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Horst Hrubesch

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606055.  Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:26 pm Reply with quote

is responsible for changing the way the football World Cup Finals were organised (and almost certainly an effect on the organisation of some other sports).

In the 1982 World Cup Algeria, Austria, Chile and West Germany were drawn in the same group. Algeria shocked West Germany (regaining European champions) by defeating them 2-1. After the first two sets of matches Austria had four points (2 points for a win), Algeria and West Germany had two points and Chile had none.

At 17.15 on June 24 Algeria played Chile. Meanwhile Austria and West Germany played each other exactly 24 hours later. Algeria won 3-2 and had been 3-0 up at half-time. This meant if West Germany defeated Austria by one or two clear goals both these sides would qualify. Any other result would qualify Algeria.

Horst Hrubesch scored for West Germany after 10 minutes. After this neither side really tried and made sure that they both qualified at the expense at the Algerians.

The consequence of this match was that FIFA decided matches in the final round of Group games must take place simultaneously.

606367.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 5:41 am Reply with quote

I thought the rule change was as a result of Spain beating Malta 12-1 in their final qualifying match for Euro 1984.

In Group 7, The Netherlands thought they had done enough to qualify, given that their closest rivals Spain went into the very last match needing to beat Malta by eleven goals in order to qualify. And when Spain went in at half-time in Seville leading the Maltese minnows by a margin of only 3-1, the Dutch could have been forgiven for assuming they were home and dry. Spain, incredibly, then proceeded to score nine more goals in the second half, the last of them coming in the 86th minute from Juan Señor, to book an unlikely passage to the finals. UEFA has since changed its rules: all teams now play their final game at the exact same time and date, so that none of the teams has an advantage. Also, overall goal difference is now de-emphasized in the tie-breakers in favour of head-to-head results.

Spain qualified and went on to become runners-up (to France) in the 1984 European Championship.

606529.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:59 am Reply with quote

I believe the 1982 match changed FIFA's rules and the 1984 match changed UEFA's rules. Rules for the two organisations do not have to be the same. UEFA since 1996 have used the result(s) between teams tying on points to decide their final placings. FIFA still use goal difference.

UEFA's different rules have had an affect on three occasions. In the 1996 Finals Czech Republic had a worse goal difference than Italy but had defeated them and qualified. In qualifying for the 2000 Finals Switzerland had a better goal difference than Denmark. However, the latter gained four points against the Swiss and were placed above them. The Danes went into the play-offs and defeated Israel to qualify. In qualifying for the 2004 Finals Romania had a better goal difference than Norway. Again Norway had gained four points against Romania and went into the play-offs (losing to Spain)

606534.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:17 am Reply with quote

I didn’t know FIFA and UEFA had different rules. Thanks for the clarification.

One of the strangest rulings I’ve ever seen was in the Euro 2004 Championship in Greece, when Italy, Denmark and Sweden all tied on points and it was the Italians who went out. Apparently, in the final group matches, all Italy had to do was to beat Bulgaria and hope that the result of the other match did not end in a 2-2 draw. Any result except 2-2 between Sweden and Denmark would have suited the Italians, but if it was 2-2, then Denmark and Sweden would qualify for the knockout stage at the expense of Italy. What happened? Denmark and Sweden eventually played out a 2-2 draw, and Italy’s late winner against Bulgaria was all to no avail.

I am still not certain what criteria UEFA used to sort out the three teams. If I remember correctly, all three teams drew with one another, so neither head-to-head nor goal difference would have been any useful. Goals scored, maybe?

606538.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:28 am Reply with quote

Seems to be the case Sophie:

Wiki wrote:
Greece and Spain finished with identical records but the Greeks were given second place on the basis of more goals scored.

606542.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:41 am Reply with quote

It looks like I made a mistake on the goal-difference issue. Italy did have an inferior goal difference to both Denmark and Sweden (due to their results against Bulgaria). However, this does not explain why the 2-2 result was so crucial. Now, of the three teams, Sweden had the best advantage on goals scored and goal difference, so as long as they didn’t lose, they would qualify. If the Sweden–Denmark match had finished 1-1, Italy would have tied with Denmark on goals scored and still had an inferior goal difference to the Danes – but Italy would have gone through instead of Denmark. So why all that fuss about 2-2? The wiki article doesn’t quite seem to explain it.

606545.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:55 am Reply with quote

The Swedish equaliser was a last minute goal which produced some suspicion.

It was the most goals scored in matches between the three teams in question (i.e matches with Bulgaria were ignored). Although a 2-2 draw is mentioned as the only result which would qualify both teams a 3-3 or 4-4 draw etc would have had the same result. Italy may complain about the result being a draw, but because they only won 2-1 they would have gone out if the other game was 1-1.

606552.  Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:05 am Reply with quote

Oh, I see! Goals against Bulgaria didn’t count. Thanks.

All I knew was that UEFA was trying to make things as complicated as possible …


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