Thursday, June 2, 2016

Tournaments-Part 5 – England Challenge Cup (1991)

In May 1991, England hosted a Tri-angular Tournament (England Challenge Cup) featuring themselves with Argentina and USSR as guests.
The hosts had been under the stewardship of Graham Taylor since the conclusion of the 1990 World Cup, the previous summer.
Despite England remaining unbeaten since he had taken charge, Taylor was nonetheless under some scrutiny for advocating a more prosaic style, as well as selecting and experimenting with a multitude of players that many critics did not view as England material.
In addition, he ignored the talented and in-form winger Chris Waddle, who was having an exceptional season with French powerhouse Olympique Marseille.
The team was now captained by Gary Lineker and included other veterans such as Stuart Pearce, John Barnes and the Italy-bound new star David Platt (set to join Serie A’s Bari).
Just days before, England’s other new star Paul Gascoigne had been severely injured in a collision during the 1991 FA Cup Final with his club Tottenham Hotspur.
He would go on to miss more than a calendar year and would struggle with form and injury for the rest of his career. Gascoigne himself was set to join Italy’s Serie A (Lazio), but had to wait another season.
Chris Waddle was surprisingly called up by Taylor (after being ignored for most of the season), but had to withdraw due to a re-arranged French League match.
The English were also looking ahead to a Tour of Australia/New Zealand and Malaysia in weeks time.
The Soviets themselves were also under new management since the end of the World Cup. Former Olympic squad Manager Anatoli Byshovets had taken over from Valeri Lobanovsky. He had dispensed of many of the old guard and was presiding over a much younger squad led by his 1988 Olympics stars Alexei Mikhailichenko (as captain) and Igor Dobrovolsky.
Other Lobanovsky regulars such as defender Oleg Kuznetsov, midfielder Sergei Aleinikov and striker Oleg Protassov were unavailable.
The new stars were midfielders Igor Shalimov (also set to join Italy’s Serie A with Foggia) and new Manchester United recruit Andrei Kanchelskis.
This Tournament was seen as practice ahead of a European Championship Qualifier vs. Cyprus and the ‘Scania 100’ mini-tournament in Sweden.
Argentina were also in charge of a new Manager. Alfio Basile had taken over from Carlos Bilardo since the end of the World Cup. He had essentially given a facelift to the National Team and rejuvenated the squad with many creative players to do away with Bilardo’s negative tactics.
The only Bilardo mainstays still in significant roles were defender and new Captain Oscar Ruggeri and last World Cup’s goalkeeping hero Sergio Goycoechea. The other Bilardo regular still in favor was Claudio Caniggia who was not released by Atalanta for this Tour.
Just a few months before, Superstar Diego Maradona had been banned for 15 months after testing positive for Drugs in a Serie A League match.
Argentina were also missing the Boca Juniors’ duo Gabriel Batistuta (still uncapped) and Diego Latorre who were not released because of Copa Libertadores commitments.
Other absentees included Fernando Redondo, Jose Luis Villareal and Ramon Medina Bello.
For Argentina, this Tournament was a preparation for the Copa America in Chile in the coming months.
The Tournament kicked off on May 21st at Wembley with the hosts taking on USSR.  Taylor had chosen to preserve his strongest lineup for the Argentina clash. As a result many players who otherwise might not have started were given a run-in.
Chris Woods started in goal for England, even though he had recently been displaced as starter by David Seaman, who had enjoyed a phenomenal season for Arsenal.  Gary M. Stevens started as right back in place Lee Dixon, whom Taylor championed despite reservations in some circles.
Tony Dorigo and Paul Parker played at left back and center defense ahead of regulars Stuart Pearce and Des Walker.
Mark Wright Captained in Lineker’s absence. Ian Wright started in place of the missing Lineker.
The home side took the game to the Soviets, whose goalkeeper Uvarov seemed shaky in handling high crosses.
It was a surprise when the guests took the lead in the 9th minute.
Igor Kolivanov crossed from right side towards Mihailichenko, who chested it down for Tatarchuk to volley from the edge of box. Mark Wright deflected his shot into the net.
England got back into the game and tied the match just seven minutes later.
Paul Parker sent a long free kick from near the center of the field that Uvarov was unable to handle and punched it out. Geoff Thomas from edge of box volleyed the loose ball and Alan Smith side footed it into the net.

