‘Shirt Tales and Short Stories’ now available on Amazon

The latest title in the ‘Got, Not Got’ series, on the subject of football kits, is now available on Amazon…

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Join us on a trip through the golden age of football strips, in the days before kits were routinely changed every year and you had time to love them…

Click on the cover to order from Amazon…

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Win a copy of ‘Got, Not Got: Derby County’ in our Rams competition

Two copies of ‘Got, Not Got: The Lost World of Derby County’ are up for grabs in our new competition…

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All you have to do is answer the questions correctly and the winning entry will be drawn out of a big black and white bobble hat.

Send your entries to: garysilke@sky.com
The closing date is a week from now Friday 17th October. Good luck…

1. Who was the Rams’ first ever substitute, in August 1965?

2. Which ‘new-signing’ was paraded around the Baseball Ground in 1972 – although he never became a Derby player?

3. Where were the Derby players when they it was confirmed that they had won the 1974-75 League title?

4. The picture round – name these five players…

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Our club editions are all available on Amazon… NOW!





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Admirable Admiral Window Stickers

You wait years for a decent window sticker and then three come along at once…

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Aberdeen, Leeds and Wales Admiral kits circa 1977.

Hopefully not too late to go into our new book: “Shirt Tales and Shorts Stories’, which is having its finishing touches applied right now.

Must crack on…


All available on Amazon… NOW!




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Two new titles in the ‘Got, Not Got’ club series released…

We are pleased to announce that two new titles in our series of ‘Got, Not Got’ club editions have been released…

liverpool and norwich

The Lost World of Liverpool and Norwich City are now available on Amazon and you can buy them by clicking here LIVERPOOL and here NORWICH

Please let us know what you think, and also send us photos of the books in their new homes… email: garysilke@sky.com






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‘Got, Not Got: The Lost World of Derby County’ – OUT NOW!

The latest in our series of club editions, ‘Got, Not Got: The Lost World of Derby County’ is available now…

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‘Got, Not Got: The Lost World of Derby County’ is an Aladdin’s cave of memories and memorabilia, guaranteed to whisk you back to the Baseball Ground’s fondly remembered ‘Golden Age’ of mud and magic – as well as a Rams-mad childhood of miniature tabletop games and imaginary, comic-fuelled worlds. The book recalls a more innocent era of football, lingering longingly over relics from the good old days – Rams stickers and petrol freebies, league ladders, big-match programmes and much more – revisiting lost football culture, treasures and pleasures that are 100 per cent Derby County. If you were a Junior Ram, one of the army of obsessive soccer kids at any time from when Cloughie’s lads won the League to the early days of the Premier League, then this is the book to recall the mavericks – Mackay, Lee and Hector, George, Saunders and Gabbiadini – and the marvels of the Lost World of Football.

Order it from Amazon here in the next hour and you could be reading it tomorrow!



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Ten World Cup Shocks….

England’s game at Belo Horizonte this evening brings back memories of one of their worst ever World Cup moments… Got, Not Got takes a look at that game and nine other shock results.

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1 – England v United States 1950.
After remaining aloof from the first three World Cups, England finally joined FIFA and deigned to join the party after the Second World War. Very soon they would be wondering about the wisdom of that decision, playing Goliath to the United States’ David.
The 1950 World Cup, held in Brazil, started according to the script for England with a 2-0 win over Chile in the Maracana. But on June 29th in the Estadio Independencia, Belo Horizonte England suffered utter humiliation at the hands of a group of amateurs loosely affiliated to the USA.
A strong England side that included Wilf Mannion, Tom Finney, Alf Ramsey, Stan Mortenson and Jimmy Dickinson (Stanley Matthews was rested) lost to a 38th minute goal scored by Haitian Joe Gaetjens, who waited on tables for a living.
England hit the woodwork four times, one effort was ‘cleared’ from a yard behind the goal line; England keeper Bert Williams did not touch the ball in the second half; and Mortenson was rugby tackled by Charley Columbo when clear on goal… but an equaliser never came.
Back home some newspapers assumed the scoreline to be a typing error and credited England with a 10-1 victory.

