World Cup 2014

World Cup Memories: Colombia, MLS legend Carlos Valderrama recalls dramatic equalizer in 1990

With 23 days left until the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, we go to South America for our next series that delves into the World Cup memory bank.

Walking us through it is one of the architects of the great moment -- MLS legend Carlos "El Pibe" Valderrama, who relives one of the most thrilling finishes ever at a World Cup in Milan's San Siro at Italia '90:


It was the Colombian version of the Landon Donovan goal vs. Algeria: a dramatic stoppage-time goal that gets you to the second round of a World Cup.

For Colombia, it happened in Italy in 1990 and the adversary was much more daunting: West Germany.

Los Cafeteros needed a draw to get out of Group D and through to the next round, only to cough up a goal in the 88th minute to Pierre Littbarski.

Down 1-0 and on the verge of elimination, Colombia's Valderrama pulled the rabbit out of the hat with some magic in midfield. He fed forward Freddy Rincón, who slotted home a dramatic 93rd-minute equalizer.

It's the fondest World Cup memory for MLS legend Valderrama (WATCH VIDEO ABOVE).

"The goal was spontaneous. It was a collective play," he told FutbolMLS.com. "When it was my turn to make a decision and give the pass to either "La Gambeta" [Carlos Enrique Estrada] on the left or Freddy on the right, I gave it to Freddy because of the confidence I had in him. He didn't make mistakes under goal and thank god he took advantage and gave us and all Colombians a great satisfaction.

"Germany finished as world champions and they beat everyone except us."

But as thrilling the Rincón goal was for Colombians, what would take place against Cameroon in the knockout round was equally crushing. Goalkeeper René Higuita took care of erasing any positive leftover vibes.

Were you around for the Rincon goal? How does it compare to the Donovan goal vs. Algeria? 

WORLD CUP MEMORIES:

Alexi Lalas: Legend's all-time favorite moment was a hand ball

Clint Dempsey: Childhood dreams come true with a single goal

Bruce Arena: First World Cup game? Only one of the biggest upsets in history

Landon Donovan: Baggio's missed PK in '94 leaves profound impact on US great

Kyle Beckerman: The Saudi Arabian who inspired RSL's World Cup hopeful

Jason deVos: 1986ers pave the way for future Canadian national team star

Will Johnson: Timbers captain experiences agony and ecstasy in 120 minutes in 1998

Michael Bradley: The miracle comeback that he helped author in South Africa 2010