Copa America 1995, Brazil v Argentina qf

July 18, 1995	Subject: Havelange 4, Argentina 2 (Gabriele  Marcotti)
July 18, 1995	Well that was disgraceful (Ariel Mazzarelli)
July 18, 1995	Oh, and the worst of all (Ariel Mazzarelli, Colin Morris, Adrian German)
July 18, 1995	Re: The Hand of God II (Ariel Mazzarelli)
July 18, 1995	Handballs, dives, et al (Loris Magnani)
July 19, 1995	La Mano de Havelange (Ariel Mazzarelli)
July 19, 1995	Top 10 reasons why Brasil is still playing in Copa America (Ariel Mazzarelli)
July 19, 1995	Justice At Last (Shaggy, Garry Archer, Ariel Mazzarelli)

From: (Gabriele  Marcotti)
Subject: Havelange 4, Argentina 2
Date: July 18, 1995

For those who don't know Brazil beat Argentina 4-2 on penalties. Here are 
a few thoughts on the game. First of all I should say that I'm neither 
Brazilian nor Argentinian, nor am I a big fan of either country. As a 
matter of fact, my country (Italy) was bounced by these two teams in the 
last two World Cups (on penalties no less). My favorite club team (Inter) 
has one player on each team, so once again my loyalties are divided.
Here goes:

1) Argentina had the upper hand during the entire game. Balbo missed the 
easiest of goals, Batistuta was unjustly called off-sides a few times, 
and Argentina could've scored three or four. They deserved to win.

2) Tulio's goal was bullshit, as anybody who saw it can attest to. Some 
may say it was divine retribution for Diego's hand of God goal, but the 
reality is that Argentina was once again screwed by the establishment. Or 
if you look at it another way, Brazil got a little push. Think hard, how 
many convincing wins against top teams has Brazil had in the last two 
years? Penalty squeakers against Italy and Argentina, off-side goals 
against Holland, dubious play against Sweden... this is hardly a great team.

3) What was most frustrating to me as a soccer fan was the play on the 
field. Batistuta is God, but he was taken off in a stupid defensive move. 
Balbo should also have stayed on - I can understand removing a striker, but
Acosta is definitely not the answer. They should have taken off Balbo and 
put in a defensive midfielder IMHO. Besides that, everybody else was 
fairly pedestrian, except for Zanetti (essentially a right-footed 
Maldini) and Simeone who was a beast in midfield.

Brazil was not much better. Jorginho and Dunga, old warriors though they 
might be, are shadows of their former selves. Juninho was all hype, no 
substance. In the second half he wandered around like a lost smurf, 
contributing absolutely nothing. The only guys I liked were Aldair 
(solid, if unspectacular), Ceasr Sampaio (ditto), and Roberto Carlos, who 
had some great runs. Andre, Savio, Leonardo and the rest of the gang were 
painful to watch.

What is most frustrating is that we could've seen (in a perfect world) 
the likes of Gallardo, Redondo, Ronaldo, Romario, Zinho, Anderson, etc. 
instead we got scrubs like Borrelli and Astrada (BTW, from his nasty 
tackle that led to his sending off I guess he learned his soccer from 
Batista or Ruggeri).

4) I guess now we can sit back and watch Brazil crush Alexi Lalas and co. 
before beating up either a demoralized Colombian team or a Uruguayan team 
that is playing some of the worst soccer it has ever produced (It is 
amazing that the Fonseca-Sosa partnership could fall so far, so fast).

Either way you slice it, it's pretty fucking depressing.

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli) 
Subject: Well that was disgraceful
Date: July 18, 1995

Argentina dominated the game,  clearly outplayed Brasil,  scored two goals,
and with ten minutes to go the referee culminated a very one-sided performance
by overlooking the clearest handball you will ever see.

If you have not seen it,  you might find a parallel between this play and la
Mano de Dios. The only difference is that it took many replays and angles to
see Diego's play.  This one was so blatant that the announcers did not even
announce the goal,  only noticing after several seconds that the referee had
in fact not sanctioned the foul.

Every replay from every angle (there were four) showed it very clearly.  Two
of the replays even showed that when Tulio began his move that ended with
extending the full length of his arm to knock the ball down,  he was actually

Together with the nauseating one-sidedness of his yellow-card show (6 for
Argentina,  and one ejection at the end of the first half,  none against
Brasil until the handball).

