100 most iconic World Cup moments: 90-81

Friday, 13th April 2018, 11:25 am
Updated Friday, 13th April 2018, 12:04 pm

We carry on our countdown of the 100 most iconic moments in World Cup history with 90 to 81.

Check back next week for moments 80 to 71.

90. World champions Italy humbled in South Africa, 2010

2006 champions got their campaign off to an indifferent start following draws against Paraguay and tournament minnows New Zealand. Worse was to come, however with a 3-2 defeat at the hands of Slovakia - leaving the reigning world champions at the foot of their group.

89. Rob Green spills, 2010

England's 2010 World Cup campaign got off to a dream start when Steven Gerrard put a neat finish past American keeper Tim Howard inside five minutes. Things would quickly go downhill for Fabio Capello's men. When Clint Dempsey whipped a tame shot at stopper Robert Green, the keeper failed to make a routine save deflecting the Jabulani ball into the back of the net.

88. Michael Owen’s wonder goal, 1998

Long before he evolved into the most monotonous pundit of all time, Michael Owen was busy lighting up the world with his blinding brand of football. As a fresh-faced teenager, Owen terrorised the Argentina backline with a quite remarkable dribble and finish.

87. Nazi Germany lose to Switzerland, 1938

During his reign Adolf Hitler attempted to use major sporting events like the 1936 Berlin Olympics and the 1938 World Cup to display Germany's athletic might. Recruiting players from neighbouring Austria, Hitler aimed to earn Germany their first World Cup. Unfortunately for the dictator, Germany were dumped out of the first round of the 1938 World Cup by Switzerland following a 4-2 defeat in Paris.

86. Robben embarasses Spain, 2014

This rematch of the 2010 World Cup Final defied all expectations, as the Netherlands earned revenge in truly staggering style against the seemingly invincible Spanish. Arjen Robben was at his powerful best, chipping in with two goals. The latter of the brace saw him embarrass the Spanish defence and their veteran goalkeeper Iker Casillas, with his thunderous pace and patient finishing.

85. Jimmy Greaves catches a dog, 1962

England faced an uphill struggle when they took on a Brazil team that boasted the talents of Garrincha and Amarildo. All 22 players came unstuck, however, when a playful canine invaded the pitch and evaded the grasps of several men in yellow and white. Jimmy Greaves stepped up and prevented the game from descending into a complete and utter farce, but England went on to lose the game 3-1.

84. Robbie Keane last minute equaliser v Germany, 2002

Boasting the talents of Oliver Kahn in goals and Miroslav Klose up front, eventual finalists Germany were a formidable opponent for Mick McCarthy's green army. Trailing 1-0 to a Klose goal with seconds on the clock, Robbie Keane demonstrated nerves of steel with a composed touch and finish.

83. The first golden goal, 1998

The last 16 fixture between France and Paraguay proved a cagey affair, with the Zidaneless hosts unable to stamp their authority on the game. Laurent Blanc stepped up to send the French into the quarter-finals in a tournament they would eventually win.

82. Fabio Grosso’s disbelief, 2006

The 2006 semi-final between Germany and Italy seemed destined for a penalty shootout following 119 goalless minutes. Defender Fabio Grosso had other ideas, spanking home a curling shot beyond keeper Jens Lehman. A celebration devoid of any control followed, as the then Palermo player sprinted downfield shaking his head in disbelief.

81. Nigel de Jong’s karate kick, 2010

The 2010 World Cup final was awful.

At times the game resembled a WWE Royal Rumble, as players appeared content to perform late tackles, each dirtier than the next. The filthiest of all came from Nigel De Jong, when he stretched for an unreachable ball and stabbed Spaniard Xabi Alonso in the midriff with his studded boots.

De Jong escaped with a yellow card and a telling off from Rotherham referee Howard Webb.