Comme's History of the World Cup- Mexico 1970

Discussion in 'The Beautiful Game' started by comme, Apr 14, 2006.

  1. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    Mexico 1970

    The choice of Mexico as hosts for the World Cup was a contentious one. Many felt that they lacked the infrastructure and international class facilities to host the world’s greatest tournament. In addition there were serious doubts about possible corruption and the “lobbying” of FIFA delegates. Their hosting of the Olympic Games in Mexico City had convinced some, but others pointed to the blistering heat and sweleting humidity of the Mexican summer as well as issues of altitude as evidence that they were not the wisest choice. Problems of climate were exacerbated by the need to play to European TV schedules which saw kick-offs timetabled at midday and early afternoon, the very hottest point of the day.

    If anything the sweltering heat only added to the excitement of the tournament as many of the world’s best defenders were hamstrung by an inability to keep up the traditional pressing tempo of the European game. The result was a number of error prone games, which saw end to end football, to the delight of the watching crowds. Despite that the decision to hold the tournament in Mexico can still be looked back on as a questionable one, especially given the modern concerns over the health of some players. It was not uncommon for players to lose almost a stone in weight during a single game.

    In addition the reputation of the tournament as the greatest ever witnessed was bolstered the fact that it was the first to be broadcast in colour to the world. While some games from the 1966 World Cup had been shot using colour, they had not been shown live on that medium as colour television was only introduced in 1967. The chance to see a tournament so dominated by the gold of Brazil in “glorious technicolour” undoubtedly boosted its appeal to the enthralled audiences.

    As defending champions many felt that England would be the team to beat in Mexico. If anything the team they brought was stronger than that of four years earlier as fresh blood had been injected into the side.
    England though recognised that the temperature faced in Mexico might well prove a severe obstacle for them to overcome. For that reason they set out early, on an exploratory trip in the summer of 1969. While it was primarily considered a bid to acclimatise in readiness for kickoff, it also was viewed as an opportunity to make friends in the home country, something England had been famously poor at in the past. That goal of the trip at least largely ended in failure due not least to the nature of Alf Ramsay whose lack of natural warmth and charm failed to endear himself to the locals.

    England’s preparations were also undermined by the farcical events surrounding Bobby Moore and the “case of the stolen bracelet”. Moore and Bobby Charlton visited a jewellery shop in Bogota while England were in South America to prepare for the World Cup. After leaving the shop Moore was accused of stealing a bracelet, and ended up being placed under house arrest at the home of the president of Millionarios. Moore was later released on bail to play at the World Cup, and the case around him disappeared (indeed his accusers were themselves charged for conspiracy two years later). Moore showed his characteristic cool throughout the ordeal, proving once again just how mentally strong he was.

    While history may look back on Brazil’s victory as inevitable, there were clear doubts in the build up to the tournament. The first was over the choice of coach, as Joao Saldanha had been sacked as manager and replaced in the build up to the tournament by Mario Zagallo. Zagallo had of course been a key member of the World Cup winning sides of 1958 and 1962 and was commonly considered to be a lucky charm. Saldanha though had given Brazil the perfect start in qualifying winning all 6 of his games in charge. Yet the problem did not lie in his results but rather in his style. Some blamed his dismissal on a failure to pick the preferred players of Brazil’s military dictatorship. Indeed Saldanha even contemplated dropping Pele, following Brazil’s defeat to Argentina in March 1970.

    Despite the wealth of talent at the disposal of Zagallo, he was still faced with a conundrum of how to blend this talent together and to forge a successful team. The primary question was in attack where Pele, Tostao, Rivelino, Gerson and Jairzinho all had claims to start. While all were fabulous players at club level, they all occupied largely the same position, and none was an outright goalscoring centre forward. For Brazil to succeed in Mexico, it was clear that these 5 would have to build an understanding that could harmonise their undisputed ability.

    There were also doubts over the backline, which was particularly fragile. While captain Carlos Alberto offered plenty going forward he lacked the grit of Djalma Santos, and where were the replacements for Nilton Santos and Gilmar? The need for the forwards to find inspiration was particularly pressing given the seeming inevitability of Brazil’s porous defence leaking goals.

    European Champions Italy approached the 1970 World Cup with the abuse they suffered from their fans after the N Korea debacle still ringing in their ears. They had though showed two years earlier that they now knew how to win, and yet again had world class players at their disposal. How they could make best use of the talents of the reigning European Player of the Year, Gianni Rivera, and of his city rival Sandro Mazzola was a constant issue. If either could find form and supply enough ammunition it was thought that Luigi Riva would be the man to convert the chances. At the back it was again Giaccinto Facchetti and Tarcisio Burgnich that the defence was founded upon.

