On this day in 1974 legendary striker Mario Kempes scores Wembley brace as Argentina come from 2-0 down to draw with England in World Cup warm-up.
England 2-2 Argentina
Wembley Stadium, London
22 May 1974
Argentina came to Wembley for their first game since the infamous clash in the 1966 World Cup quarter-final. Not only were England’s opponents on that Wednesday evening from Argentina, so too was the referee, Arturo Itturalde.
While the visitors were preparing for a trip to Germany for the latest edition of the World Cup, caretaker manager Joe Mercer was guiding England through a series of summer friendlies after missing out on the Finals to a Jan Tomaszewski-inspired Poland.
Liverpool defender Alec Lindsay was winning the first of four caps for England, who had lost 2-0 to Scotland at Hampden Park only four days before, while Trevor Brooking was drafted in for his second appearance.
Things were going better for the Three Lions back on their own patch, though, and after Mike Channon had stung Daniel Carnevali’s hands with a fierce drive midway through the half, a subtler finish just before the break gave them the lead, latching on to Colin Bell’s pass into the box before rounding the keeper and slotting home.
The mercurial Leicester City forward Frank Worthington extended the lead early in the second half. Again Bell was involved, firing against the bar following a corner, and Worthington was well-placed to turn the ball inside the post for his first England goal.
Mario Kempes, the legendary Argentine goalscorer, almost instantly pulled one back, tucking in a loose ball after Peter Shilton could only parry Ruben Ayala’s cross.
And it was Kempes again who turned the screw to ensure a share of the spoils. A controversial last-minute penalty after Emlyn Hughes has felled him inside the box allowed the Rosario Central striker to drill into the corner for 2-2.
A Kempes brace on their own soil four years later would clinch the World Cup for Argentina, and for himself the golden boot. When they arrived for their next visit to Wembley – with a young Maradona – in 1980, they were the reigning champions of the world. England won 3-1.
Watch the video as Mario Kempes scores Wembley brace in the player below…