Six minutes into the second half, Maradona cut inside from the left and played a diagonal low pass to the edge of the area to team-mate Jorge Valdano and continued his run in the hope of a one-two movement. Maradona's pass, however, was played slightly behind Valdano and reached England's Steve Hodge, the left midfielder who had dropped back to defend.
Hodge tried to hook the ball clear but miscued it. The ball screwed off his foot and into the penalty area, toward Maradona, who had continued his run. England goalkeeper Peter Shilton came out of his goal to punch the ball clear. However, Maradona, despite being 8 inches (20 cm) shorter than the 6-foot-1 Shilton, reached it first with his outside left hand. The ball went into the goal. Referee Ali Bin Nasser of Tunisia did not see the infringement and allowed the goal, much to the chagrin of the English players and management.