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Digital Subscriptions > Learn Hot English > 167 > The Hand of God

The Hand of God

For many English people, it is one of the most shameful incidents in the history of football. For Argentinian supporters, it is seen as one of their greatest moments. So, what happened?

The incident in question has become known as the “Hand of God goal”. It all happened during a quarter-final, World-Cup match in Mexico City between England and Argentina in 1986. Argentina eventually won the game 2–1, but the match was full of controversy.

At the time, tensions between England and Argentina were high because of the Falklands War (La Guerra de las Malvinas), which had taken place just four years earlier. Six minutes into the second half of the game, the score between the two teams was 0–0. Suddenly, Argentinian Diego Maradona chased a lobbed ball into the penalty area. Once there, he was confronted by England goalkeeper Peter Shilton. Shilton had a considerable height advantage (he's 185 cm tall), and he was a clear favourite to beat Maradona (who is only 165cm tall) to the ball. However, Maradona reached for the ball with his left hand, and it went into the goal. The referee (Tunisian Ali Bin Nasser) didn’t see the handball and allowed the goal. The Argentine players and fans celebrated. The English players protested.

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About Learn Hot English

The latest issue of Hot English (167 – the April issue) is out now! Learn over 300 useful words and expressions and improve your listening skills with Learn Hot English! This month: Find out how body language can help you communicate more effectively. Plus, 6 useful expressions for interrupting someone, 6 ways to deal with an interruption, 15 useful expressions for talking about a musical festival, 8 useful expressions phrasal verbs for talking about work, 8 idioms for describing people, 8 useful phrases for giving your opinions... plus: • Language – prepositions of time: in, on, at. • Food – your favourite snacks. • Games – “interview” words crossword. • Travel – holiday complaints. • Fun – rude place names. • Grammar – the future passive with “be” + “going to”. • Animals – animal rights. • Education – Tiger Parents. • Humour – annoying things. • Music – songs from the ‘70s. • Sport – how to play cricket. • Psychology – how to persuade someone to do something. • Language learning – top tips from polyglots. AND LOTS, LOTS MORE! By reading and listening to all this great content, you'll improve your English reading and listening skills and learn up to 300 useful words or expressions. Plus, you'll get a better job and pass English-language exams more easily. Guaranteed!
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