Photo From: England, The Complete Post-War Record, Author Mike Payne
(Alan Smith and Andrei Chernishov, May 21, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 3-USSR 1)

England kept up the pressure and were rewarded just before the halftime when a penalty kick was awarded after Tsveiba had fouled David Platt in the box. Platt himself took the decisive kick and scored.
English goalkeeper Chris Woods was relatively untested especially in the second half where the Soviets made no serious attempts.
With twenty minutes remaining, Taylor sent on new cap David Batty and veteran striker Peter Beardsley. The new substitutes woke England up who started to assert themselves even more.

Photo From: Футбол - Футбол-Хоккей, No 21---26.05.91
(Paul Parker, Vassili Kulkov and David Platt, May 21, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 3-USSR 1)

With just two minutes remaining, Batty found Platt on the edge of box who quickly turned and shot and scored England’s third.
Two days later at Manchester, the Soviets took on Argentina, who had only arrived in England, just two days prior.
The two sides had last met during the previous year’s World Cup. It was in that match that Sergio Goycoechea had established himself (and changed his fortune and destiny) as Argentina’s goalkeeper following Nery Pumpido’s injury during the match.
The Soviets made three changes from the previous match. Stanislav Cherchesov started in goal ahead of Uvarov. Alexander Mostovoi and Igor Dobrovolsky replaced Vladimir Tatarchuk and Dimitri Kuznetsov in the starting lineup.
The recent Manchester United signing, Andrei Kanchelskis was playing in his new home stadium.
The Argentina side featured the current Atletico Madrid Manager Diego Simeone.
The match was balanced with no team dominating in a significant fashion.
Soviet defender Ahrik Tsveiba was injured in the 27th minute and replaced by Dmitri Kuznetsov.

Photo From: EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
(Goycoechea saving Dobovolsky’s penalty kick, May 23, 1991, England Challenge Cup, Argentina 1-USSR 1)

Sergio Goycoechea was once again a penalty kick saving hero, just like the 1990 World Cup. He saved a penalty kick attempt in the 36th minute by Igor Dobrovolsky.
Argentina scored first just before halftime, David Bisconti took a free kick into the box that Ruggeri headed in.

Photo From: EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
(Oscar Ruggeri scoring for Argentina, May 23, 1991, England Challenge Cup, Argentina 1-USSR 1)

Early in the second, Igor Kolivanov took a low free kick into Goycoechea’s right corner and tied up the match.
For the Soviets, Oleg Sergeyev made his National Team debut after coming on as a substitute in the second half.
In addition, Defender Andrei Chernishov was sent off (as last defender) in the 73rd minute after pulling back Berti.
On May 25th, the final match of this Cup took place at Wembley between England and Argentina.
This match had extra political significance. The Falklands conflict had taken place only nine years before. This was Argentina’s first visit in England since then (In fact since 1980).
The ‘Hand of God’ incident involving Diego Maradona had only occurred five years before and there was some resentment from the English crowd for that.
The English were near full strength with Seaman, Dixon, Pearce, Walker and captain Gary Lineker back into the lineup.
David Batty earned his first start for the home side.
For Argentina, Fernando Gamboa, German Martelloto and Ariel Boldrini started ahead of Astrada, Bisconti and Alfaro Moreno.
Overall, the Argentinean squad was inexperienced with as much as eight players with less than five caps each, with German Martelloto only his first cap.

Photo From: Soccer International, Volume 2, Issue 12, December 1991
(Argentina squad, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

The more inexperienced Argentines struggled in the early stages. They were slow and their passing was imprecise. England was able to win many balls in midfield with Batty and Platt in impressive form. In contrast, Argentina’s creative force of Simeone and Martelotto were unable to conjure any chances.
In the 15th minute England took the lead. Stuart Pearce took a long free kick from the middle of the field into the box and Lineker with a diving header scored his 40th goal for England.