    West Germany, runners up four years earlier, had conducted major surgery on their side in the intervening time. The additions of Gerd Muller, Sepp Maier and Berti Vogts to what was already a solid team made the Germans a potential threat. Franz Beckenbauer was also maturing into an outstanding footballer, cultured and elegant, and with a range of attributes rarely matched.

    Group A

    The opening game of the tournament was, as is so often the case, a disappointment. In truth the opening ceremony which preceded it was arguably the more exciting and entertaining part of the day, as hosts Mexico and the Soviet Union played out a 0-0 draw. Some felt that is was just reward in both cases for an attitude which placed not losing as a higher prize than victory. While both had occasional glimpses of goal neither side did quite enough to edge the game.

    A much more exciting, if one sided, affair was played out between Belgium and El Salvador in the group’s second game. Belgian schemer Wilfried van Moer put the European side ahead after 13 minutes and doubled the “Red Devils’” advantage shortly after half time. The game was finished off for good with ten minutes remaining when forward Raoul Lambert netted from the penalty spot.

    In their next game it was the Belgians’ turn to be on the wrong end of a three goal thrashing. Against the Soviet Union they found themselves behind after 14 minutes as Anatily Bischovets put the Eastern Europeans ahead. The USSR then had to wait until after half time for their next goal, but when it came it was followed by a flurry. Kakhi Asatiani doubled the Soviets’ lead and then Bischovets added a second before Vitali Khmelnitski headed them a fourth. The Belgians had little response until Lambert popped up to pull one back with just 4 minutes left.

    The Mexicans went one better than Belgium in their match against El Salvador as they romped to a four goal victory. The Central American minnows were almost able to make it to half time level but were stunned by Javier Valdivia who scored on 45 minutes. When the sides reemerged Valdivia picked up where he left off as he netted again in quickfire fashion. Javier Fragoso extended the home side’s advantage after 58 minutes before Ignacio Basaguren finished the rout with little time remaining.

    El Salvador’s awful tournament was finally over after their third game against the USSR. They came, they saw and they lost but for a team of their means it was only to be expected. The man that did the damage for the Soviets was Anatily Bischovets yet again as he took his tally to 4 goals in 3 games and marked himself out as a star of the tournament, bagging a brace in a 2-0 victory.

    The following day Mexico met Belgium with both sides knowing that a victory would be enough to see them progress. It was the home side that did so thanks to a penalty from Gustavo Peña after 14 minutes. That goal left the Belgians needing two to stand any chance of entering the next round, but they were unable to score and so were eliminated. The Mexicans were then arbitrarily awarded first place in the group despite finishing level with the USSR both on points and goal difference.

    11-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Mexico:Belgium
    1:0 (1:0) Azteca
    10-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Soviet Union:El Salvador
    2:0 (0:0) Azteca
    07-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Mexico:El Salvador
    4:0 (1:0) Azteca
    06-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Soviet Union:Belgium
    4:1 (1:0) Azteca
    03-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Belgium:El Salvador
    3:0 (1:0) Azteca
    31-MAY-70 MEXICO CITY Mexico:Soviet Union
    0:0 Azteca

    Group B

    Israel opened their World Cup campaign against two time champions Uruguay. Uruguguay were hit early on by the loss of their captain and inspiration Pedro Rocha to injury, but they took the setback well and then took the lead through Ildo Maneiro after 23 minutes. The Israelis’ chances of getting anything from the game were hurt with ten minutes remaining when Juan Mujica scored for the South Americans.

    Group favourites Italy faced Sweden in a tough opening game. The Italians are now famous for their slow starts to World Cups, but against the Swedes they found themselves ahead after just 11 minutes courtesy of Angelo Domenghini. Yet that was where the scoring ended as neither side had the ability (or perhaps the inclination) to gamble further, and the Italians were glad to open their account with a victory.

    The status of Italy and Uruguay as the group’s leading teams was reaffirmed when they met in the group’s third game at the Estadio Cuauhtemoc. There they played out a 0-0 stalemate, as neither side was willing to do enough to win the game. The stance of Uruguay, shorn of their magical captain, was perhaps understandable, but Italy had more than enough quality to be adventurous. It appeared that memories of North Korea were never far from their minds. The best chance of the game fell to Riva after Mazzola had beaten two defenders, but by the time he had made room to shoot Mazurkiewicz was able to deal with it.

