19 October 1988, Kiev: This was only the second qualification match in the 1980s to be played out in Kiev. The previous one had been a 2-0 win against East Germany in the qualification ahead of the 1988 European Championships. On the back of recent success both in West Germany and in the Seoul Olympics, Soviet spirits ought to have been high. The Austrians' away qualifying wins during the 80s had come three times against Albania, once against Cyprus and once in Finland. This was a different proposition. In three friendly fixtures preparing for the qualification, the Austrians had looked less than convincing, and they would need something special to kick-start their campaign with even a single point.
RECENT: East Germany 2-0 Iceland
19 October 1988, East Berlin: The match was not without its talking points. As early as the fourth minute, Iceland are perhaps having a lucky escape when East Germany ace Andreas Thom races ball at feet into the visitors' area, only to have his run brought to a halt by Iceland left-back Gunnar Gíslason. Thom takes a tumble after the challenge, which easily could've led to action being taken by the Norwegian referee. However, as replays indicate, Thom probably made too much of it, and Mr Halle just let play continue.
From the news archives
One of the last qualifiers covered at italia1990.com is Iceland v Soviet Union (31 August 1988) from UEFA Group 3, provided by our writer kaltz. In addition, we give you the front page of the Icelandic newspaper Tíminn on 1 September 1988: Its headline was not so much the result of the game, as the naked person who entered the field. This is allegedly the first time this phenomenon was witnessed on a sporting venue on the island. Insular innocence stolen.
(Thanks to @WC1930blogger for notifying us.)
Updates and news
Italia1990.com is a work in progress, with also published material being continuously revised. We will only begin publishing match reports from the 1990 World Cup tournament when all qualifiers have been covered. We are currently focusing on the UEFA qualifiers, which will remain our priority for a while yet. Also check out our section for international friendlies. There is no particular pattern as to what friendlies we decide to report from, but there will be parallel progress as we keep working our way through the qualification groups. To receive updates on twitter, follow @1990qual and @1990worldcup
NEXT: Soviet Union v Austria (autumn 1988 qualifier). Expected May 2018.
From the archives
Italia1990.com is a website dedicated to the 1990 FIFA World Cup. With the aim to collect all knowledge and analyse every aspect of Italia'90, this website will for a considerable time be a work in progress. The website publishes everything worth to know not only about the World Cup tournament itself, but also its build-up, including the qualification stage. While match info and statistics are important, this website will also stress match reports, anecdotes and analyses. Two writers are currently engaged in the project, kaltz (@1990qual) and domizio (@1990worldcup).
This website, italia1990.com, is non-commercial and unofficial, and not affiliated to FIFA. Header image: The sky above Stadio Olimpico, and the area around the stadium (1989).
This website is open to improvements and corrections. We seek all knowledge available on the 1990 World Cup (incl. the qualification) and are interested in all possible stories and perspectives. Please get in touch if there is anything you would like to notify us about.