Yugoslavia – Qualification for Italia ’90

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Yugoslavia were certainly among the stronger third seeds in the UEFA zone, and it had been the other Group 5 teams’ bad fortune that Ivica Osim’s troops had ended up there. They had featured in two international tournaments at the start of the 80s, although they had ultimately failed to deliver much in either of the ’82 World Cup or the ’84 European Championships, failing to get past the group stages on either occasion.

In qualification ahead of the 1988 European Championships, Yugoslavia had shown a great deal of promise, but they’d finished well beaten by England. It had been Osim’s first qualification in charge of the national team, and the now 47 year old former Željezničar manager and player for his country had gained valuable experience. He had a crop of delightfully talented players at his disposal, and so Yugoslavia surely would be there or thereabouts come late 1989. Read more . . .

Match reports and analyses

Qualifier 1: Scotland 1-1 Yugoslavia
19.10.1988, Hampden Park (Glasgow)
Goal: Katanec
Line-up (5-3-2): Ivković – Stanojković, Radanović, Jozić, Hadžibegić, Spasić (Brnović 83) – Stojković, Baždarević, Katanec – Cvetković (Šabanadžović 90), Zl. Vujović (c)
Yugoslavia manage to return back home with a point after a hardfought battle with a sound Scottish team. They had to come from a goal down to rescue a draw; Katanec had poked home on the near post following a corner. Osim had lined his team up in a 5-3-2, and for longer spells Yugoslavia had dominated through the strength of their midfield, in which Stojković at times excelled. They needed a firm intervention from Ivković late on to prevent Scotland from scoring the winner.

Qualifier 2: Yugoslavia 3-2 France
19.11.1988, Stadion JNA (Belgrade)
Goals: Spasić, Sušić, Stojković.
Line-up (4-4-2): Ivković – Stanojković, Jozić, Hadžibegić, Spasić (Jurić h-t) – Katanec, Stojković, Baždarević, Sušić – Zl. Vujović (c).

Qualifier 3: Yugoslavia 4-0 Cyprus
11.12.1988, Stadion Crvena Zvezda (Belgrade)
Goals: Savićević 3, Hadžibegić (pen.)
Line-up (5-3-2): Ivković – Stanojković, Jozić, Hadžibegić, Spasić (Jurić h-t), Brnović – Stojković, Baždarević, Sušić – Savićević, Zl. Vujović (c)
Yugoslavia must deal with the loss of Katanec (suspended), though weak Cyprus are never a match. 30-35 minutes of up-tempo play and some slick passing sees the hosts rewarded with twin-look goals from exciting young forward Savićević, and by the time libero Hadžibegić has added a late first half penalty goal, the only question is how big the winning margin would be. Cyprus go very negative after the break, something which unsettles the hosts, though Savićević strikes again to complete his hat-trick late on.

Friendly: Greece 1-4 Yugoslavia
Goals: Zl. Vujović 2, Tuce, Jakovljević
Line-up (5-3-2): Ivković – Stanojković (Tuce 67), Hadžibegić, Jozić, Zo. Vujović, Spasić – Stojković, Sušić, Baždarević (Đurovski 87) – Mihajlović (Jakovljević 64), Zl. Vujović (c)

Qualifier 4: France 0-0 Yugoslavia
29.04.1989, Parc des Princes (Paris)
Line-up (5-4-1): Ivković – Stanojković, Hadžibegić, Spasić, Jozić, Zo. Vujović – Stojković, Katanec, Sušić, Baždarević – Zl. Vujović (c) (D. Brnović 87′).
Unused subs: Omerović, Jakovljević, Tuce.
Osim’s side delivered what probably was the perfect game away from home, finding a good balance between defensive security and attacking risk. They generally looked comfortable with men behind the ball, sitting with a deep defensive line, and they were rapid when breaking forward. Especially through Stojković on the right flank and forward Zlatko Vujović. Their time-wasting was also overall excellent.

