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World Cup Wanderers: USA 1994

8 June 2018

Ahead of this summer's competition in Russia, bwfc.co.uk gets in the mood by reviewing all former editions of the biggest tournament in football and the World Cup Wanderers who were in action!

With less than a week to go to the start of the 2018 World Cup, USA 1994 is next up in our preview series as Jason McAteer made history by becoming the first present Wanderer to play at the tournament since 1958!

JASON MCATEER
Republic of Ireland
Appearances: 
4
Goals: 
0
Stage reached: 
Round-of-16

JOHN SHERIDAN
Republic of Ireland
Appearances: 
4
Goals: 
0
Stage reached: 
Round-of-16

ALAN KERNAGHAN
Republic of Ireland
Appearances: 
0
Goals: 
0
Stage reached: 
Round-of-16

Having caught the eye of the Republic of Ireland after impressing for Bolton Wanderers in both Division Two and Division One, Jason McAteer became the first Wanderer to go to the World Cup since Tommy Banks and Eddie Hopkinson in 1958.

Only handed his international debut in March 1994 in a friendly with Russia, the midfielder featured in a number of the Boys in Green's warm-up games before being included in Jack Charlton's squad for the finals in USA, along with future Whites loanees John Sheridan and Alan Kernaghan.

Sheridan would be an ever-present for Ireland at the tournament while McAteer would also feature in every game, though Kernaghan would be left unused as they suffered a round-of-16 exit.

Knocked out by Italy in 1990, the Irish got their revenge in their opening game of the competition.

Ray Houghton's spectacular early goal proved to be the difference against the eventual runners-up as Sheridan completed the full 90 minutes while McAteer came on for his World Cup debut midway through the second half.

Trailing 2-0 to Mexico in their second outing to a Luis Garcia brace, McAteer was again brought on midway through the second half with John Aldridge as the Irish looked to find a way back into the game.

Although Aldridge halved the deficit late on, the Irish were unable to find an equaliser as they went into their final group game with everything to play for with all four sides on three points.

Facing off against Norway, McAteer was handed what would prove to be his only start of the tournament as he joined Sheridan in midfield as a 0-0 draw was enough to see Ireland reach the round-of-16.

Then drawn against the Netherlands, first half goals from Dennis Bergkamp and Wim Jonk left the Irish with it all to do after the interval.

McAteer was brought on again just after the hour-mark, but was unable to prompt a comeback as the Irish's journey was brought a premature end.

All three players would continue to represent Ireland as they failed to qualify for Euro 1996 two years later before Sheridan and Kernaghan's international stories came to an end.

Meanwhile, McAteer would continue playing for his country into the early noughties, famously scoring a crucial goal against the Netherlands to help Ireland qualify for the 2002 World Cup before representing the Boys in Green in Japan and South Korea.

 

FERNANDO HIERRO
Spain
Appearances: 
5
Goals: 
1
Stage reached: 
Quarter-finals

Unused in 1990, Fernando Hierro certainly had a more memorable tournament in USA as Spain reached the quarter-finals.

Starting in midfield in Spain's opening game against South Korea, the Real Madrid man dropped back into defence midway through the first half after captain Miguel Nadal was sent off.

Despite their man-deficit, two quick-fire goals from Julio Salinas and Andoni Goikoetxea shortly after the break saw the Spaniards take control of the game. However, they were unable to hold on as two late strikes from the South Koreans left them settling for a share of the spoils.

Hierro was kept in defence for their second game against Germany as they again were held to a stalemate as Jurgen Klinsmann cancelled out Goikoetxea's opener.

Benched for their final game against Bolivia, he was brought on as a half-time substitute as Spain won 3-1 to reach the knockout stages of the competition thanks to a Pep Guardiola penalty and a Jose Luis Caminero brace.

Restored to the starting XI for Spain's round-of-16 clash with Switzerland, Hierro opened the scoring before further goals from Luis Enrique and Txiki Begiristain sealed a comfortable 3-0 win.

Again back on bench-duty for the quarter-finals against Italy, Hierro joined the action midway through the second half shortly after Caminero had cancelled out Dino Baggio's opener.

However, Roberto Baggio scored a later winner for the eventual runners-up as Spain's 1994 World Cup story came to an end.

 

JAY-JAY OKOCHA
Nigeria
Appearances: 
3
Goals: 
0
Stage reached: 
Round-of-16

Then aged just 20, Jay-Jay Okocha was a relative newcomer to international football come the start of the 1994 World Cup but already a firm fan favourite having helped Nigeria win the African Cup of Nations earlier that year.

Unused for their opening game against Bulgaria as the Nigerians claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory, the playmaker came on as a late substitute in their second outing as Samson Siasia gave them a shock lead against Argentina only for a Claudio Caniggia brace to turn the game on its held as they lost 2-1.

Brought on midway through the second half in Nigeria's final group game against Greece, Okocha helped them to a 2-0 win to progress to the knockout stages courtesy of stoppage-time goals in each half from Finidi George and Daniel Amokachi.

Drawn against Italy in the round-of-16, Okocha was handed his first start as Emmanuel Amunike fired them ahead.

However, Roberto Baggio equalised late on to force extra-time before winning the game from the penalty spot as a 2-1 AET defeat saw Okocha and Nigeria exit the competiton.

 

JUERGEN SOMMER
United States
Appearances: 
0
Goals: 
0
Stage reached: 
Round-of-16

Future Wanderers loanee Juergen Sommer was left unused throughout the tournament as his home nation hosted the World Cup.

Serving as cover to captain Tony Meola, the goalkeeper was left unused as the United States drew 1-1 with Switzerland, beat Colombia 2-1 and lost 1-0 to Romania to reach the knockout stages.

There drawn against Brazil, the hosts' tournament came to an end as Bebeto's solitary goal sealed a 1-0 win for the eventual World Champions.


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