2 – Argentina v Cameroon 1990 –
Italia 90’s curtain raiser at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan paired defending champions Argentina with Cameroon and nobody gave the Africans a hope in hell; but the ‘Indomitable Lions’ were no wide eyed innocents, returning home from Espana ‘82 unbeaten, drawing with Italy, Poland and Peru.
They beat eventual finalists Argentina with a subtle blend of skill and extreme violence. After soaking up pressure from the Argentinians for the first hour of the game Cameroon had Andre Kana dismissed.
Incredibly, the ten men then took the lead when Omam Biyik rose athletically to plant a downward header that squirmed under keeper Nery Pumpido and over the line.
Cameroon were further reduced to nine men when Benjamin Massing was sent off for an almost poetically savage foul on Claudio Caniggia. Cannigia picked up a loose ball in his own half and sprinted up the park, twice he had his heels clipped, and ran his last twenty yards with his body way ahead of his legs desperately trying to regain his balance, before Massing moved in with a coup de grace that left the blond striker pole axed and lying still on the turf.
Nine man Cameroon held out for the remaining few minutes before the final whistle heralded wild scenes of celebration.


3 – Scotland v Peru 1978 –
Scotland began their Argentinian Adventure in Cordoba, riding on a huge wave of Ally McLeod-inspired overconfidence. They got off to a decent start when Peru keeper Ramon Quiroga spilled a shot from Bruce Rioch, allowing Joe Jordan to open the scoring in the 14th minute; but three minutes before the break Peru unzipped Scotland’s defence and Cesar Cueto fired an equaliser past Alan Rough.
On the hour the Scots wasted a chance to equalise after Rioch and been scythed down in the area by Hector Chumpitaz. Don Masson’s poor spot kick was easily blocked by Quiroga and Scotland’s spirits seemed to slump.
Teofilo Cubillas gave Peru a 72nd minute lead with a superb free-kick struck with the outside of his foot. Five minutes later Cubillas found the top left hand corner of Rough’s goal again, this time with a shot on the run from 25 yards.
This wasn’t one of the World Cup’s biggest upsets, Peru were a decent side and Scotland had never progressed past the first round, but Ally McLeod had created an illusion that Scotland were invincible and in one evening their high hopes had been brought to earth with a bump.


4 – Spain v Northern Ireland 1982.
Billy Bingham played at outside-right for Northern Ireland in all five of their games in the 1958 World Cup in Sweden; the next time they qualified, in 1982, Bingham was the manager. Ireland drew 0-0 with Yugoslavia and 1-1 with Honduras, before facing Spain in the final group game.
After a bruising first half encounter the Irish stunned the 50,000 crowd in the Estadio Luis Casanova, Valencia when they took the lead against their hosts two minutes after the break.
Gerry Armstrong went on a 70 yard surging run and fed to ball to Billy Hamilton down the right. His cross was intercepted by Arconada, but the Spanish keeper succeeded only in teeing up Gerry Armstrong with a chance which he smashed home from ten yards.
Northern Ireland had 43 minutes to hang on, which looked even less likely when Mal Donaghy was sent off with half an hour remaining. But a combination of luck, gritty determination; and veteran keeper Pat Jennings in great form, saw Northern Ireland, hold out for a famous victory, topping Group 5.
Billy Bingham beamed from ear to ear as he hugged his captain Martin O’Neill – having emulated his own achievement as a player in making it into Round Two…

5 – Costa Rica v Scotland 1990.
Drawn in a Group C alongside Brazil and Sweden, Scotland’s best hope of a win appeared to be in their opening game at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, against World Cup debutants Costa Rica.
But well travelled coach Bora Milutonivic had the Costa Ricans moulded into a tight unit capable of a decent passing game. After Scotland had pushed forward throughout the first half to no avail, the underdogs took the lead four minutes into the second half. A sweeping move upfield saw seven passes pinged around, then a smart back heel executed by Geovanny Jara allowed Juan Cayasso the time and space to slot the ball past Jim Leighton.
Scotland had 40 minutes to retrieve the situation but they found goalkeeper Luis Conejo in fine form. His finest moment saw him block a Mo Johnston effort from point blank range. Scotland could not find a way through and the final whistle saw their hopes of progressing into the knockout stages in tatters.
Although the Scots beat Sweden 2-1, so did Costa Rica, and they proudly took second place in Group C, behind Brazil.