    Their rivals for progression also played out a draw, but at least this one had goals. After a dour first half in which neither side could force a breakthrough the Swedes took the lead early after the break when Tom Turesson broke the deadlock. It was not to last long though as Mordechai Spiegler the Israeli captain netted within 3 minutes to level the game. The game ended at 1-1, a result which did neither side any favours and saw the Uruguyans and Italians inch closer to the next round.

    The final round of group games saw two shocks pulled as neither Uruguay nor Italy were able to win.

    Indeed the position of Uruguay looked slightly in doubt as Ove Grahn netted for the Swedes in the 90th minute with a header, just 5 minutes after coming on to replace Goran Niklasson. Had the Swedes managed a second they would have ensured the elimination of Uruguay and given themselves an excellent chance of progress. As it was the superior goal difference of Uruguay left them in the superior position.

    The game between Italy and Israel took on a different tone after Sweden’s victory as the Azzuri knew that a draw would be enough, not just to qualify, but to top the group ahead of Uruguay. Perhaps that was the reason that La Squadra were content to play out a 0-0 draw, safe in the knowledge that it was enough to guarantee their passage into the next round.
    11-JUN-70 TOLUCA Italy:Israel
    0:0 Luis Dosal
    10-JUN-70 PUEBLA Sweden:Uruguay
    1:0 (0:0) Cuauhtemoc
    07-JUN-70 TOLUCA Sweden:Israel
    1:1 (0:0) Luis Dosal
    06-JUN-70 PUEBLA Uruguay:Italy
    0:0 Cuauhtemoc
    03-JUN-70 TOLUCA Italy:Sweden
    1:0 (1:0) Luis Dosal
    02-JUN-70 PUEBLA Uruguay:Israel
    2:0 (1:0) Cuauhtemoc

    Group C

    England began the defence of their title against Romania in Guadalajara, and it was not the most confident of performances. England were grateful to a second half goal from Geoff Hurst for a narrow 1-0 victory over the Eastern European side. Hurst struck a powerful left footed shot to earn England victory, and although they could not add a second there never seemed to be great danger of their lead slipping.

    Brazil got off to a nightmare beginning in their game against Czechoslovakia. At first the unthinkable happened as Roberto Rivelino burst to the byline and cut back for Pele who somehow missed an open goal, skying the ball over the bar. The South American giants then found themselves a goal behind after 12 minutes as Ladislav Petráš burst past Brito and lofted the ball delicately over Felix. Yet from then on the Brazilians began to find their famous rhythm and impose their style on the game. Rivelino demonstrated his quality with a great step over and then a thunderous shot with his left foot. Then came the moment that the Brazilians drew level and it was archetypal of their style of play. An excellent passage of interplay featuring Pele, Gerson and Tostao was ended with a foul on Pele on the edge of the area for which a freekick was awarded. Rivelino stepped up and hammered an excellent freekick home, Ivo Viktor could only get a hand to it but had no chance of making the save. By this time the Brazilian forwards were beginning to function as a unit and Pele and Tostao showed this with great understanding, that produced a shot from Tostao which fizzed narrowly over.

    Perhaps the finest moment in an exceptional match was the outrageous ability of Pele, as he tried his luck from well within his own half, missing the target by a fraction while Viktor was stranded. Then on the hour mark Pelé was on the scoresheet in the second hald as he chested down a majestic pass from Gerson and coolly fired past the Czech keeper. Gerson’s phenomenal range of passing was to the fore again minutes later when a similar through ball this time found Jairzinho, who lifted the ball over Viktor and then smashed it into the empty net. Jairzinho completed the scoring late on with a fabulous solo goal to cap an excellent performance. The warning signs were there though for Brazil as it was obvious their defence was not to be relied on.

    Romania and Czechoslovakia’s match got off to a flyer as Petráš headed the Czechs into the lead after just 4 minues. He was clearly a player used to making explosive starts, but from then on it was Romania who largely controlled the game’s pace. They drew level in the second half via Neagu and eventually won the game when Florea Dumitrache converted from the spot. The Czechs’ bright start had come to nothing and in truth they never really looked capable of building on the foundations they had laid.