Photo From: Onze-Mondial, Issue 30, July 1991
(Ariel Boldrini and David Platt, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

Photo From: Foot Magazine, Issue 123, January 1992
(Dario Franco and David Platt, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

Five minutes into the second half, Pearce once again was involved in another England goal. He crossed from the left and Platt scored from a header as well.
At this point Argentina looked completely in shambles. In the 59th minute, Basile took off the mediocre Martelotto and sent on Antonio Mohamed.
This turned out to be an inspirational substitution as he was involved in both of Argentina’s goals.
In the 65th minute, he took a corner from the left and Claudio Garcia scored from a header. Just five minutes later, the match was all tied up. This time Mohamed took a corner from the right side and Dario Franco headed in Argentina’s equalizer. All four goals in the match had been headers.

Photo From: World Soccer, June 1992
(Diego Simeone and David Platt, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

Photo From: Foot Magazine, Issue 123, January 1992
(Gary Lineker after scoring, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

It was at this point, in the last quarter hour, that the match took a negative turn. A number of nasty fouls and tackles tarnished the end of the match with Yugoslavian referee Zoran Petrovic having difficulty to control the proceedings.
Mark Wright was guilty of a nasty foul on Garcia, while Garcia himself was booked in the last minute for a bad foul on Dixon.

Photo From: EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
(Ariel Boldrini, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

Photo From: EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
(David Batty and German Martelotto, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

In the end the final whistle was a relief for everyone, as the match was degenerating into a battle.
Due to the behavior of the Argentines towards the end, many English players refused to exchange jerseys. The crowd booed the Argentineans and coins were thrown. The Argentina players started taunting the crowd by removing their shirts and waving them.
Many believed this was an act of defiance as the Falklands Islands/Malvinas conflict was still within recent memory.

Photo From: EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
(Claudio Garcia scoring Argentina’s first goal, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

Photo From: EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
(Dario Franco scoring Argentina’s second goal, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

The English won the Tournament on points and continued on with their tour of Oceania and Asia.
Argentina builty up on this Tournament and went on to win the Copa America in Chile in July in impressive fashion.
The Soviets were only months away from the political Coup that set in motion the eventual break-up of the Soviet Union. As a Footballing entity the USSR would cease to function the following year.

Photo From: EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
(Argentina players defiantly waving their jerseys at the conclusion of the match, May 25, 1991, England Challenge Cup, England 2-Argentina 2)

England Challenge Cup Squads
(Players who took part)

Christopher Charles Eric Woods  (Rangers Football Club -Glasgow / Scotland) 
David Andrew Seaman (Arsenal Football Club-London)

Gary Michael Stevens (Rangers Football Club -Glasgow / Scotland)
Anthony Robert Dorigo
(Chelsea Football Club-London)
Paul Andrew Parker (Queen's Park Rangers Football Club-London)
Mark Wright
(Derby County Football Club)
Lee Michael Dixon (Arsenal Football Club-London)
Stuart Pearce (Nottingham Forest Football Club)
Desmond Sinclair Walker
(Nottingham Forest Football Club)

Dennis Frank Wise (Chelsea Football Club-London)
David Batty (Leeds United Association Football Club)
David Andrew Platt (Aston Villa Football Club-Birmingham)
Geoffroy Robert Thomas (Crystal Palace
Football Club-London)
Neil John Webb (Manchester United Football Club)
Lee Stuart Sharpe (Manchester United Football Club)

Peter Andrew Beardsley  (Liverpool Football Club) 
Alan Martin Smith (Arsenal Football Club-London)
Ian Edward Wright
(Crystal Palace Football Club-London)
John Charles Bryan Barnes
(Liverpool Football Club)
Gary Winston Lineker  (Tottenham Hotspur Football Club-London)
Nigel Howard Clough (Nottingham Forest Football Club)

Coach: Graham Taylor 


Sergio Javier Goycochea (Racing Club de Avellaneda-Avellaneda - Buenos Aires) 
Alejandro Fabio Lanari (Club Atlético Rosario Central-Rosario)

