• World Cup

Second XI: Greatest World Cup goals

Robin Hackett
March 3, 2010
Lothar Matthaus celebrates after scoring against Yugoslavia © Getty Images

With 18 World Cups already been and gone, there have been more great World Cup goals than a First XI could handle.

As such, for their list of the greatest World Cup goals of all time, Soccernet are kicking off with a Second XI this week and will follow with the final cut next week.

Several factors were taken into account including the importance of the goal and the quality of the opposition but, above all, it's the goals themselves that have determined their placing in the list.

22. Lothar Matthaus - West Germany vs Yugoslavia (1990 group stage)
The West Germans won their opening game of Italia '90 4-1, and Matthaus later said that the scale of that victory gave them the confidence to go on and win the tournament. His opener was a fine goal - turning Davor Jozic before firing a curling shot into the bottom corner from outside the area - but his second was even better, running half the length of the pitch, dancing around Jozic again before angling a rocket beyond goalkeeper Tomislav Ivkovic to make it 3-1.

21. Raimundo Orsi - Italy vs Czechoslovakia (1934 final)
Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini had called the Italian nation to a standstill ahead of their expected triumph on home soil, but it was only thanks to a spectacular goal from Argentinean-born Orsi that they managed it. The Italians were a goal down to the Czechs when, in the 81st minute, Orsi dummied a shot with his left before scoring an incredible chip shop with his right. Photographers asked Orsi to repeat the trick afterwards to stage a photo, but he was unable to recreate the effort. Bologna-born Angelo Schiavio then grabbed the winner in extra time to secure a victory for both the national side and Mussolini's propaganda war.

20. Abderrazak Khairi - Morocco vs Portugal (1986 group stage)
Coached by the Brazilian Jose Faria, Morocco produced a flowing team goal in '86 reminiscent of his countrymen as they secured a 3-1 win that made them the first African side to reach the second round in World Cup history. Morocco had yet to score as they entered the final group game, but Khairi had surprisingly put them ahead on 19 minutes with a fine long-range effort to beat Damas at his near post. Seven minutes later, he scored the goal of the game, rounding off a superb flowing move as, without Portugal getting a touch, they knocked the ball around in defence, played it to Aziz Bouderbala on the right wing, who knocked it back for Labid Khalifa to cross to the far post for Khairi to fire in a first-time controlled shot. Abdelkarim Krimau then made it 3-0 with another memorable effort, flicking the ball over the keeper from the edge of the area, before Diamantino restored some pride with an impressive chipped goal for Portugal. "Maybe I'll die and my son will die, and we'll still never get a result like this," Faria told reporters after the game. "For us, this is like winning the world championship."

19. Teofilo Cubillas - Peru vs Scotland (1978 group stage)
El Nene had a habit of scoring great goals and, in this match alone, he scored two spectacular efforts to help his side to a 3-1 victory. Having made his mark as a 20-year-old in 1970, Cubillas returned eight years later and entered legend, first with a strike into the top corner from around 25 yards and then - better yet - he put the ball into the same spot from an astonishing free-kick with the outside of his boot from just outside of the area.

Manuel Negrete scores his scissor-kick against Bulgaria © Getty Images

18. Manuel Negrete - Mexico vs Bulgaria (1986 second round)
Hosts Mexico reached the quarter-finals in '86 thanks to a 2-0 win over Bulgaria sparked by an incredible effort from Negrete. The midfielder was given space to control the ball on the edge of the area and then, after playing a quick one-two with Javier Aguirre, ran onto a cushioned, high pass on the edge of the box before performing a spectacular sideways scissor-kick.

17. Kennet Andersson - Sweden vs Brazil (1994 group stage)
Tomas Brolin, once lean and talented, played a key role as Sweden went a goal up in the 23rd minute of their 1-1 draw with the eventual champions. Skipping around a heavy challenge from Aldair, Brolin clipped a diagonal pass to the edge of the area for Andersson, who chested down before flicking the ball over the goalkeeper with the outside of his boot.

16. Diego Maradona - Argentina vs Belgium (1986 semi-final)
The undoubted star of the 1986 World Cup scored both goals in a 2-0 semi-final victory over Belgium, and the second was truly special. Receiving the ball from Jorge Valdano, Maradona danced effortlessly through a petrified Belgium defence before flicking the ball past hapless goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff.

Brazil celebrate Eder's late winner against Soviet Union © Getty Images

15. Eder - Brazil vs Soviet Union (1982 group stage)
Rated as strong pre-tournament favourites, Brazil suffered a shock in their opening Group 6 match as they fell behind to an improbable Andriy Bal strike after some woeful goalkeeping from Waldir Peres. With 15 minutes to spare, they restored their reputation in great style as the captain, Socrates, twice feinted before unleashing a shot into the top corner from 25 yards. Incredibly, Eder then outdid his team-mate to clinch a dramatic late winner. Substitute Paulo Isidoro played a diagonal ball back into the centre from out on the right, Falcao dummied and Eder flicked the ball up before powering it into the goal with his left foot as it dropped.

14. Maxi Rodriguez - Argentina vs Mexico (2006 second round)
Joe Cole scored a memorable chest trap and volley for England against Sweden in the group stage of the 2006 tournament, but the memory was eclipsed soon afterwards by this effort from Rodriguez. Chesting a cross-field pass from Juan Pablo Sorin, he struck the ball first time with his left boot into the top corner to give his team a 2-1 victory in extra time.

13. Nelinho - Brazil vs Italy (1978 third-place play-off)
While Zico and co didn't make it to the '78 final after finishing behind Argentina on goal difference in the second group stage, Nelinho at least helped them go out in style as they beat Italy 2-1 to clinch third place. His equaliser enjoyed the kind of build-up associated with the great 1970 team, and his finish was something else, a banana shot with the outside of his right boot past the great Dino Zoff into the far corner from out on the right flank.

Michael Owen takes the ball past Argentina's Jose Chamot © Getty Images

12. Michael Owen - England vs Argentina (1998 second round)
He's a different player now, but it's impossible to forget the impact the 18-year-old Owen made when he used his pace and balance to burst past Roberto Ayala and Jose Chamot before firing expertly beyond Carlos Roa to put England 2-1 ahead in only the 16th minute in Saint-Etienne. "As a teenager, I didn't realise what I had achieved," Owen said years after the goal. "The goal was instinctive."

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