West Germany are the new kings of soccer. A home crowd of 75,000 fans and?
West Germany are the new kings of soccer. A home crowd of 75,000 fans and an estimated 1,000 million television viewers saw them snatch the World Cup from Holland in Munich on Sunday (7 July). The final score in the cliff hanger match was 2-1.
The crowd greeted the West German win -- their second in Cup history -- with a deafening roar. The stadium became a frantic sea of black, yellow and red as West German fans went wild, waving hundreds of flags.
West German coach Helmut Schoen usually taciturn, ran on to the field and hugged striker Gerd Mueller -- the man who scored the winning goal. Amid the West German jubilation, the Dutch team, which had tried so valiantly, stood with their heads bowed. Later, though, the entire team lined up outside the dressing rooms to congratulate each member of the victorious side.
West German team captain Franz Beckenbauer received the shining, new gold cup from his country's President Walter Scheel. Then there was more pandemonium. The footballers ran round the arena, with Beckenbauer holding the cup high, as the ecstatic crowd showered them with roses, carnations and even ladies' shoes. Beckenbauer handed the cup over to his goalkeeper Sepp Maier in recognition of his sterling second half defence, and Maier completed the lap of honour, picking up the flowers -- and kissing them.
The match itself was marked by the fierce intensity of both teams. It began with a stunning blow to the West Germans. In the first minute of the match, Holland's superstar Johan Cruyff was brought down. Teammate Johan Neeskens lined up the penalty -- and it was through. Holland leapt to an opening lead of 1-0, and Dutch supporters in the Olympic Stadium were overcome with delight.
However, the West Germans turned the tables in the 25th minute. Bernd Hoelsenbein was brought down and Paul Breitner evened the score with a fine penalty.
It wasn't until the 43rd minute -- two minutes before the interval -- that the West Germans took the lead. Mueller rifled a lethal shot, low into the net and showed his recent critics the style that earned him the reputation as the world's most deadly striker.