    The game between England and Brazil was considered by all to be worthy of the final. The world champions took on the arguably the world’s most exciting side and it proved to be a classic. The game began brightly when Carlos Alberto drilled a long ball down the touchline for Jairzinho who went past Cooper and hit the byline to cross. His centre was met by Pele, who leapt superbly and powered a header to the bottom corner of the goal. Pele turned screaming “Gooooool” only to see Banks pull off history’s greatest ever save to deny him. It was a passage of play which summed up quite how good the two sides were. England came close to taking the lead themselves when Wright crossed for Franny Lee whose diving header was excellently saved by Felix. The first half could produce no goals but it was certainly not short of quality.

    In the second half the magical feet of Tostao bamboozled the English defence, nutmegging Bobby Moore before crossing for Pele. The touch of Pele and the awareness to feed an overlapping Jairzinho summed up the genius of “O Rei” and his colleague’s finish past Banks capped a superb move. The Brazilians came close to steaing a two goal advantage when a long freekick into the Brazilian box, was punched by Felix and when the ball fell to Jairznho he ran purposefully at the English defence only to be stopped by Moore’s perfect tackle. Yet again the genius of the men in yellow was nullified by the technique and poise of the English defence.

    While England’s ability in defence was obvious in Banks and Moore, so there ineptitude in front of goal was tragically summed up moments later. A hopeful ball into the box was not dealt with by Everaldo and when the ball fell to Jeff Astle he somehow sidefooted wide. As David Coleman remarked at the time, “You can’t win matches if you miss open goals”. England though were not the champions for nothing and they came close to levelling the score when Moore’s cross was met by Jeff Astle and from the knock down Alan Ball’s shot skimmed the bar. It was tough on England to lose a game in which they had played so well, but they were still in with real hope of progression and they had showed their quality against an excellent Brazil side.

    Brazil’s final group game against Romania saw more of the best and the worst of the samba kings. They opened the scoring through an excellent free kick from Pele with the outside of his right boot. Their second goal was due in no small part to Jairzinho who skipped past the Romanian challenges to release Paulo Cesar who centred for Jairzinho to finish easily. But Brazil’s casual nature almost came to be their undoing and the Romanians came back into the game with an excellent goal. When Ion dumitru found Dumitrache with a fine long pass, the forward’s turn was sublime and he poked the ball past Felix. The Brazilians though seemed to be able to turn it on at will and when a short corner from Jairzinho saw the ball eventually come into the box Tostao’s flick with his heel was met by the predatory Pele to restore their two goal advantage. The Romanians demonstrated their own quality late on when Radu Nunweiler fed Ludovic Satmareanu on the right wing and his whipped cross was well met by Emerich Dembrovschi. Brazil had again looked vulnerable but their standard of attacking play was simply stellar.

    England’s final group game was against Czechoslovakia and they turned in a woeful performance. England were fortunate to win the game 1-0 courtesy of a penalty from Allan Clarke. It was given by French referee Roger Machin for a foul by Ladislav Kuna on Colin Bell, but some felt England should have been grateful for its award. Regardless of their performance England had done enough to progress to the next round.

    11-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA England:Czechoslovakia
    1:0 (0:0) Jalisco
    10-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA Brazil:Romania
    3:2 (2:1) Jalisco
    07-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA Brazil:England
    1:0 (0:0) Jalisco
    06-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA Romania:Czechoslovakia
    2:1 (0:1) Jalisco
    03-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA Brazil:Czechoslovakia
    4:1 (1:1) Jalisco
    02-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA England:Romania
    1:0 (0:0) Jalisco

    Group D

    The game between Peru and Bulgaria which opened Group D, epitomised the very nature of a strange tournament in which teams took leads and soon lost them, sides went from invinceable to incompetent in a matter of moments. In this match it was the Bulgarians who made the early running and took the lead through a freekick from Dinko Dermendzhiev after 12 minutes. Shortly after half time they increased their lead when Hristo Bonev scored. Yet as is often said, a side is at its most vulnerable just after scoring, and in this case Peru made sure that was true. Alberto Gallardo pulled one back for Peru and then Hector Chumpitaz, their inspirational defender, made the game level. The game was now set for a grandstand finish and it was Teofillo Cubillas who grabbed the glory for Peru with a winner 15 minutes from time. Bulgaria had been so close to a first ever World Cup victory, but they were undone by Peru’s determination.

    At the outset it appeared that W Germany would be likely winners of the group, given their prior form in the World Cup they were clearly the class team. The early stages of their performance against Morocco belied that opinion as they went behind to a goal from Houmane after 20 minutes. It took until after the break for Uwe Seeler to put them on level terms and with ten minutes remaining Gerd Müller came to the Germans rescue with a winning header.

