old playmaker. "I will always remember them, because they came in my first World Cup and in such an important game."
Reaching the final eight in the World Cup is Yugoslavia's best showing since it reached the semifinals in 1962. Yugoslavia will meet defending champion Argentina Saturday in Florence.
Both goals demonstrated Stojkovic's talent. With Spain visibly tiring in the heat, Stojkovic shattered a scoreless tie in the game's 78th minute.
After Zlatko Vujovic struggled free from Spanish defender Manuel Sanchis and passed in front of the goal, Srecko Katanec headed the ball backward to the far post. Stojkovic took the ball and faked defender Martin Vazquez, whose sliding tackle missed, then calmly shot past helpless goalkeeper Andoni Zubizarreta.
But Spain rallied on a goal by Julio Salinas with seven minutes remaining, sending the game into overtime.
Two minutes into extra time, Stojkovic converted a free kick from 25 yards, slightly to the left side. It is the Yugoslav's favorite position, from which he has scored dozens of times.
The right-footed drive looped over the Spanish wall and then dipped suddenly and ended in the low left corner, past Zubizarreta's outstretched hands.
Yugoslavia 0 1 1 2 Spain 0 1 0 1 FIRST HALF Scoring: None. SECOND HALF Scoring: 1, Yugoslavia, Stojkovic 1 (Katanec), 77th minute. 2, Spain, Salinas 1 (Martin Vasquez), 82nd minute. OVERTIME Scoring: 3, Yugoslavia, Stojkovic 2, 92nd minute. Yellow Cards: Katanec, Yug, 7th minute; Vujovic, Yug, 59th minute; Roberto, Spa, 92nd minute; Vulic, Yug, 98th minute; Chendo, Spa, 112th minute. Red Cards: None. Referee: Schmidhuber (West Germany). Linesmen -- Snoddy (Northern Ireland; (Listkiewicz (Poland). A: 35,500.