Italy and West Germany, the two countries tipped to be the chief contenders for the World Cup later this year, played a nil-all draw in a friendly soccer international in Rome on Tuesday (26 February).
GV ZOOM OUT Germany (white tops, playing right to left kicks off)
SV Italy (blue tops) gain possession, attack Italians fouled.
SV Italy takes free kick, saved, passes upfield
LV Netzer (Germany No. 10) tackled and Italy attacks
SV Corner to Italy, Germany clears, Italy gains possession, goal attempt, misses left post
SV PAN Crowd (half time)
SV Germany capt. Beckenbauer takes free kick, gains possession, shoot goal, miss left post
LV Netzer takes free kick, hits cross bar PAN TO crowd
Initials AE/21.17 AE/22.01
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Background: Italy and West Germany, the two countries tipped to be the chief contenders for the World Cup later this year, played a nil-all draw in a friendly soccer international in Rome on Tuesday (26 February).
Despite the goal-less result, both teams showing the class that has made them among the favourities for the World Cup.
Italy, losing finalists in the 1970 World Cup to Brazil, looked the better side for much of the game with their defence rarely allowing any West German attack go further than the edge of the goal area.
Gianni Rivera, the traditional master-mind of the Italian side, and Sandro Mazzola, both showed brilliant ball-control in setting up the few Italian attacks.
Both sides were hampered by injury in the match. Italy was without star winger, Gigi Riva, which severely affected the Italians attacking potential.
West German right winger, Jurgen Grabowski, did not play, and though centre forward, Gerd Mueller, made an unexpected appearance, he showed little sparkle.
The only real chances for either side to score came from free kicks. One by the Italians was tipped over the bar by the West German goalkeeper Maier. Later in the match West German inside forward, Netzeer, hit the cross bar with a free-kick.
Both team managers agreed the draw was a good result.