Editor’s note: Each day between now and the kickoff of the first match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup on Nov. 20, we’ll unveil a different memory from World Cup history. The countdown from 101 continues with Lothar Matthäus’ solo goal vs. Yugoslavia.
Say what you want about the optional defending from Yugoslavia on this one; it’s still hard to dribble end-to-end and then score at a World Cup.
Yet that’s exactly what West Germany captain Lothar Matthäus did when these two European rivals met in their opening group stage game at Italia ‘90.
Matthäus picked the ball up in his own half and slalomed deep into enemy territory, then shrugged off a challenge (really the only one he faced) from Davor Jozić. With Jozić’s teammates retreating, he fired a right-footed blast into the bottom corner of Tomislav Ivković’s goal from well outside the Yugoslav’s 18-yard box.
The goal was one of two on the day by Matthäus, and the emphatic 4-1 triumph set the tone the rest of the tournament for the Germans, who went on to hoist the World Cup for the third time.