Saturday 27 May 2017
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The offspring of a customized orbiter
Angolan Supporters Angolan football supporters and the Palancas Negras (The Black Antelopes) have succeeded in the placing the name of Angola on the football map since 1982. Since their apperance in the World Cup (Germany 2006) Angola is gradually emerging as a promising side.
Nigerian Football Team Football fans will not forget nostalic memories of Nigeria's glorious days when the Eagles boasted of the mesmorising talent of Austin Jayjay Okocha and the defence barrier provided by Sunday Oliseh Rashidi Yekini as the scoring machine upfront.
Egyptian Football Team The pharaoh of Egypt, the African cup holder are the most successful team (6 titles) that the continental competition has ever recorded. Regrettably Pharaohs' failed to qualify for South Africa 2010. This lack of form questione their readiness.
Ghanian Fans Ghanaian football fans are the fact that Black stars have given a good account of themselves in matches. Stars have been enjoying massive support from fans. By all account, the soccer fever sweeping the nation surpasses even the heydays of Ghanaian football.
Cameroun Football Team Cameroun emerges as a football force in Africa and has been able to set a number of records at the World Cup. The Indomitable Lions particpated in the World Cup 5 times (1982, 1990, 1994, 1998 and 2002); and first African team to reach the quarter finals.

This was the first time ever for African teams to make it to the World Cup and their performance was such a memorable one.

 Algeria defeated almighty Germany and Chile but failed to pass to the second round. Cameroon drew all three matches and also failed to qualify for the second round.

THE QUALIFICATION RACE

The format was simpler in Europe this time; there were six groups of five from which the top two teams qualified, and one group of three with only the winner (Poland) going further. In a very balanced group England lost their away matches in Romania, Norway, and Switzerland but qualified anyway, one point behind Hungary.

In fact, qualification for all four British teams for the first time since 1958 looked a strong possibility. Wales just missed out in their group with Czechoslovakia taking second place from them on goal difference, behind the dominant Soviet Union. Scotland and Northern Ireland left Sweden and Portugal in their wake. Yugoslavia and Italy did not have much trouble, but things were closer for France, who ended up behind Belgium and just ahead of Ireland Republic on goal difference. Germany FR's record was impeccable - eight wins and a goal line of 33:3 putting them five points clear of Austria.

Of all the teams that had ever won the World Cup, the only one missing this time was Uruguay. Peru came through, and together with the undefeated Brazil and Chile completed the South American line-up.

The African qualifications saw Cameroon and Algeria come out on top, with Cameroon securing their place with a 2-1 home win over Morocco in Yaoundé, in front of well over 100,000 jubilant fans. They had already won the away leg of the fixture. Algeria followed the same route, inflicting two defeats on Nigeria. Both of these teams were destined to hit the headlines during the final round in Spain.

In the final round in the CONCACAF zone in Honduras, the host team secured first place and denied favourites Mexico their place in the final round with a goalless draw in the final match. El Salvador won one more game and one more point than Mexico and earned the second set of tickets to Spain.

China PR had never come so close to qualifying for a World Cup, as on 10 January 1982. But they were thwarted at the last minute: New Zealand won the play-off between the two teams who were level on points and accompanied Kuwait, the group winners, to Spain.

THE TOURNAMENT ITSELF

Italy became world champions for the third time in 1982, their triumph on Spanish soil made memorable by the scoring feats of six-goal striker Paolo Rossi and an iconic celebration by Marco Tardelli. The romantic-minded may have shed a tear for Brazil and France – unlucky losers in two of the finest matches of any FIFA World Cup™ – but few begrudged Enzo Bearzot's men a 3-1 victory over a rugged West Germany team in a Final in which Rossi's opening goal secured him the Golden Shoe to complete a personal redemption story even more dramatic than the Italians' revival after a faltering start.