6 – North Korea v Italy 1966.
North Korea qualified for their first World Cup in 1966 but were unsure what sort of reception they would get from the people of Middlesbrough, just thirteen years after the end of the Korean War. They needn’t have worried, Teeside’s football fans welcomed them with open arms and cheered them to the rafters in their three games at Ayresome Park.
After a 3-0 defeat against the USSR and a 1-1 draw with Chile it looked as though the Koreans would be bowing out after their last Group 4 game against Italy.
But a Doo Ik Pak strike in the 42nd minute was the only goal of the game and a stunned Italy returned home to the traditional rotten tomatoes reception.
The Koreans almost pulled off an even bigger shock in their quarter-final at Goodison Park, going 3-0 up against Portugal within 25 minutes. But Eusebio then scored four times, Portugal won 5-3, and normal service was resumed.

7 – South Korea’s win over Italy in 2002.
Having lost to North Korea in 1966 Italy completed the set in 2002, suffering defeat at the hands of co-hosts South Korea in a second round tie in Daejeon.
You would be hard pressed to find an Italian who accepts the scoreline at face value, however, with conspiracy theories claiming that South Korea were being ‘helped’ towards the final.
In the 4th Christian Panucci hauled Seol Ki-Hyeon to the ground in the area, but Ahn Jung-Hwan’s spot kick was brilliantly saved by Gianluigi Buffon.
The Azzurri then went ahead in the 18th minute when Christian Vieri nodded home from a corner.
Italy decided to sit on their lead and clammed up, a tactic that almost worked until the 88th minute when a defensive error from Panucci allowed Seol Ki-Hyeon in for an equaliser.
Extra-time saw Ecuadorian referee Byron Moreno mired in controversy. He showed Francesco a yellow card for diving in the penalty area when he had clearly had his trailing leg kicked and had a poke in the eye for good measure. It was his second caution so Mr Moreno solemnly raised the red card.
Ten man Italy then scored what proved to be a legitimate goal but Damiano Tomassi was incorrectly flagged offside.
With three minutes of extra-time remaining Ahn Jung-Hwan made amends for his penalty miss, heading home the Golden Goal winner and heightening Italy’s seething sense of injustice. They had already had four ‘goals’ disallowed in the tournament, and were convinced that they had been nobbled.
The quarter-final match between Spain and South Korea did nothing to allay the Italians suspicions, with Ruben Baraja and Fernando Morientes both having seemingly good goals ruled out before the Korean’s progressed to the semi-finals.

8 – Senegal beat holders France in 2002.
Senegal, playing in their first World Cup, sensationally beat their former colonial masters, World Cup holders and European Champions France in the opening game of the 2002 tournament.
Les Bleus, who were missing an injured Zinedine Zidane, looked a shadow of the side that had beaten Brazil in the final four years earlier.
After half an hour El Hadji Diouf charged down the left before squaring the ball for Pape Bouba Diop who took advantage of ponderous defending to net from close in.
He ran to the corner flag, took off his shirt, laid it carefully on the turf and, joined by his team mates, did a funny little dance round it.
Although Thierry Henry struck the crossbar with shot from the edge of the area the scoreline remained 1-0 and Senegal ended the game as worthy winners.
They progressed into the second round where they beat Sweden 2-1, before losing 1-0 to Turkey in the quarter finals.
France drew 0-0 with Uruguay, lost 2-0 to Denmark and went home with out scoring a goal. They were the first reigning World Cup champions since Brazil in 1966 to be eliminated at the group stage.