Friendly: Belgium 1-0 Yugoslavia
27.05.1989, Stade du Heysel (Brussels)
Line-up: Ivković (Omerović HT) – Stanojković, Spasić (Vujačić HT), Janković, Đurovski, D. Brnović, Zo. Vujović, Sušić, Jakovkljević, Stojković (Savićević HT), Milojević.
Mix of regulars and fringe players in this friendly. Đurovski, Jakovkljević, Janković, and Milojević, who all had figured at some point in the international 88-89 season. Central defender Budimir Vujačić (Vojvodina) receives his first cap when coming on as a sub at HT, and so does regular 2nd goalkeeper Omerović.

Qualifier 5: Norway 1-2 Yugoslavia
14.06.1989, Ullevaal Stadion (Oslo)
Goals: Stojković, Vujović.
Line-up (5-4-1): Ivković – Stanojković, Hadžibegić, Spasić, Jozić, Zo. Vujović – Stojković, Katanec, Sušić (Vujačić 73′), Baždarević – Zl. Vujović (c).
Continuity for Osim, and his fluid 5-4-1 proves very successful against Norway. Stojković in his free role gives a man of the match performance, and beautifully curls in the first goal. Yugoslavia dominate, but their defensive line is very deep and invites Norwegian pressure through long balls and physical play. Jozić sent off for two yellow cards.

Friendly: Finland 2-2 Yugoslavia
Goals: Pancev, Savicevic.
Line-up: Omerović – Stanojković, Marović (Vujačić h-t), Spasić, Vulić, Jurić – D. Brnović, Prosinećki (Mijatović HT), Stojković (c) – Pancev, Savićević.

Qualifier 6: Yugoslavia 3-1 Scotland
06.09.1989, Stadion Maksimir (Zagreb)
Line-up (

Friendly: Yugoslavia 3-0 Greece
Goals: D Brnović, Prosinečki, Pančev
Line-up (3-5-2): Ivković (Leković h-t) – Spasić (Panadić 63), Jozić (Petrić h-t), Vujačić – B Brnović, Prosinečki, Zo. Vujović, Stojković (c) (Mijatović h-t), D Brnović (Stanojković h-t) – Pančev, Jakovljević

Qualifier 7: Yugoslavia 1-0 Norway
11.10.1989, Olimpijski Stadion (Sarajevo)
Line-up (

Qualifier 8: Cyprus 1-2 Yugoslavia
28.10.1989, Olympiakó Stádio (Athens, Greece)
Line-up (


Final position: 1 (out of 5 – qualified)
Total record: 8 6 2 0 16-6 14
Home record: 4 4 0 0 11-3 8
Away record: 4 2 2 0 5-3 6

Player statistics

Number of players used:
Number of players including unused substitutes:
Ever-presents (720 mins):
Leading goalscorer:
Yellow/red cards:

– overview

– game by game

PlayerSco (a)Fra (h)Cyp (h) Fra (a)Nor (a)Sco (h) Nor (h) Cyp (a)Total
D. Brnović7903R
Vujović, Zl.9090908790
Vujović, Zo.9090

– ratings


14.11.1989 Brazil 0-0 Yugoslavia
Line-up (5-4-1): Ivković – Stanojković, Spasić, Hadžibegić (c), Panadić, Marović – Stojković, Janković (Boban 64), Prosinečki, D Brnović – Savićević
Osim set his troops up in a defensive formation, and they rarely got much joy out of dominant hosts. However, Yugoslavia kept their shape at the back, and did not allow the fancied Brazilians much. Could’ve lost it at the end as Bebeto struck the post.

13.12.1989 England 2-1 Yugoslavia
Goal: Škoro
Line-up (5-4-1): Ivković – Stanojković, Spasić (Petrić 82), Hadžibegić, Vulić, D Brnović (Panadić 77) – Savevski, Stojković, Sušić (c) (Prosinečki 77), Škoro – Mihajlović
Another defensive approach, but Yugoslavia were often par with the hosts in balance of play, but could not prevent the goalscoring prowess of Robson. Undone inside the first minute, then the excellent Škoro struck sweetly to even up. Could not prevent Parker setting up 2-1.

28.03.1990 Poland 0-0 Yugoslavia

26.05.1990 Yugoslavia 0-1 Spain

03.06.1990 Yugoslavia 0-2 Netherlands