San Marino has never made the FIFA World Cup before, yet it does boast the honour of scoring the fastest goal in a qualifying match when Davide Gualtieri struck in the first eight seconds against England. England ended up winning the tie, 7-1, but amazingly failed to qualify for USA ’94 finishing third in its group behind Norway and the Netherlands.
USA’s Fernando Clavijo was the oldest player to be sent off at the FIFA World Cup in America’s second-round match with Brazil. He was 37 years and 162 days old.
Russia and Cameroon Set Tournament Records at the 1994 FIFA World Cup
In Cameroon’s group stage match with Brazil, the age difference between Rigobert Song and Roger Milla was a tournament record of 24 years and 42 days between them. Song, who was sent off, was 17 years and 358 days, while Milla was at the ripe old age of 42 years and 35 days.
Four days later, Milla became the oldest player to ever appear and score in the FIFA World Cup when he achieved the notable feat in Cameroon’s shock 6-1 defeat to Russia. He was 42 years and 39 days old. Furthermore, in that match, Russia’s Oleg Salenko became the first and only player to ever score five goals in the FIFA World Cup – the most in any match of the tournament.
Salenko and Bulgaria’s Hristo Stoichkov each won the golden boot with six goals, but Salenko is interestingly the only player to play less than four matches and win the prestigious award. Additionally, six players scored at least five goals at USA ’94 which reached another tournament record. Brazil’s Romário, Germany’s Jürgen Klinsmann, Italy’s Roberto Baggio and Sweden’s Kennet Andersson all scored five each.
Russia’s earlier group stage match against Sweden saw Sergei Gorlukovich earn himself the joint quickest caution in FIFA World Cup history when he was booked in the very first minute. Gorlukovich was eventually sent off in the 49th minute as Russia succumbed to Sweden, 3-1.
Bulgaria finally won a FIFA World Cup match on its 17th attempt – a 4-0 victory over Greece. In fact, Bulgaria enjoyed subsequent victories over Argentina and Germany as it went on to post its best ever performance at the tournament in finishing fourth behind Sweden, Italy and Brazil.
Gianluca Pagliuca became the first ever goalkeeper to be sent off at the World Cup finals when his indiscretion in the 21st minute saw him receive his marching orders by German referee, Heinz Hellmut Krug. Although, Italy remarkably still won the match, 1-0, courtesy of a Dino Baggio strike 20 minutes before time.
Sweden’s Loss at the FIFA World Cup is Brazil’s Gain
Sweden’s 1-0 semi-final defeat against Brazil was the seventh time the two sides had played each other at the FIFA World Cup (a current record). Sweden has yet to beat Brazil during the tournament in only producing two draws from its seven encounters, which includes a 5-2 defeat on home soil in the final of the 1958 FIFA World Cup.
Moreover, Sweden has often been thwarted by Brazil in the Europeans’ most critical matches throughout the FIFA World Cup, with the Swedes reaching the top four of a FIFA World Cup without winning it four times (the most). The Scandinavians finished fourth in 1938 following a 4-2 third-place final defeat to Brazil, third in 1950 and 1994 after respective 7-1 and 1-0 penultimate defeats to the Samba Kings and second in 1958 as previously mentioned.
The Final of the 1994 FIFA World Cup between Italy and Brazil
Italy and Brazil met each other for a record second time at the final of the FIFA World Cup in 1994 as both teams played out the first goalless draw and the first penalty shoot-out in the final of the tournament. Brazil eventually won, 3-2, on penalties after Roberto Baggio skied his spot-kick high over the crossbar to confirm Brazil’s fourth FIFA World Cup crown.
It took Bolivia six matches to finally score a goal at the FIFA World Cup after appearing in the tournament for the first time 64 years ago. However, Erwin Sánchez struck in the 67th minute in a 3-1 loss to Spain, as the South Americans bowed out of the tournament with only one point following a goalless draw with South Korea.
Switzerland holds the unwanted honour of playing in a record 22 games in which it didn’t keep a clean sheet. The record spanned 60 years from 1934 – 1994. However, Switzerland did enjoy some success when it beat Romania, 4-1; as it broke a 40-year drought in winning its first match in the FIFA World Cup since 1954.
Mexico’s Hugo Sánchez is only one of six players to have played over a 16-year period in the FIFA World Cup. He first appeared in 1978 and last appeared in 1994.