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9 – Algeria 2-1 West Germany 1982.
When European Champions West Germany faced Algeria, in their first World Cup, in Gijon no one gave the Desert Foxes a chance, certainly not German coach Jupp Derwall who promised: “If we don’t beat Algeria I’ll take the next train home!”
But Algeria, playing an exciting brand of attacking football, took the lead early in the second half when Rabah Madjer seized on a loose ball from a Harald Schumacher save.
That improbable lead lasted just 13 minutes before Karl-Heinz Rummenigge restored parity sliding into the six yard box to meet a low cross from the left.
But the north Africans’ spirits were not dampened and straight from the kick off they poured forward, Lakhdar Belloumi producing a carbon copy of Rummenigge’s goal to regain the lead.
This time, despite several close calls, there was no way back for Germany and the final whistle sparked wild celebrations from players and supporters.
Sadly Algeria did not reap the reward for their great achievement, West Germany and Austria conspiring to claim first and second slots in Group 2 for themselves… and Jupp Derwall never did catch that train.

10 – Italy 0:1 Ireland 1994.
Italy met the Republic of Ireland in the Giants Stadium, East Rutherford, New Jersey in the opening game of Group E.
The Irish and Italians from New York arrived en masse and there were 75,000 fans who witnessed Ireland’s giant killing act.
The kick off was delayed when both teams lined up in the tunnel wearing white shirts, but after the Irish had changed into their traditional green they didn’t have to wait long for something to celebrate. From 25 yards Ray Houghton floated a majestic shot over Italian keeper Gianluca Pagliuca and under the crossbar, sending the Irish contingent wild with delight.
A five man midfield and an inspired performance by centre-half Paul McGrath kept the Italians at bay for the remaining 79 minutes of the game, before the supporters set off to paint New jersey and New York green.
Ireland lost to Mexico and drew with Norway and for first and to date only time a World Cup group ended with all four teams level on 4 points.
Ireland and Italy could not be separated by goal difference or goals scored so Ireland progressed because they had beaten Italy when the teams played each other.
Italy also sneaked through as one of the best third placed teams and made it all the way to the final, while Ireland lost 2-0 to Holland in the second round.

Much, much more old stuff in ‘The Lost World of Football’ – rediscover it… available now in branches of WH Smiths and Waterstones or can be ordered online here…  

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Got, Not Got’s Guide to the World Cup One Tournament Wonders…

The ‘Got, Not Got’ guide to those plucky nations/massive underachievers who have only made it to one tournament…

Cuba (1938). The Cubans got off to a cracking start beating Romania 2-1 in a first round replay, but then ran into a yellow wall in the second round… Sweden 8-0 Cuba. A reporter at the game commented: “Up to five goals is journalism, after that it is statistics.”

Dutch East Indies (1938). The country now known as Indonesia lost 6-0 to Hungary in their only World Cup game to date; a 14,000 mile round trip, for one heavy defeat, possibly representing the most effort for least return in the history of the game.

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Wales (1958). One of the best ever Welsh sides were runners-up to Czechoslovakia in qualifying Group 4, missing out on qualification to the World Cup in Sweden.
But the troubled situation in the Middle East had a happy outcome for the Red Dragons…
Egypt and Sudan refused to play Israel and Indonesia would only consider meeting them on neutral territory. FIFA declared Israel winners of their group and decided they must play one of the European runners-up. Belgium were drawn out of a hat, but didn’t fancy the fixture, Wales were drawn out next and so faced Israel in a two-legged play off. The Welsh won 2-0 in Tel Aviv and repeated the scoreline at Ninian Park. It was a circuitous route to Sweden but Wales acquitted themselves well, drawing with Hungary, Mexico and Sweden. Three points earned them a play-off with Hungary which they won 2-1 thanks to goals from Ivor Allchurch and Terry Medwin.
In the quarter-finals Wales met Brazil in Gothenburg, but a young 17 year old by the name of Pele scored the only goal of the game and Wales’ only World Cup adventure was over.

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Israel (1970). The troubled political situation in the Middle East has led to Israel competing in Asia, Europe and Oceania World Cup qualifiers before they finally became full members of UEFA in 1994.
Their solitary World Cup appearance was in 1970 when they lost 2-0 to Uruguay, drew 1-1 with Sweden and managed a 0-0 shut out against eventual finalists Italy.

