September 5th 1993
Place: Buenos Aires
Argentina 0-5 Colombia
The Argentina-Colombia game on September 5th, 1993 went down as one of the biggest surprised results of the 1990's. The game was the last game of the Group A of CONMEBOL's World Cup Qualifiers. On the standing, Colombia led Argentina by a single point. They had already clinched a continental playoff spot against Australia. They had also beaten Argentina 2-1 less than a month ago at home. The match ended Argentina's 33 matches unbeaten run. Meanwhile, Argentina was two points ahead of Paraguay. However, the September 5th match would be played in Buenos Aires. Argentina won the last two Copa Americas. No one thought Colombia could beat Argentina..... not by 5 goals. Diego Maradona who made his return to the national team earlier in the year did not play in the match, but he made a controversial comment on TV before the game. “The Colombians have to know that Argentina is always up here,” his right hand pointing to his head, before plunging downwards to his chest, “and the Colombians down here”.
With Maradona sitting in the stand, the home team started well. Gabriel Batistuta was causing a lot of problems for Colombia. Then, on the 41st minute, Carlos Valderama sent a through ball to Freddy Rincon and he beat Goycochea for the first goal. The goal was very similar to the one Freddy Rincon scored against West Germany at the World Cup Finals in 1990. The floodgate had opened. Rincon would add one more goal in the second half, Faustino Asprilla would score two more and Adolf Valencia one more. It was Argentina's darkest day in football.
On the next day, The most important sports magazine of Argentina, El Gráfico, posted a completely black cover on its frontage with the only legend: "Shame". Colombia suddenly became the favourite of the WC Finals in 1994. Perhaps, the result led to false expectations and their WC campaign was disastrous.
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.