Former England worldwide Lee Dixon admitted he couldn’t assist however snort after San Marino scored that notorious purpose in opposition to Three Lions again of their 1993 World Cup qualifier.
England host the minnows at Wembley on Thursday evening within the first match of their 2022 World Cup qualifying marketing campaign, and Gareth Southgate’s man will probably be hoping to keep away from making the identical mistake Stuart Pearce made when San Marino surprised England nearly 30 years in the past.
England made undesirable historical past in opposition to the European minnows once they went 1-Zero up after simply 8.33 seconds again in that conflict again in 1993, recording the quickest in World Cup qualifying historical past – a file since eclipsed by Christian Benteke who scored in 8.1 seconds for Belgium in 2018.
Stuart Pearce tried to intercept a ball in behind and tried to move it again to David Seaman, however it by no means reached the goalkeeper as Davide Gualtieri was in a position to stab dwelling and put San Marino forward.
Famously, commentator Jonathan Pearce wasn’t even in a position to full his welcome earlier than the ball was within the internet, saying: “To Bologna for England versus San Marino with Tennent’s Pilsner, brewed with Czechoslovakian yeast for that additional Pilsner style… and England are one down.”
England went on to win 7-1, however it was a memorable second in World Cup qualifying historical past.
“My England profession might have ended that evening,” Dixon advised talkSPORT Breakfast, forward of the seventh assembly between the nations on Thursday evening.
“We have been enjoying San Marino and I’m not saying you’re not centered, however the recreation has kicked off and down the opposite aspect.
“So I’m wandering round going it’ll simply return and Pearcy [Stuart Pearce] will do one thing. So, how am I going to get entangled within the transfer going the opposite manner?
“I seemed over and noticed Pearcy go to knock it again to David Seaman, and it’s gone in.
“If it had been as we speak the place there are 50million cameras I might have needed to retire, as a result of I burst out laughing.
“I used to be in such shock, my response was ‘I don’t know what to do now’. So I simply laughed. I really discovered it fairly amusing on the time and instantly went into, ‘oh my god, what are the papers going to say?’”
Although England went on to win, supervisor Graham Taylor resigned from his put up simply six days after that recreation because the Three Lions did not qualify for the World Cup for the primary time in 16 years.
A disappointing qualifying marketing campaign and a defeat to the Netherlands of their penultimate recreation, Taylor’s aspect went into their closing match needing to beat San Marino by seven objectives and hope the Dutch did not beat Poland to succeed in the USA.
However, fortuitously for Pearce, Holland one once more to in the end make England’s San Marino win – and the defender’s mistake on the again – meaningless.
Pearce, who will probably be within the co-commentator seat for talkSPORT at Wembley, joined on the Breakfast present: “Going into the sport, I assumed to myself ‘what can I do to get a chuckle out of Dicko [Lee Dixon] tonight?’
“A second of weak point on the soccer pitch, these days I solely have a second of weak point round a cake counter.
“We needed to win the sport by seven clear objectives and hope the Dutch misplaced their recreation, I feel they have been enjoying Poland.
“The sport ended up 7-1, so that might have been six objectives, so I wished to go in there and was praying the Dutch gained.
“If the Dutch had dropped factors, we’d have ended going out by one purpose. It might have gotten worse.”
Gareth Southgate will probably be hoping to keep away from the same destiny and declare an ideal begin to his crew’s street to the 2022 Qatar World Cup.