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Zaire (1974). Now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zaire went to West Germany as newly-crowned African Champions in 1974. The Leopards failed to make much of an impression, however. They played reasonably well in a 2-0 defeat to Scotland, but were then thrashed 9-0 by Yugoslavia in Gelsenkirchen.
Brazil then beat them 3-0 in the last group game. For many the abiding memory of Zaire’s World Cup came from the Brazil game when the Champions were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out. On hearing the referee’s whistle right back Mwepu Ilunga charged out of the Zaire wall and hoofed the ball upfield, looking rather hurt when he received a yellow card.
Behind the humour, however, a more sinister story has since emerged.
Ilunga has claimed that Zairean Football Federation officials pilfered their wages, and they learnt just before the Yugoslavia game that they would make no financial gain from the tournament. “Before the Yugoslavia match we learnt that we were not going to be paid, so we refused to play.” The side were talked into playing the game but the fact that they were 6-0 down by half time illustrates that their hearts were no longer in it.
Zaire’s leader Mobutu Sese Seko decided that a pep talk was in order and sent his presidential guards round to the team hotel.
According to Ilunga: “They closed the hotel to all journalists and said that if we lost
0-4 to Brazil, none of us would be able to return home.”
A 3-0 scoreline suited Brazil, because it edged out Scotland on goal difference, and Zaire, who understandably wanted to go home to their families… 3-0 it was.

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Haiti (1974). The Caribbean Island was in the grip of the horrific regime of ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, who decided that Haiti were going to qualify for a World Cup, come what may. The CONCACAF Championship, was held entirely in Haiti and many refereeing decisions mysteriously went their way.
Haiti’s first, and to date last, World Cup started rather well when Emmanuel Sanon put them 1-0 up against Italy in the Olympiastadion, Munich. However, Italy pulled things round and managed a 3-1 victory. The day after the game defender Ernst Jean-Joseph tested positive in a dope test and was manhandled back to the training camp and beaten up by Haitian officials before being sent home.
The next game, in the same spectacular surroundings, went less well with a fine Poland side dismantling Haiti to the tune of 7-0; and they were then convincingly beaten 4-1 by Argentina.
The Duvalier regime was overthrown in 1986, and Haiti haven’t made it to a World Cup since.

Soccer - World Cup West Germany 1974 - Group One - West Germany v East Germany

East Germany (1974). The Deutsche Demokratische Republik national football side was in existence from 1952 when full FIFA membership was attained until German reunification in 1990. They achieved little in those 38 years, remaining in the shadow of neighbours West Germany, except for the one meeting between the two sides which occurred in the 1974 World Cup.
Both sides had already qualified for the next round but this was a politically sensitive fixture. Jürgen Sparwasser, who scored the only goal in this clash of ideologies as East beat West, claimed: “According to the rumours I was richly rewarded for the goal, with a car, a house and a cash premium. But that is not true.”
Although the players all received the Meister des Sports award for their triumph over Capitalism they would have been much better off losing because victory landed them in a second round group with Brazil, Argentina and Holland. West Germany lost the ‘German derby’, but they won the World Cup.

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Kuwait (1982). Kuwait’s Spanish adventure began well, with a 1-1 draw against Czechoslovakia, but soon descended into farce when they met France in Valladolid.
France went 3-0 up with goals from Bernard Genghini, Michel Platini, Didier Six, before Abdullah Al-Buloushi pulled one back from a quickly taken free-kick.
Alain Giresse appeared to have extinguished any hopes of a comeback when he netted to put France 4-1 ahead, but the Kuwaitis surrounded Soviet referee Miroslav Stupar protesting that they had stopped playing when they heard a whistle, which had come from the crowd. The ref was unmoved and it appeared that Kuwait were going to leave the field when the stately figure of Sheikh Fahid Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, president of the Kuwaiti Football Association and brother of the Kuwaiti Emir, made his way from his seat in the Royal Box down to the pitch. After a bit of a ticking off from the Sheikh, Stupar performed a spectacular u-turn and disallowed the goal. The French were rather miffed at this (it was the fourth French goal that the ref had disallowed) but Maxime Bossis soon restored the three goal advantage, sneaking one in at the near post.
Stupar was removed from the FIFA referee’s list for his craven spinelessness in the face of royalty, and the persuasive Sheikh met an ignominious end when Iraq invaded his country in 1990, being shot dead and then having his body run over by a tank.

