World Cup 2022 countdown: Most memorable matches III - From Muller’s Germany winning title in 1974 to Night of Seville

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.

FILE PHOTO: West Germany forward Gerd Muller (L) scores the second goal for his team despite being pressured by Dutch defender Rudi Krol during the World Cup final in Munich on July 7, 1974. West Germany defeated the Netherlands 2-1.

FILE PHOTO: West Germany forward Gerd Muller (L) scores the second goal for his team despite being pressured by Dutch defender Rudi Krol during the World Cup final in Munich on July 7, 1974. West Germany defeated the Netherlands 2-1. | Photo Credit: AFP

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.

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 1974, Final (Munich) - West Germany 2-1 Netherlands

The Netherlands could not capitalise on its devastating beginning.

It had a first-minute goal after Johan Cruyff’s astounding solo run had ended with Uli Hoeness tripping him and his essential cohort Johan Neeskens scored the penalty.

Total football on both sides, Cruyff for the Dutch and Franz Beckenbauer for the host.

For 25 minutes, the Dutch side dominated but did not score again. So, when overlapping Paul Breitner surged into the box and was tripped by Jansen, he equalised from the spot.

Now, Germany rose, though Johnny Rep wasted a marvellous chance fashioned by Cruyff.

In the 43rd minutes, when Rained Bonhof roared up the right and crossed, Gerd Muller dragged the ball back with one foot, scored the winner with the other. He would have a further goal ruled out for a dubious offside.

The Dutch had paid for their self-indulgence.

FIFA World Cup 1978, Final (Buenos Aires) - Argentina 3-1 Netherlands

Argentinian midfielder Mario Kempes (L) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the extra-time period of the World Cup final against the Netherlands on June 25, 1978.

Argentinian midfielder Mario Kempes (L) celebrates after scoring his second goal during the extra-time period of the World Cup final against the Netherlands on June 25, 1978. | Photo Credit: AFP

No Cruyff this time; he had refused to play for the Dutch in the finals.

It was an ill-tempered, fouls-littered summit clash won by Argentina, which came suddenly and surprisingly to life in extra-time.

Omitting the teen-aged Maradona, Argentina, under ‘El Flaco’, the chain-smoking Menotti, made few friends outside its own supporters. It had been favoured by some dubious refereeing and a strange 6-0 surrender by Peru in a decisive second group game, thus eliminating Brazil, in second place.

The Dutch, no innocent, committed 50 fouls in a final in which home captain Passarella would knock out Johan Neeskens with an elbow, while Gonella was an inept referee.

The game turned in the end on a couple of fine saves by Fillol in Argentina’s goal and three super slaloms by Mario Kempes, who in a previous game versus Poland, had punched off the goal-line with impunity.

In the 38th minute, Kempes roared past Haan to beat goalkeeper Jongbloed with that lethal left foot. Tall sub Dick Nanninga headed the equaliser for the Dutch. Just before the final whistle, Rob Rensenbrink could only hit the Argentine left hand post.

A resuscitated Argentina scored twice in extra-time when Kempes made it 2-1 and with a dynamic burst, Bertoni score the third.

FIFA World Cup 1982, Second Group Stage (Barcelona) - Italy 3-2 Brazil

Italy’s Paolo Rossi shoots past Brazil goalie Waldir Peres to put his team ahead at 3-2 during a group stage match of the World Cup on July 5, 1982 in Barcelona.

Italy’s Paolo Rossi shoots past Brazil goalie Waldir Peres to put his team ahead at 3-2 during a group stage match of the World Cup on July 5, 1982 in Barcelona. | Photo Credit: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

The vindication of Paolo Rossi.

Suspended for his role in a betting scandal, amnestied from suspension just in time for the Finals, the little centre forward looked rusty at first. But by this game, he was in full flight and would end the tournament as top scorer.

It was a brilliant Brazilian team, formidable in midfield. Brazil was strong favourite but its defense and attack did not match a superb midfield with Falcao - outstanding here - Socrates, Cerezo and Zico, ruthlessly marked by Claudio Gentile, who ripped his shirt off.

Italy was ahead in five minutes, Rossi gliding in Cabrini’s ideal cross from the left. Eluding Gentile, Zico set up Socrates for a rocket between goalkeeper Dino Zoff and his near post. Cerezo’s careless pass enabled Rossi to make it 2-1 for Italy. Falcao’s fulminating right-footer equalised for Brazil.

But when Tardelli drove a ball back into the Brazilian box, Rossi pounced again for the winner.

FIFA World Cup 1982, Semifinals (Seville) - West Germany 3-3 France (West Germany won 5-4 on penalties)

French substitute Patrick Battiston holds captain Michel Platini’s hand while being stretchered off the field after German goalkeeper Schumacher charged into him during the World Cup semifinal in Seville on July 8, 1982.

French substitute Patrick Battiston holds captain Michel Platini’s hand while being stretchered off the field after German goalkeeper Schumacher charged into him during the World Cup semifinal in Seville on July 8, 1982.

The match, now famously known as the ‘Night of Seville,’ was the first match of the tournament to be decided by a penalty shoot-out. France was the early aggressor but fell behind to Pierre Littbarski’s volley. However, a foul on Dominique Rocheteau in the box allowed Michel Platini to level the scores in the 26th minute.

The second half featured no more goals but did include one of the World Cup’s most controversial moments as West Germany’s goalkeeper Harald ‘Toni’ Schumacher clattered into the advancing Patrick Battiston, breaking the French substitute’s vertebrae. Dutch referee Charles Corver did not award the enraged French a free-kick, let alone book or send off Schumacher.

Marius Tresor scored in France’s second goal two minutes into extra-time and the game looked to have been done and dusted when Alain Giresse struck from the edge of the penalty area. But the Germans did not give up as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge pulled one back before half-time of the extra period.

Klaus Fischer’s overhead kick forced penalties, and Jupp Derwall’s men were spot-on as Schumacher — lucky to still be on the pitch — made the all-important save from Didier Six.

FIFA World Cup 1986, Quarterfinals (Guadalajara) - France 1-1 Brazil (France won 4-3 on penalties)

French goalkeeper Joel Bats brought down Brazil’s Branco during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal in 1986. However, the resultant penalty was not converted by Zico.

French goalkeeper Joel Bats brought down Brazil’s Branco during the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal in 1986. However, the resultant penalty was not converted by Zico. | Photo Credit: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Pele, who watched this match from the stands, described it as the ‘match of the century.”

France overcame its 1982 disappointment by clinching the 1984 European Championships in style. Its contest against Brazil in Mexico was a pulsating contest between two teams loaded with flamboyant players.

Careca blasted in the first goal after a typically smart move from Brazil but France equalised when a Rocheteau cross from the right went past both French striker Yannick Stopyra and Brazilian goalkeeper Carlos before Michel Platini, who turned 31 that day, tapped into an empty net.

Substitute Zico had the chance to win it from the penalty spot for Brazil but his effort was saved by Joel Bats.

That miss ultimately resulted in a shoot-out, which despite a miss from the inspirational Platini, France won to set up another semifinal meeting with West Germany.

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