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Moment #3: England Beat Argentina In Five Minutes

This piece is by Paul Price, sole editor of The Technical Area.

It was a cold, autumnal Saturday evening in November 2005 in Geneva, Switzerland. With England having already booked their place at the 2006 World Cup, they had the opportunity to pit their wits against one of the world’s best teams in a friendly match. But it wasn’t Switzerland that England were facing, it was the Old Enemy, Argentina.

International Friendly. There has never been such a match between these two nations. England-Argentina is a bitter rivalry that goes way back, as far as the 1966 World Cup in fact, when England manager Sir Alf Ramsey ordered his players not to shake hands with their Argentinean counterparts after a controversial affair. Then there was  the “Hand Of God” controversy in the Quarter Finals of the 1986 World Cup, where Diego Maradona used a clenched fist to send the ball beyond the advancing Peter Shilton. Add to that the 1982 Falklands War and you have a history that renders the term “friendly” quite ridiculous.

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