Sergio Fabian Vázquez (Club Ferrocarril Oeste-Buenos Aires)  
Carlos Alberto Enrique (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires) 
Fabián Armando Basualdo (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires) 
Oscar Alfredo Ruggeri (Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield -Buenos Aires) 
Ricardo Daniel Altamirano (Club Atlético Independiente Avellaneda)
Fernando Andres Gamboa (Club Atlético Newell´s Old Boys –Rosario)
Néstor Ariel Fabbri (Racing Club de Avellaneda-Avellaneda - Buenos Aires)

Midfielders / Forwards:
Leonardo Rubén Astrada (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires)
Claudio Omar Garcia (Racing Club de Avellaneda-Avellaneda - Buenos Aires)   
Dario Javier Franco (Club Atlético Newell´s Old Boys –Rosario) 
Diego Pablo Simeone (Sporting Club Pisa / Italy)
David Carlos Bisconti (Club Atlético Rosario Central-Rosario)
Sergio Angel Berti (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires) 
Carlos Alfaro Moreno (Club Atlético Independiente Avellaneda) 
Ariel Eduardo Boldrini (Club Atlético Newell´s Old Boys –Rosario)
German Ricardo Martelloto (Club de Futbol Monterrey / Mexico) 
Antonio Ricardo Mohamed (Club Atletico Huracan- Buenos Aires)
Gustavo Miguel Zapata (Club Atlético River Plate- Buenos Aires)

Coach: Alfio Ruben Basile

Aleksandr Viktorovich Uvarov (Dinamo Moskva)
Stanislav Salamovich Cherchesov (Spartak Moskva)

Andrei Alekseyevich Chernishov (Dinamo Moskva)
Vassili Sergeyevich Kulkov (Spartak Moskva)
Ahrik Sokratovich Tsveiba (Dinamo Kiev) 
Dimitri Aleksandrovich Galyamin (Futbol'nyj Klub CSKA (Central'nyy Sportivnyy Klub Armii) Moskva)
Ilya Vladimirovich Tsymbalar (Chernomorets Odessa)

Midfielders / Forwards:
Igor Mikhaylovich Shalimov (Spartak Moskva)  
Igor Vladimirovich Korneyev (Futbol'nyj Klub CSKA (Central'nyy Sportivnyy Klub Armii) Moskva)
Alexei Aleksandrovich Mikhailichenko (Unione Calcio Sampdoria-Genova / Italy)  
Andrei Anastasovich Kanchelskis (Manchester United Football Club / England)
Igor Vladimirovich Kolyvanov (Dinamo Moskva)
-Vladimir Iosifovich Tatarchuk (Futbol'nyj Klub CSKA (Central'nyy Sportivnyy Klub Armii) Moskva)
Alexander Vladimirovich Mostovoi (Spartak Moskva)
Dimitri Viktorovich Kuznetsov (Futbol'nyj Klub CSKA (Central'nyy Sportivnyy Klub Armii) Moskva)
Igor Ivanovich Dobrovolsky  (Club Deportivo Castellón / Spain)
Oleg Vyacheslavovich Sergeyev (Futbol'nyj Klub CSKA (Central'nyy Sportivnyy Klub Armii) Moskva) 

Coach: Anatoli Fedorovich Byshovets

Note: Vladimir Tatarchuk had been called up to replace the injured Sergei Aleinikov

England Challenge Cup Matches:

May 21, 1991- London-Wembley
Referee:  Emilio Soriano Aladren (Spain)
Attendance: 23, 789
England 3-USSR 1 (Alan Smith 16, David Platt 43 pen, 88 / Vladimir Tatarchuk 9)
England : 1-Chris Woods, 2-Gary Michael Stevens, 3-Tony Dorigo, 4-Dennis Wise (15-David Batty 70th), 5-Paul Parker, 6-Mark Wright (captain) (16-Peter Beardsley 70th), 7-David Platt, 8-Geoff Thomas, 9-Alan Smith, 10-Ian Wright,
11-John Barnes
Coach: Graham Taylor
Other Subs:12-David Seaman, 13-Lee Dixon, 14- Neil Webb