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Canada (1986). For a large country with around 33,000,000 people, many of them of British extraction, you have wonder why Canada aren’t a bit better at football.
The Canucks’ solitary World Cup appearance came in Mexico where they lost 1-0 to France, 2-0 to Hungary and 2-0 to the USSR, flying home goalless and pointless.

Iraq (1986). It is a wonder that Iraq have ever managed to qualify for a World Cup. The only time they achieved it, in 1986, they had to play all their home games on neutral territory due to the Iran-Iraq War.
Since then the Lions of Mesopotamia have had to contend with far worse. Saddam Hussein’s pathological son Uday was placed in charge of the national side for the 1994 and 1998 qualifying campaigns, and he employed torture and imprisonment of players as a motivational tool. Own goals or missed penalties were punished with brutal floggings and prison sentences.
Even under a more benign leadership Iraq still can’t play qualifiers at home while under occupation and in 2008 and 2009 Iraq were suspended by FIFA due to governmental interference.
In Mexico, Iraq lost 1-0 to Paraguay and 2-1 to Belguim, with the nation’s greatest ever player Ahmad Radhi scoring their goal.
They also lost their third game against hosts Mexico 1-0, but at least they got to play in front of 111,000 at the Azteca Stadium.

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United Arab Emirates (1990). 1990 was only the UAE’s second attempt at qualifying for a World Cup, and the Falcons went unbeaten against Syria, North Yemen, South Korea, Qatar, China, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.
However, in Group D in Italia 90 they lost 2-0 to Columbia, 5-1 to West Germany and 4-1 to Yugoslavia… despite the not inconsiderable incentive of a Ferrari Testarossa for each player if they made it to the second round.

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Jamaica (1998). Jamaica had a patchy history of attempting to qualify for the World Cup. They first attempted it in 1966 and qualified for the final round, but were out of their depth losing 8-0 to Mexico and 7-0 to Costa Rica.
In the 1970 qualifiers they had taken a step backwards, with a 100% record of defeats. For 1974 they had to suspend 17 players for poor behaviour on a trip to Bermuda and in 1978 they lost out to Cuba, while in 1982 they couldn’t afford the entrance fee, and in 1986 they were suspended for financial reasons.
They finally made it in 1998, playing their first World Cup game against Croatia in Lens. Although Robbie Earle levelled after the Croatians took the lead, the Reggae Boyz lost 3-1. They then lost 5-0 against Argentina in Paris, but made the trip worthwhile with a 2-1 win over Japan in Lyon.

Senegal (2002). Senegal caused a sensation in their first ever World Cup appearance, beating World Cup holders and European Champions France in the opening game of the 2002 tournament. The Lions of Teranga beat their former colonial masters with Bouba Diop scoring the only goal of the game after half an hour. France never recovered, flying home after the group stage with a single point to their name, while Senegal drew 1-1 with Denmark and 3-3 with Uruguay to qualify for the knock out stages.
They continued to confound expectations beating Sweden 2-1 after extra time, having trailed to a Henrik Larsson goal, with Henri Camara scoring twice.
In the quarter finals the West Africans held out until the 7th minute of extra time against Turkey when a goal from Ilhan Mansiz finally sent them home.

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China (2002). China withdrew from FIFA between 1958 and 1979, and had several close calls in the following years, most notably a defeat to Hong Kong in Beijing when they only needed a draw to qualify for Mexico 86.
With the region’s strongest sides, Japan and South Korea, qualifying as joint-hosts the way opened up for China to qualify at last. Indonesia, Maldives and Cambodia were swept aside in the initial group stage, and then China came top of a group containing: United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Qatar and Oman.
Like many who had gone before them China found the real thing to be rather more difficult than the qualifiers. They lost 2-0 to Costa Rica; 4-0 to Brazil and 3-0 to Turkey.
At least they didn’t have far to go home.

Much more of this sort of thing in ‘The Lost World of Football’ – … available now in branches of WH Smiths and Waterstones or can be ordered online here…  

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