Rossi had barely returned from a two-year ban from football – the result of his involvement in a match-fixing scandal – when the finals began and he failed to find the net in any of Italy's three group games, all of them drawn. Indeed the Italians only advanced ahead of Cameroon because they had scored one goal more. They came good when it counted, though, eliminating favourites Brazil in the second round thanks to a hat-trick from Rossi, who then struck twice more in the semi-final against Poland.

Italy's other heroes included 40-year-old goalkeeping captain Dino Zoff and 18-year-old full-back Giuseppe Bergomi. Yet while Bergomi became the youngest Italian to appear on the world stage, Northern Ireland's Norman Whiteside surpassed Pele's record as the youngest player in the tournament's entire history – aged 17 years and 41 days. And his team provided one of the main shocks by beating Spain 1-0 to reach the second round.

The 12th FIFA World Cup was the last to feature a fully leather ball but it broke new ground as the first involving 24 teams rather than 16. It also had a new format, incorporating three distinct phases: a first round comprising six groups of four teams, with the top two from each progressing; a second round with four groups of three from which the top team advanced; and then the semi-finals and Final.

Algeria upset Germany
The Netherlands, runners-up in 1974 and ’78, were the most prominent casualties of a qualifying campaign which yielded six first-time finalists: Algeria, Cameroon, El Salvador, Honduras, Kuwait and New Zealand. Two of that number made a significant impact in a first round which began with a surprise loss for holders Argentina, 1-0 against Belgium in Barcelona.

Algeria then provided an even bigger upset by defeating European champions Germany 2-1 in their opening game, Rabah Madjer and Lakdar Belloumi, African Footballer of the Year, the scorers. Despite also defeating Chile, the Algerians were eliminated on away goals after Germany enjoyed an all-too-comfortable victory over Austria which allowed both European teams to advance. One consequence of the controversy was that in future tournaments, concluding first-round games would kick off at the same time.

Cameroon could curse their luck too, heading home unbeaten after holding both Italy and a Poland side destined for third place. Honduras drew with the disappointing hosts Spain but for another of the new faces, El Salvador, there was embarrassment: they became the first side to ship ten goals in a FIFA World Cup game, losing 10-1 to Hungary for whom substitute Lazlo Kiss struck a hat-trick in record time (between the 69th and 76th minutes).

Not easy for Brazil
The real stars of the first round were Tele Santana’s Brazil. Widely considered the South Americans' best side since 1970, their strengths lay in a multi-talented midfield that featured Zico, Falcao, Socrates and Eder – the last two contributing a superb goal apiece in an opening 2-1 comeback victory over the Soviet Union. 
Brazil eliminated arch-rivals Argentina with a 3-1 triumph in their first second-phase game – Diego Maradona's frustration boiling over late on when he kicked Batista and was sent off – and went into their second fixture against Italy needing only a draw to secure a semi-final berth. But despite goals from Socrates and Falcao, Rossi's hat-trick sent them home. Missing the suspended Zbigniew Boniek, Poland offered the Italians little resistance in the semi-final but the same could not be said of France in their epic duel with Germany in Seville.

A match rendered infamous by Harald Schumacher's unpunished assault on France substitute Patrick Battiston – knocked unconscious by the Germany goalkeeper as he chased a through-ball – it was also the first in the FIFA World Cup to be decided by penalties after the Germans retrieved a 3-1 deficit in extra time. After Schumacher had saved from Maxime Bossis, Horst Hrubech scored to ensure heartbreak for a French team who, driven by midfield maestros Michel Platini, Jean Tigana and Alain Giresse, had reached their first semi-final since 1958.

Jaded by that gruelling contest, Jupp Derwall's team were second-best to Italy in the Final at the Santiago Bernabeu. The Azzurri shrugged aside a first-half Antonio Cabrini penalty miss as Rossi, Marco Tardelli and Alessandro Altobelli put Germany to the sword after the break. Breitner registered a late consolation but by then Tardelli had already provided the abiding image – racing away, arms pumping and screaming his joy to the world.

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