    Peru seemed to have learnt from their mistake of giving Bulgaria a two goal lead when they met with Morocco in their second group game. This time they still scored three times in the second half but did so from a level position and ended up running out comfortable winners. It was a pity for the Moroccans who had held out bravely for 65 minutes until Cubillas netted. That goal was followed in quick succession by one from Roberto Challe and then Cubillas grabbed a second to make sure of victory.

    West Germany’s second game against Bulgaria appeared at first to be a formality, yet again the underdog sprang an early surprise. This time it was a freekick from Asparuch Nikodimov after just 12 minutes. The W Germans though hit back through Reinhard Libuda 8 minutes later and Gerd Muller added a second soon after. After the half time interval Müller netted from the penalty spot 52 and Uwe Seeler made it 4 with 20 minutes remaining. With little time left Müller headed home to grab a World Cup hat-trick. In fairness to the Bulgarians they kept pressing for a goal and were given their reward for their perseverance when Todor Kolev put his name on the score sheet shortly after the Germans’ fifth.

    W Germany and Peru’s game was of little great significance, other than the prize of topping the group and with it the possibility of an easier draw for the next round. The W Germans though were the side with the pedigree of performing at the highest level and they demonstrated their increasing confidence with an impressive 3-0 victory. The man they had to thank was Gerd Muller, emerging as the game’s most deadly marksman, who hit an excellent first half hat-trick to put the Europeans into a comfortable position. Although Teofillio Cubillas was able to score at the end of the first half from a freekick Peru never really looked capable of scoring the three goals they had managed in their two prior games. Both sides could be pleased with their making progress to the second round, where they would both face tough opposition.

    So Bulgaria and Morocco played out the group’s last game knowing that all they could win was respect. To that end the two sides contested a creditable 1-1 draw, so both sides emerged with some prestige intact having won their first World Cup point. The Bulgarians took the lead via Dobromir Zhechev 5 minutes before half time, but Morocco were level on the hour mark after a goal from Maouhoub Ghazouani. Neither country could be particularly disappointed with an early exit, given both the quality of their opponents and their own displays.

    11-JUN-70 LEON Bulgaria:Morocco
    1:1 (1:0) Guanajuato
    10-JUN-70 LEON Germany FR:peru
    3:1 (3:1) Guanajuato
    07-JUN-70 LEON Germany FR:Bulgaria
    5:2 (2:1) Guanajuato
    06-JUN-70 LEON Peru:Morocco
    3:0 (0:0) Guanajuato
    03-JUN-70 LEON Germany FR:Morocco
    2:1 (0:1) Guanajuato
    02-JUN-70 LEON Peru:Bulgaria
    3:2 (0:1) Guanajuato

    Quarter finals

    The game between Uruguay and the USSR must stand as the poorest of the knock-out stages. In the stifling heat, both sides saw attacking football as an unnecessary drain on their energy and were content to sit back. The Uruguyans in particular were to blame for the poor spectacle as they decided to play with a rigid line just outside their 18 yard box for the majority of the encounter. It was only with time running out in normal time that the Uruguyans, still without Rocha, made any concerted effort to threaten the Soviet goal.
    In extra time it appeared to dawn on both sides that the winner would be settled by the drawing of lots if no winner could be found and that introduced some urgency to their play. On a rare Uruguyan attack Valentin Afonin tried to shepherd the ball out, but Cubilla showed superb determination as he somehow managed to drag the ball back from between the Russian’s legs and deliver a brilliant corss which was headed in by Espárrago. Some felt that the ball had crossed the line (indeed the Russians lodged a formal complaint) but replays showed that it was clearly still in play and that referee Laurens van Ravens had made the correct decision to allow play to continue.

    Hosts Mexico had enjoyed a fine run to reach the quarter finals, but even the support of a fanatical home nation was not enough to see them through against Italy. The Mexicans started well though and took the lead after just 13 minutes with a fine goal. Javier Frangoso played a delicate ball that bisected the Italian defence and Jose Gonzalez smashed it through the keeper to give Mexico the lead. The Italians though drew level in awful circumstances as after good work by Riva, a speculative effort by Boninsega was somehow deflected off Gustavo Pena and past Calderon in the Mexican net. While the keeper could blame the deflection, he should in truth have done much better.

