England, current World Cup holders, scrambled into the last eight of the current Mexico series on the strength of a second half penalty against Czechoslovakia tonight (Thursday).
England, current World Cup holders, scrambled into the last eight of the current Mexico series on the strength of a second half penalty against Czechoslovakia tonight (Thursday). Striker Allan Clarke, making his World Cup debut at Guadalajara, hammered the penalty into the Czech net to give England a scarcely merited 1-0 victory.
The only goal came in the 48th minute. Ladislav Kuna was penalised for handling the ball in the penalty area after momentarily losing balance. The Czechs protested briefly. Them 22-year-old Clarke coolly teed up the ball and gave goalkeeper Victor no chance with the spot kick.
The penalty followed a scrappy and undistinguished first half, with England tense and nervous as they struggled for the point necessary to win them a quarter final place.
Even Bobby Charlton, equalling the England record of 105 international appearances, had an unhappy game and was replaced by substitute Alan Ball early in the second half.
England's goal brought the game to life. Czechoslovakia at last began to show attacking initiative. Petras, always a threat, hit the crossbar from a free kick. Goalkeeper Banks tipped a fierce drive from Dobias against the crossbar.
At the other end, Ball and Cooper inspired some spirited England attacks. But the scoring touch once again eluded the English forwards.
As a result of the game, England take second place behind Brazil in the Guadalajara-based group Three. The quarter finals will bring a repeat of the 1966 World Cup final, with England playing West Germany in Leon.