It was so crass,  so blatant,  that I would not do justice to it by trying 
to convey it any further.

It is clear after this game,  however,  that Argentina has a far better team
than Brasil.  In terms of character,  in terms of offense,  of tactical
understanding,  of technique,  Argentina outplayed Brasil and their
whistle-blowing friend.  It is unfortunate that we do not get to see a rematch
between Argentina and the US squad,  which I am afraid may not be able to
handle such a strong team when it receives so much help from the referees.

It is games like this one that help me to understand a little better why
Argentina did not really play a world cup from 1934 to 1954,  or what happened
in Wembley in 1966 (although at least the English gol was legitimate).  

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli) 
Subject: Oh,  and the worst of all
Date: July 18, 1995

Argentina-Brasil still had 10 minutes remaining.  It was already a firm
candidate as the greatest game I had ever seen.

To ruin such a game...  to defecate on artwork,  to pervert all sense of
aesthetics and history,  it is a very grave offense.

I suspect that many of you have not seen the game,  so I would just summarize
the performance of the referee,  whose name is too nauseating to mention,  and
whose birthplace I prefer not to smear...  made Codesal (the referee of the
final between Germany and Argentina in 1990) seem impartial by comparison.
This is my sincere reaction,  I do not believe that I am exaggerating.

If FIFA had any interest in the welfare of futbol,  it would at least make
some sort of investigation.  I am not holding my breath.

From: (Colin Morris)
Subject: Re: Oh,  and the worst of all
Date: July 18, 1995

Ariel Mazzarelli wrote:
>To ruin such a game...  

But surely to effectively lose to a goal of such consummate 'beauty'
makes up for us?

I suggest a little introspection on your (and Argentina's) part would
be more profitable. Every time Argentina fails to win, it seems that
folks like you will roll out the conspiracy theories to explain away
the defeats. I'm sorry, but it just doesn't wash. You've got, imo, the
most talented bunch of *players* in the world but the performances of
the *team* rarely match up to that talent in the tournaments that
matter. As for their failure in this competition I suggest you conduct
an investigation of Passarella as opposed to the referee. He's the
guy whose crazy decisions have effectively cost you this tournament.
Let's face it, without his arrogance of playing nine reserves, in all
probability Argentina would have trashed a very poor Mexican team last

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Re: Oh,  and the worst of all
Date: Jul 19, 1995

Ah,  yes,  but then we would have had the referee in the semifinal.

On the other hand,  in legal goals,  Argentina won 2-1.  The illegal gol came
courtesy of the referee.  That is a fact,  whether you deny it or not,  it is
still a fact.

From: (Adrian German)
Subject: Re: Oh, and the worst of all
Date: July 21, 1995

In legal goals in Mexico, Argentina and England are still 1-1. You see Diego's
first goal was a handball. He scored a second one later which Brasil didn't 
do against Argentina. But Argentina still had time to make 3-2 right? and 
even to make it to the semis because there was time and they were the better 
team. Then there were the penalties...

But they didn't do it and that's it. Now if you're gonna write about this 
forever you're nothing but a crybaby. Argentina should've scored immediately 
but they didn't. They should've kicked in the penalties, but they didn't. 
Why is that, because they don't have the necessary skill? I am just 
asking... there are people who say both Argentinean goals were mistakes of 
Taffarelli's (sic!). 

The fact that England is not as flashy as Argentina doesn't make Diego's
handball more acceptable. Not even the fact that Diego dominated the 
international scene for the last 10 years justifies it. And whether England
plays more or less exciting soccer than Argentina is arguable, and a matter
of taste. There are people who like the style of play of England period. 

Oh, oh, Argentina have been robbed... So what? That's life, let's get on
with it. Argentina should've kicked in all their penalties given the skill,
that's all they had to do. They didn't... 

I do find both incidents very similar. I should say "I have a poster with
Maradona's goal in 1986 that I would like to trade for a poster with Tulio's
handball..." but I won't. I found Mazzarelli's posting about Chile (I think
it was "the macroscopic effects of Arg-Chile 4-0" or something like that)
really disgusting. It's his freedom to post. It's also unfair to stereotype.
I am sorry for all the other Argentinean fans and I surely wish their team
will do better in the international competitions from now on. Good luck to
you, Argentina! 