    In the second half the Italians began to press more and were rewarded with the lead, albeit a fortunate one. Gianni Rivera, the Italian golden boy’s introduction was in part the cause of Italy’s improved dominance as his purposeful running and fluid passing undoubtedly improved the side. When the goal came Riva received the ball and with a good turn fired on goal, again the ball was deflected but this time the keeper could count himself unlucky and was in no way to blame. Rivera then managed a goal of his own as he picked up the ball and rounded Calderon only to see his shot blocked on the line, after a game of pinball ensued in the box the ball eventually returned to Rivera who made no mistake the second time. La Squadra’s final goal came again after interplay between Rivera and Riva. Rivera fed Riva who needed two chances to net a fourth and bag a place in the semi finals.

    Brazil’s match-up with Peru was perhaps most notable for its pitting of World Cup winning team-mates Didi and Mario Zagallo against one another. Of course the pair had also been joined on those teams by Pele, and it was he who would do much of the damage to Peruvian hopes.

    Indeed Pele was at the heart of the action early on when put through by an exquisite pass from Gerson. He brought the ball down perfectly and slotted the ball past the keeper, but when it hit the inside of the post it rolled along the goalface and past the opposite post. Pele was still aware to the possibilities and his impudent backheel was met by Tostao who shot over. It was yet another example of how the Brazilians could make missing chances even more exciting than taking them.

    When they did eventually score though Brazil did it in style. Pele crossed the ball in from the right but Eloy Campos failed to deal with it and when the ball fell to Tostao he teed up Rivelino who spanked the ball off the inside of the post. The combination of Tostao and Rivelino proved to be even more fruitful moments later when they conspired around a short corner, Rivelino then fed Tostao who managed to score from an impossible angle.

    Pele’s efforts from distance in the tournament have become the stuff of legend, but against Peru he was able to find the back of the net. He ran up to the ball and thundered in a remarkable free kick from all of 40 yards. Sadly it was ruled out as Pele had not realised it was an indirect freekick. Moments later Rivelino demonstrated his supreme technique with some mesmeric skills before feeding Pele whose chip drifted just over the Peruvian crossbar.

    Yet just as the Brazilians appeared to be coasting to a routine victory they found themselves conceding a sloppy goal. Hector Chumpitaz hit an excellent pass forward for Gallardo who somehow beat Carlos Alberto and then beat Felix from a ridiculous angle. For all the Brazilians’ divine attacking their goalkeeper was still distinctly mortal.

    In the second half the Brazilians pressed again to score and when Jairzinho fed Pele, his cross was deflected into the path of Tostao who netted. The Peruvians responded in kind and following great work by Sotil, the ball somehow ricocheted to Cubillas who smashed it past Felix.
    Late on Jairzinhocompleted the scoring as he latched on to a Rivelino pass, rounded Luis Rubinos, and scored from a tight angle. The Peruvians had gone out but in distinguished fashion against an awesome Brazilian display.

    So England met W Germany to complete the round in a repeat of the World Cup final of 4 years earlier. England though were rocked by the loss of Gordon Banks, probably the world’s finest keeper, due to illness. The performance of his replacement, Peter Bonetti would certainly be one to remember. Bonetti was known as “the cat” at his club Chelsea for whom he was a superb servant and excellent player. It is a true pity that he is known by most modern fans for a single disastrous game.

    Bonetti though started confidently as he easily watched a long range speculator from Beckenbauer sail just wide of his post. England found themselves in front soon after when Terry Newton slid the ball through to Mullery who swivelled cleverly to score. At the beginning of the second half Newton again acted as provider and his deep cross was met by Peters at the back post to score. England had real cause to be aggrieved when the Germans pulled a goal back after 69 minutes as Franny Lee was hit by a ball to the groin and went down, evidently suffering from it. The Germans took no notice of the injured player and rather than putting the ball into touch for him to receive treatment they continued to play with the ball eventually reaching Beckenbauer who scored from distance. In mitigation, Bonetti should really have saved the shot to save any arguments, but the sporting action would have been to allow Lee the chance to get treatment.

    The reaction of Alf Ramsay to the loss of a goal was to withdraw the veteran Bobby Charlton (that would prove to be his last game for England) and replace him with Colin Bell of Manchester City and he followed that by replacing Martin Peters with Norman Hunter of Leeds United. In doing so Ramsay radically altered the shape of the England team and within a minute of the second substitution they were made to pay. Karl-Heinz Schnellinger delivered an excellent cross and Uwe Seeler an amazing backwards header to restore parity. England were now in the exact same situation of four years earlier, having frittered away a two goal advantage, but this time it was the Germans who appeared to be the more determined.

