Yugoslavia was the first team to emerge from the qualifying round and make the World Cup. After one game, it looked like it would be the first team out of the tournament.
But the Yugoslavs came back strongly from a 4-1 whipping at the hands of West Germany in the opener and have made the semifinals for the first time in 28 years.They will have more proving to do, this time against defending champion Argentina on Saturday in Florence.
"We have a chance," Coach Ivica Osim said. "But let's not forget that Argentina is still the champion of the world. Let's not forget that they have eliminated the Soviet Union and Brazil, two of the strongest teams in the world and teams that are stronger than us."
One edge Yugoslavia might have is in health. Argentine captain Diego Maradona has a sore ankle. But Maradona also had the injury last Sunday and set up the only goal in a 1-0 win over Brazil.
"Maradona is four years older than in 1986, but he is still Maradona," Osim said.
He also said his ankle is "a little better."
"Having Diego healthy is very important," Coach Carlos Bilardo said, "because he and (Claudio) Caniggia need so much attention paid to them. Maradona, with the way he played in Mexico, and Caniggia make up avery formidable duo."
The other game Saturday has Ireland against Italy at Olympic Stadium in Rome. On Sunday, it's England-Cameroon at Naples, Czechoslovakia vs. West Germany at Milan.
The Germans won't have forward Rudi Voeller, who is suspended after getting a red card against the Netherlands. Voeller appeared before a hearing by FIFA's disciplinary board on Wednesday and his one-game suspension was upheld. Dutch defender Frank Rijkaard, with whom he tangled, was give a three-game suspension, which most likely will be served during qualifying for the European championships.
The international soccer federation also dismissed 20 of 36 referees in the tournament, including all from the teams still alive. That meant leading referees Luigi Agnolin, George Courtney and Zoran Petrovic were released. Petrovic had been considered among the favorites to handle the July 8 final.