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli) 
Subject: Re: The Hand of God II
Date: July 18, 1995 (Juan Gonzalez) wrote:
> (Huw Morris) said: 
>>Lourenco Dantas wrote: 
>>>     Well, I'm not proud of seeing Brasil win in such a manner, 
>>>     but, hey, the Hand of God is the Hand of GOD! 
>>I wonder if the Argentinians can appreciate the beauty of it? :-) 
>Yes we can, and will you also call Brazilians cheaters now? 

Now now Juan,  you know very well that it is only definitely cheating if it 
is done to England  (even if it takes CIA surveillance cameras from fourteen
angles + pattern recognition massages),  and it is definitely not cheating if
it is done to Argentina.

Frankly,  I am a little saddened by the posts of (some of) the English,
because the only other "big" country that I can think of that celebrates a
Brasilian victoriy as its own is Mexico.  Maybe that will change if they win
the Eurocopa?


PS: Yes I know but with proper equipment pigs can indeed fly.

Subject: Handballs, dives, et al.
From: (Loris Magnani)
Date: July 18, 1995

I forked over $20 yesterday and begged a friend to let me use his
TV and his cable provider so I could watch the two games of Copa
America.  I was happy with the USA's win, though they seemed to
play more poorly than I've seen them play lately. I hope that this
was their one bad game of the tournament.

But then I got to see what I really was waiting for: Brasil-Argentina.
In my opinion these are the two best teams in the world at this time
and I wanted to see them go at it. The first half was spectacular.
I was very impressed by Argentina. And Brazil had flashes of brilliance.
I got my money's worth.  We all know how the second half went. The
ridiculous moves by Passarella, the handball, the penalties, etc.

This morning I read r.s.s. and there were myriad posts to the effect 
that Argentina somehow was "punished" now for what Maradona did in
'86.  Frankly, I find such posts pathetic.  Maradona got away
with a handball in 1986. It happens.  Tulio got away with one last
night. It happens.  Someone will someday explain to me why what
Maradona did in 1986 was any worse than a player diving in the area
and provoking an undeserved penalty kick. That crap goes on all the
time (especially in Serie A) and everybody deplores it but accepts it
as part of football. So, again, how is that any different than what
Maradona did. Both actions result in an undeserved goal. Yet one has
unleashed more ink and electrons than any other topic (aside from
the Manchester United pro/con posts, of course)...Why???  If last
night's hand ball puts to rest all this Maradona and Argentinean 
bashing, then it was worth it.  It's time to archive Maradona's
handball as an interesting incident in an old tournament.  To 
continually resurrect it makes me think that there's more going on
here than just whining about a missed call.

The next time you feel like posting a message on Maradona's handball
in 86, remember last night's game.  R.S.S. will be a better place for

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli) 
Subject: La Mano de Havelange
Date: July 19, 1995

The envious RSSers seem to have finally achieved orgasm.  Personally,  I
cannot understand why they needed so much foreplay--Argentina has been
victimized by FIFA so many times,  few of us retain the ability to be
surprised anymore.

Yet last night,  I was surprised.  I did not expect that the referee would 
be so obviously one-sided.  His attitude,  his yellow cards were obviously
against Argentina.  

But the Mano de Havelange was too obvious.

The envious ones here seem to think there is a parallel between this play and
Diego's against England.  That is of course a very ignorant thing to do.  

There is a difference between calling a referee "incompetent",  or "unable to
make a difficult call"  (which applies to the 1986 game),  and "bought" (which
applies to last night's game).

There is a difference between a player cheating by proving that the hand is
faster than the eye (and even the television's eye),  and a referee
deliberately throwing a game.

Finally,  of course,  no one in their right mind claimed that England had
outplayed,  or evenly played,  Argentina.  On the other hand,  last night
Brasil was clearly outplayed and outscored by Argentina.

Our brasilian friends seem to believe that by repeating over and over again
that they are the greatest do mundo,  that justice was served,  that that
makes it so.  You know there are 150 million of them,  they can certainly 
clog up any newsgroup.  

Unfortunately for them,  most people saw the game,  and know what happened.  

It is rather alarming that Brasil continues to receive so many benefits from
the futbol bureaucracy.  I expected someone from the Netherlands to point out
that this is the second consecutive major tournament where Brasil avoided
elimination directly as a consequence of bias from the referees.  How many
more can we expect?