    When Grabowski crossed from the right Luhr leapt well above Keith Nathan to head back across the goal where Gerd Muller was waiting to pounce and eliminate England. Again the positioning of Bonetti had to be questioned, though perhaps with the quick change of angles of attack it was easy to understand. England had seemingly thrown away a golden opportunity to make it to the next stage and would grumble for years to come that had Banks been fit and had Ramsay not made those changes they would surely have faced Brazil in the final for a rematch. Perhaps it was understandable that they should be upset especially given the fact that they failed to qualify for the finals of 1974 and 1978. W Germany might have seen it as sweet revenge for the third “goal” of the 1966 final. As is so often the case in football, justice could be perceived to have been done.

    14-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Uruguay:Soviet Union
    1:0 a.e.t (0:0, 0:0) Azteca
    14-JUN-70 TOLUCA Italy:Mexico
    4:1 (1:1) Luis Dosal
    14-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA Brazil:peru
    4:2 (2:1) Jalisco
    14-JUN-70 LEON Germany FR:England
    3:2 a.e.t (2:2, 0:1) Guanajuato

    Semi finals

    Brazil’s start to their semi-final with Uruguay was as calamitous as anything witnessed so far in the tournament. This time it was Brito who made the fatal mistake of passing the ball straight to Julio Morales who played in Luis Cubilla to score calmly past Felix. It really was the worst way to approach a game against a Uruguay side happy to put 10 men behind the ball when they were losing. However, just as the Brazilian defence was as awful as ever, so two the attack was at its inventive best. With little time remaining in the first half Clodoaldo played a clever one-two with Tostao and galloped on to score with a side foot past Mazurkiewicz.

    The second half was really a showcase for the extraordinary vision and talent that was Pele. Shortly after the restart he demonstrated his supreme instinctive play as Mazurkiewicz kicked the ball out straight to Pele who returned it with interest on the volley. Only a decent save from the Uruguayan could prevent a marvellous goal.

    Then some fabulous inter play between Jairzinho, Tostao and Pele saw Jairzinho put through and he maintained his superb scoring form. Jairzinho had now scored in every game so far in the finals. The goal also meant that the Uruguyans for once had to come out of their shell and chase the game and they were caught out in doing so as Pele drove hard at the Uruguay defence, checked and then teed up Rivelino who teed off with a shot that went through Mazurkiewicz.

    In the final moments Tostao released Pele who ran through and feinted to take the ball round the keeper, but instead let it roll and went round Mazurkiewicz himself only to shoot just wide. It was a moment of indescribable magic, of a player with a different level of vision to every other. Pele’s spontaneity made this arguably the moment of the tournament, and what a tournament.

    Italy- W Germany

    The semi-final between Italy and W Germany saw two of Europe’s most successful World Cup sides go head to head. The W Germans had to be considered the slight underdogs, given their gruelling match against England days earlier and their arguably tougher route to the semis.

    Indeed when the game started the W Germans appeared to be still hungover from their previous game as they went a goal down after just 7 minutes. A well worked one-two between Riva and Boninsegna saw the ball back with Boninsegna and he rifled home to put the Azzuri ahead.
    In the first half the Germans had few genuine chances and their best effort came from a superb header by Uwe Seeler from a corner that produced a smart save by Albertosi.

    The W Germans World Cup adventure seemed set to come to an abrupt end late on until in the dying seconds a cross from Jurgen Grabowski found Karl-Heinz Schnellinger of all people unmarked in the six yard box to slot home. The Italians had switched off at the death and were made to pay for their careless defending.

    Now a game which had been exciting in normal time sprang further into life when extra time started. When the Germans won a corner Uwe Seeler rose to win the header and after terrible defending by Giacinto Facchetti and Fabrizio Polleti, Gerd Muller the ultimate poacher was there to finish. Within three minutes though the Italians were level as Rivera delivered from a freekick and Burgnich was able to add his name to an increasingly lengthy score sheet. Yet again it was poor defending that had allowed the goal, this time the culprit was 10.

    Just before the midway point in added time the pendulum swung again and this time it was in Italy’s favour through a moment of true class. The man to credit was Gigi Riva who complemented a great first touch with a superb low finish.

    Yet precisely when the Italians might have though that the game was finally wrapped up the W Germans came again.
    From a short corner Libuda was able to work the space to cross and when Seeler won yet another header across the box Muller pounced to make it 3-3. It marked an incredible achievement for Muller, his tenth goal at the 1970 World Cup.

    He had little time to admire his good work though, as Facchetti played the ball to Boninsegna who burst past Willi Schulz and cut the ball back for Rivera to score. Amazingly the two sides managed to play out the remaining 9 minutes of the match without conceding a goal.

