(CNN Spanish) — Argentina and Australia will face each other this Saturday in one of the round of 16 matches of the Qatar 2022 World Cup. And although it will be the first World Cup match between the two teams, there is a precedent that is in the memory of the Argentines .
In 1993, the Argentine team led by Alfio Basile at the time finished second in their group in the South American Qualifiers for the 1994 World Cup in the United States, after a historic 0-5 defeat against Colombia in Buenos Aires. In those years, Conmebol played its qualifiers in two zones, unlike what is currently done.
That result and that position forced the albiceleste team to play a play-off against Australia, then representative of Oceania (today they play the Asian qualifiers).
The historic defeat against Colombia meant a real shock for Argentina that year, and also caused the return of Diego Maradona to the Albiceleste team, with whom he had not played since the World Cup final in Italy.
On October 30, 1993, in Sydney, Argentina and Australia matched 1 to 1. Forward Abel Balbo’s header, after Maradona’s cross, opened the scoring for the South Americans 37 minutes into the first half. However, 5 minutes later, Aurelio Vidmar marked the final equality.
The rematch was played on November 17 at the River Plate stadium, the scene of the painful defeat against Colombia. And in a very fought match, Argentina took the victory by 1 to 0 with a goal from striker Gabriel Batistuta in the first half. Thus, the South Americans qualified for the World Cup in the United States.
That game also has a thread that connects it to the one that will be played this Saturday. For that series, among several new players, Alfio Basile called up Carlos Mac Allister, Boca Juniors defender and father of Alexis Mac Allister, who scored Argentina’s first goal against Poland on Wednesday and will start against Australia.
The other official background is the match they played in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2005 in Germany, when Argentina won 4-2 in Group A. For the South Americans, Luciano Figueroa scored three times, while Juan Román Riquelme scored the rest. John Aloisi was the author of the two goals for the Australian team.
Argentina reached the round of 16 of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar after finishing first in Group C, ahead of Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia.
Australia, meanwhile, gave one of the surprises of the tournament by finishing second in Group D, with the same points as France and above Denmark, which was one of the favorites before the start of the World Cup.
Source: CNN Espanol