USSR:   1-Aleksandr Uvarov, 2-Andrei Chernishov, 3-Vassili Kulkov, 4-Ahrik Tsveiba, 5-Dimitri Galyamin, 6-Igor Shalimov (14-Igor Korneyev 67th), 7-Alexei Mikhailichenko (captain),  8-Andrei Kanchelskis, 9-Igor Kolyvanov, 10-Vladimir Tatarchuk (13-Alexander Mostovoi 51st), 11-Dimitri Kuznetsov
Coach: Anatoli Fedorovich Byshovets
Booked: Dimitri Galyamin 65th
Other Subs: 12- Stanislav Cherchesov, 15- Igor Dobrovolsky, 16- Ilya Tsymbalar 

May 23, 1991- Manchester - Old Trafford      
Referee:  Peter Mikkelsen (Denmark)
Attendance: 23, 743
Argentina 1-USSR 1 (Oscar Ruggeri 44 / Igor Kolivanov 49)
Argentina:  1-Sergio Goycochea, 2-Sergio Vázquez, 3-Carlos Enrique, 4-Fabián Basualdo, 5-Leonardo Astrada, 6-Oscar Ruggeri (Captain), 7-Claudio Garcia, 8-Dario Franco, 9-Diego Simeone, 10-David Bisconti (16-Sergio  Berti 70th), 11-Carlos Alfaro Moreno 
Coach: Alfio Ruben Basile
Booked: Vasquez, Garcia, Franco
Other Subs:  Ricardo Altamirano, Ariel Boldrini, Fernando Gamboa, Alejandro Lanari (Club Atlético Rosario Central-Rosario)

USSR:  1-Stanislav Cherchesov, 2-Andrei Chernishov, 3-Vassili  Kulkov, 4-Ahrik Tsveiba  (15-Dimitri Kuznetsov 27th), 5-Dimitri Galyamin, 6-Igor Shalimov, 7-Alexei Mikhailichenko (Captain), 8-Andrei Kanchelskis, 9-Igor Kolyvanov, 10-Alexander Mostovoi (13-Oleg Sergeyev 61st), 11-Igor Dobrovolsky 
Coach: Anatoli Fedorovich Byshovets
Sent -Off: Andrei Chernishov 73rd
Other Subs: Igor Korneyev, Vladimir Tatarchuk, Aleksandr Uvarov
1- For More Detail about this match, see:

May 25, 1991- London-Wembley
Referee:  Zoran Petrovic (Yugoslavia)
Attendance: 44,497
England 2 -Argentina 2 (Gary Lineker 15, David Platt 50 / Claudio Garcia 65, Dario Franco 70)
England:  1-David Seaman, 2-Lee Dixon, 3-Stuart Pearce, 4-David Batty, 5-Desmond Walker, 6-Mark Wright, 7-David Platt, 8-Geoff Thomas, 9-Alan Smith, 10-Gary Lineker (captain), 11-John Barnes (16-Nigel Clough 63rd)
Coach: Graham Taylor
Other Subs: 15-Peter Beardsley, 12-Paul Parker, 14-Lee Sharpe, 13-Chris Woods  

Argentina: 1- Sergio Goycochea, 4-Fabián Basualdo, 2-Sergio Vázquez,  6-Oscar Ruggeri (captain), 3-Carlos Enrique, 5-Fernando Gamboa, 8-Dario Franco, 7-Claudio Garcia, 9-Diego Simeone, 11-Ariel Boldrini, 10-German Martelloto  (17-Antonio Mohamed 59th)
Coach: Alfio Ruben Basile
Booked: Claudio Garcia 90th
Other Subs: 12-Alejandro Lanari , 14-Ricardo Altamirano, 15-Néstor Fabbri, 16-Gustavo Zapata

Final Standings:



Top Goalscorer- David Platt (England) 3 goals

EL Grafico, 1991, Issue Number 3738
World Soccer, July 1991
England V Argentina, World Cups and other small wars, Author: David Downing, 2003
England, The Complete Post-War Record, Author Mike Payne

France Football, Issue 2355, May 28, 1991

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.