Top 10 Matches - Part 2

Top 10 Matches - Part 2

5. Argentina 6-0 Serbia 2006 – Blink and you’d miss a goal! Every time Argentina attacked they looked likely to score. Anyone not from Serbia was thanking their lucky stars that this wasn’t happening to their team! Woeful defending, maybe, but Serbia certainly didn’t have Lady Luck on their side, as even when Argentina hit the post they scored.

4. Netherlands 2-0 Brazil 1974 – Titanic battle between the two nations playing arguably the most attractive football of any era. The Netherlands dethroned reigning champions Brazil, beating them at their own game, thanks to second half goals from Johan Neeskens and a special one finished by skipper Johan Cruyff. The Dutch were eventually beaten in the Munich final by hosts West Germany – an outcome many felt did an injustice to Total Football and the Beautiful Game.

3. Argentina 2-2 England 1998 – Refereeing blunders and the dismissal of ‘Goldenballs’ overshadowed this highly charged, fully committed contest. It couldn’t even get settled in 90 minutes after a (perfectly legitimate!) Sol Campbell goal was disallowed, and Argentina won on penalties. This was the game in which young Michael Owen scored ‘that goal.’ Best of all, there was absolutely no mention of Mrs. Thatcher or the war.

2. Netherlands 4-0 Argentina 1974 – Goals from Cruyff (2), Krol and Rep obliterated an Argentinean team which had stumbled through the first round on goal difference. Surely a confidence killer, Argentina went on to lose 2-1 to Brazil and draw 1-1 with East Germany to finish bottom of the second round qualifying group. The Netherlands marched on to the final.

1. Brazil 4-1 Italy 1970 – Could there be a more fitting climax to a tournament so rich in quality? Staged in front of over 100,000 fans packed inside the Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, the Italian team were by no means the lightweights that the scoreline suggests they were (they had the game tied at 1-1 for half an hour), but could do little to quell the onslaught inflicted on them by the marvelous Brazilians. Football’s greatest player ever, Pele, in what was to be his last World Cup, scored one (a back post header from a Rivelino cross), and made two assists, one heading down for Jairzinho to finish, and the second teeing up captain Carlos Alberto to score one of the most memorable goals in football history.

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