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject: Top 10 reasons why Brasil is still playing in Copa America
Date: July 19, 1995

10. Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
9.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
8.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
7.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
6.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
5.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
4.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
3.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
2.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.
1.  Brasil bought the referee and the linesman.

If you feel this post lacks imagination,  complain to the CBF.

From: (Shaggy)
Subject: Justice At Last
Date: July 19, 1995

At last, after years of being told by the Argentinians on this group that 
Maradona's goal in 1986 was not worth talking about etc, the boot is on the 
other foot as Argentina are robbed in just the same way. I take it, Ariel, 
that you won't be going on and on about this and just treat it for what it 
was, divine intervention!!

Incidentally, to anybody that says that Maradona's goal was not obviously 
handball when seen for the first time, this is patently garbage - I watched 
the game with 300 students in my student union and everybody shouted handball 
the instant Maradona made contact.

I have a lot of respect for Argentina as a football team and was particularly 
disappointed with their exit from the World Cup last year when they were 
playing the best football of the tournament. However, I'm sick to death of 
listening to their fans go on and on about how they're the greatest team in 
the World and have been for umpteen years - it gets very boring indeed after a 

So, Argentina and England have both been cheated by handballs in major 
tournaments and I'd like to suggest that no more is said on the subject of 
either handball by supporters of either side. 

From: (Garry Archer)
Subject: Re: Justice At Last
Date: July 24, 1995

Here, here!   Or perhaps I should say, ha! ha!  ;-)

Twenty-nine (29) years later and we still debate Geoff Hurst's off-the-bar
goal in the 1966 World Cup Final.

Seventeen (17) years have gone by and we still analyse whether or not the
Argentina-Peru match was fixed in the 1978 World Cup Finals.

Thirteen (13) years later and we still fondly remember the West Germany
and Austria debacle that effectively knocked out a great Algeria team in
the 1982 World Cup Finals.

Nine (9) years later and we still flame-fest about Diego Maradona's "Hand
of God" goal against England in the 1986 World Cup Finals.

Who would have thought after all these years that hundreds of folks would
still be arguing over those games?!

Now Tulio's goal joins the Honour List.  Perhaps it will be forgotten -- it
didn't happen in a World Cup Finals tournament for all the world to see.

The beauty of football is that we can remember the games forever and the
arguments will never end -- as can be seen by the four incidents, above.
As long as there are always two sides to the story -- and there always
are, because there are always two sides in a footy match.

We may still be here in 30 years time on a creaking old Internet in (created after numerous successful
votes to split the group) chaffing at the bit to talk about Tulio's goal
that helped to knock Argentina out of Copa America '95!

From: (Ariel Mazzarelli)
Subject:  Re: Justice At Last
Date: July 20, 1995

Now really,  Shaggy,  when have I said that that golazo was not worth talking
about?  Sheesh,  a guy types up kilobytes and gets ignored.  You're breaking
my heart.

>I watched the game with 300 students in my student union and everybody 
>shouted handball the instant Maradona made contact.

Oh sure,  but when they saw the replay...  

"Blimey,  where's the lil' buggar's hand?"

"Bloody hell,  he can't outjump Shilton!"

"Hey wasn't that offside?"

On the other hand,  maybe it was the infiltrated Scots egging you on.  Must
consider all possibilities!

At any rate,  Shaggy,  I am sure as the day is long that the two plays are not
comparable.  Have you run out of coca tea perhaps?

>However, I'm sick to death of listening to their fans go on and on about 
>how they're the greatest team in the World and have been for umpteen years 

But it's true!  Argentina is the best team in the world,  has been for
decades.  I am sorry it bores you,  but most of your European peers are not as
knowledgeable as you are.  Aren't you the first bloke on your block to know
about Zanetti?  Why is that?  Because I told you so!

Such ingratitude.  Don't worry,  I forgive you.  After all,  you do have the
good taste to put the quality of the game above the flags involved.  That this
trait should be rare when one's own team is involved is understandable,  but
third parties?  That's why we're here,  Shaggy!

Of course,  if Argentina were not "in consideration" so often,  I suppose 
that I could take a more detached approach.  You see,  I am a victim of 

>I'd like to suggest that no more is said on the subject of either handball 
>by supporters of either side. 

So what are the odds on that taking place?

However,  I must say that if Uruguay does what they should do on Sunday,  it
will all look pretty funny.