Leading up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which begins on November 20, this series takes you through 25 memorable matches across the previous 21 editions.
FIFA World Cup 1966, Quarterfinal (Liverpool) - Portugal 5-3 North Korea
They had twice thrashed Australia in a play-off but little was known of the North Koreans though Middlesbrough’s fans had taken them to their hearts. They had sensationally knocked out Italy 1-0 there and swept into a dramatic, pulsating 3-0 lead in 20 minutes against powerful Portugal.
After a cutting right wing move, Pak Seung-Zin drove the Koreans ahead. Their sheer adventurous brio seemed to have stunned the Portuguese and Li Dong-Woon and left winger Yang Seung-Kook made it 3-0.
It was only now that the dazzling Eusebio took the game in hand with his glorious long-legged running and pulverising right-footes shot. The Koreans, geared with almost naive commitment to attack, simply couldn’t handle him. In the 28th minute, he raced on to a pass from left winger Simoes for his first goal.
When the giant Torres was brought down in the box, Eusebio netted the penalty, picked up the ball and was tearing back into the middle when a Korean stopped and reproached him.
At the half-hour mark, Eusebio raced through to equalise. A coruscating solo run from the left led to him being brought down and scoring the penalty in the follow-up.
Augusto would get Portugal’s fifth and the Koreans would retreat into years of isolation.
FIFA World Cup 1966, Final (London) - England 4-2 West Germany
Under the dominant and inspiring managership of Alf Ramsey, England, despite playing every match at Wembley, really struck form only in the semifinal against Portugal.
It is arguable that it would have lost the quarterfinal against Argentina had the opposing captain Antonio Rattin not foolishly got himself sent off.
Geoff Hurst, coming into the team for the injured Jimmy Greaves, headed a fine winner.
In the final, he would score three, one of them off the crossbar, which has been ever disputed by the Germans. In the final, two potential stars - England’s Bobby Charlton, used as a deep lying centre forward, and Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer - tended to cancel each other out.
Ray Wilson’s error enabled Haller to put Germany ahead. Hurst glanced in Bobby Moore’s free kick to equalise. In the 78th minute, England went ahead when Weber blocked a shot by Hurst and the ball rose, enabling Peters to score. With less than a minute left, Held’s cross was driven home by Weber.
In extra time, with Alan Ball dynamic, England went ahead again when Hurst shot powerfully against the underside of the bar. The linesman Bakhramov ruled that it was a goal.
Moore sent Hurst through and he drove in England’s fourth in the final minute of the match.
FIFA World Cup 1970, Group Stage (Guadalajara) - Brazil 1-0 England
Reigning champion England came up against a Brazilian team poised for greatness in an epic struggle played out in the searing heat in Guadalajara, Mexico.
Both sides had great chances - Jeff Astle missing a glorious opening for England, while it took one of the greatest saves of all time from Gordon Banks to keep out Pele’s powerful downward header.
Eventually, Brazil scored the winning goal one minute shy of the hour mark. After exchaning passes with Paulo Cesar, Tostaoshrugged off Alan Ball, nutmegged Moore, skinned Wright, swivelled and chipped the ball into the feet of Pele, who was centrally positioned in a heavily marked area.
Three England players charged at him but Pele calmly put the ball into the path of the charging Jairzinho who took a touch before smashing the ball over a diving England goalkeeper and into the net.
The famous photograph of Pele and Bobby Moore swapping shirts at the end was a proof of the mutual respect between the two sides.
FIFA World Cup 1970, Semifinal (Mexico City) - Italy 4-3 West Germany
“Pallacanestro” (“Basketball”) jeered an Italian journalist after this cascade of goals.
Had the surging attacking libero Franz Beckenbauer not been cynically chopped down and badly hurt on the edge of the Italian box, surely his team might have won. But manager Helmut Schoen had used up his substitutes.
There was just one goal in the first half - Roberto Boninsegna exploiting two rebounds to score left-footed for Italy - when Germany looked tired after a hard fought quarterfinal against England.
Italy dropped back typically into defence. Continuing its so-called staffetta, or relay policy, it brought on playmaker Gianni Rivera in place of Sandro Mazzola.
Exploiting the extra space, Germany pressed and the arrival of attacked Held for defender Patzke proved crucial. Yet, it was only in the third minute of injury time that defender Karl-Heinz Schnellinger swept home the equaliser.
In extra time, Beckenbauer, previously supreme, was playing with an arm strapped to his side. Poletti’s blunder enabled Gerd Muller to score for Germany, defender Tarcisio Burgnich scored for Italy, whose icon, Luigi Riva, put it ahead with his famed left foot.
Muller got his 10th goal of the tournament, plunging to equalise, but in the 111th minute, Rivera scored the winner against a weary German side.
FIFA World Cup 1970, Final (Mexico City) - Brazil 4-1 Italy
This is probably one of the best finals in World Cup history featuring a Brazilian side at the peak of its powers.
In the 18th minutes, Pele rose to head the South Americans in front after a cross from Rivellino. However, some generous defending allowed Roberto Boninsegna to equalise for the Azzurri.
From that point on though, Brazil absolutely dominated the proceedings.
Gerson first powered in from long range to make it 2-1 before providing a long free kick to Pele. Pele headed the ball down for Jairzinho who kept up his record of scoring in every match in the finals despite making a hash of his finish.
The best goal came in the end. It was a sweeping team move which finished with a spectacular pass from Pele, weighted perfectly into the run of right-back Carlos Alberto who smashed one into the far corner.