90 days to Russia world cup: Record-breaking Zenga stars for Italy

6 months ago - Posted by - stanley okonkwo

90 days to Russia world cup: Record-breaking Zenga stars for Italy

In less than three months' time – on 14 June, to be precise – the 21st FIFA World Cup™ kicks off at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium, as the hosts take on Saudi Arabia. That leaves us plenty of time to enjoy a countdown.

Between now and the start of the World Cup, we will take a closer look at a different statistic from the history of the tournament each day.

90 – As in the 1990 FIFA World Cup Italy™, where Walter Zenga set a record that still stands for the longest that a goalkeeper has gone without conceding at the competition: 517 minutes. First, the hosts topped their group without giving up a goal, registering 1-0 wins against Austria and USA and a 2-0 victory over Czechoslovakia. Zenga's run of clean sheets continued in the Round of 16, when Uruguay were dispatched 2-0, and the quarter-finals, in which the Azzurri overcame Republic of Ireland 1-0. 

It was not until the 67th minute of his side's semi-final against Argentina that the Italian custodian was finally beaten, with Claudio Caniggia cancelling out Salvatore Schillaci's opener. The match eventually went to a penalty shoot-out, in which a 4-3 defeat left Zenga's dreams of lifting the Trophy on home turf in tatters. Nevertheless, the legendary shot-stopper's exploits live on in the World Cup history books. Spain's Iker Casillas had Zenga's mark in his sights at Brazil 2014, only to fall 40 minutes short when Robin van Persie got the first of his two goals in what ended up being a famous 5-1 thrashing of La Roja by the Netherlands.

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