1974 World Cup - West Germany

1974 World Cup - West Germany

Hosts: West Germany
Final: West Germany 2 – 1 Netherlands
Top Goalscorer: Grzegorz Lato (Pol – 7)
Teams/Matches: 16/38
Facts and Figures:

* The final match participants were decided after a second group phase.

* FIFA presented a new trophy after Brazil were allowed to keep the Jules Rimet trophy.

* Australia, East Germany, Haiti and Zaire made their debuts. Zaire lost to Yugoslavia 9-0 in the first round - the biggest margin of victory in a World Cup match.

* England, France and Hungary did not qualify.

* East Germany appeared in their first and only World Cup tournament, but were still able to top a group containing West Germany after beating them 1-0 in a famous match in Hamburg.

* Carlos Caszely of Chile had the honour of becoming the first player to be shown a red card in a World Cup match.

* Haiti defender Ernst Jean-Joseph became the first player in the World Cup to fail a dope test. He was taken back to the team hotel and beaten up by his own squad officials.

The Final:

The Dutch, led by Johan Cruyff, cruised into the finals, beating Brazil and Argentina 2-0 and 4-0 respectively in the second group stage with some amazing football, later known as legendary coach Rinus Michels’ 'Total Football' method.

Germany, with captain Franz Beckenbauer appearing in his third World Cup, after losing the final in 1966 and coming 3rd in 1970, showed some class of their own, counting on the goals of striker Gerd Muller. The final was a clash of two ancient rivals and the excitement in Munich’s Olympiastadion was enormous.

The Netherlands made a dream start, with Johan Neeskens scoring the fastest goal in final history, after only 90 seconds. As it turned out, that early goal had a negative effect on Dutch tactics, as they went back trying to defend their lead, inviting the Germans to attack. Paul Breitner scored from the penalty spot in the 25th minute and Muller scored what turned out to be the deciding goal in the 43rd minute. Dutch efforts in the second half failed to really threaten the German goal, and Beckenbauer lifted the new cup for West Germany’s second title.

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