    It was a game that quite rightly went down as a true World Cup classic, a testament to the 1970 World Cup. But it must be pointed out that the goals were in no small part due to calamitous defending and clear physical fatigue as much as they were to attacking flair and artistry. What made the match was the rollercoaster of emotions, the ebb and flow of each side’s dominance, it was not the calibre of play. As was so often the case in Mexico the environs may have produced an exciting game, but it was not football for the purist.

    17-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Italy:Germany FR
    4:3 a.e.t (1:1, 1:0) Azteca
    17-JUN-70 GUADALAJARA Brazil:Uruguay
    3:1 (1:1) Jalisco

    3rd place play off

    Somewhat unusually the third place play-off did not prove to be the open and freescoring spectacle that some might have hoped for. The only goal of the game fell to the West Germans midway through the first half when Wolfgang Overath fired past Mazurkiewicz. The Uruguyans were the one side to really excel at the finals not to even attempt to entertain, and their stultifying approach had finally got what it deserved. It was just a pity that in a came in a meaningless game!

    20-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Germany FR:Uruguay
    1:0 (1:0) Azteca


    So to the final, the climax of a fine festival of football. In the build up it was unquestioned who the neutral would favour. The style and manner of Brazil’s play, from the creative genius up front to the cavalier and at times amateurish defending, made it impossible not to admire the men in gold.

    Italy too could claim to have come out of their shell since the group stages, they had scored a remarkable 8 goals in 2 games, but most still hoped and prayed that Brazil would emerge victorious.

    The Italians were the first side to have a genune attack on goal when Riva struck a thunderous shot from distance which was well saved by Felix in the Brazilian net. Yet despite a bright start the Italians found themselves behind after 18 minutes when Tostao’s throw in crossed by Rivelino on the half volley and Pele’s spring heeled leap was enough to beat Burnich and power the ball past Albertosi. It was the perfect header, perhaps even better than the one which produced Gordon Banks remarkable save in the group stages.

    The Italians though responded well as de Sisti emabarked on a buccaneering run down the right flank with a shot that was easily saved by Felix. The Azzuri drew level after 37 minutes and again the Brazilians only had themselves to blame. Clodoaldo this time inexplicably attempted a backflick in his own half and made a dangerous situation out of nothing. Gigi Riva pounced upon his mistake and when Felix came out ineffectively Boninsegna was able to stroke the ball into an empty net. The men in blue were clearly buoyed by their goal and clearly looked the more confident team in the remaining minutes of the first half. Domenghini provided a fresh test for Felix with a long range effort which the keepe needed two chances to save.

    In the second half the Brazilians looked far more purposeful and forced the Italians onto the back foot.
    Their first attack came as Jairzinho fed the overlapping Carlos Alberto who hammered a low cross along the face of the goal but this time Pele could not quite finish.
    Everaldo was next to step up to the challenge as he fired a wonderful freekick which was saved spectacularly by Albertosi.

    The Italians seemed unable to mount an effective attack of their own and the Brazilian dominance continued when Carlos Alberto stroked the ball into the feet off Tostao who laid it off for Rivelino. After a pirouette fit for the ballet Rivelino skied his shot. The Brazilians were now queuing up to attack and from a freekick Gerson rolled the ball to Rivelino whose right footed strike hit the bar.

    For all their attacking prowess though the Brazilians had been unable to take the lead in the second half. That all changed when a mazy Jairzinho dribble saw the ball laid off to Gerson to rifle a fantastic left foot shot past the keeper. Within 5 minutes the Brazilians were two ahead as Gerson hit yet another perfect long ball forward on to the head of Pele. Pele’s vision to spot the run of Jairzinho was exceptional and the outside right bundled the ball into the net. Jairzinho had achieved the impossible, he had scored in every game in the World Cup, a feat no man had ever achieved, nor have they since.

    Now the Brazilians were in carnival mood, their victory seemingly assured. Rivelino was the man for the party pieces demonstrating incredible skill around the box, even playing a nutmeg of the inside of the defender’s legs before setting up Gerson for a tame shot.

    With just moments remaining Clodoaldo showed great skill in his own half (this time without conceding a goal), Rivelino played the ball forward to Jairzinho. Jairzinho fed Pele who waited for the perfect moment to play in his captain Carlos Alberto, overlapping on the right. The right footed shot by the Brazilian skipper delivered the coup de grace.

    It was the ultimate ending to a fantastic display from Brazil, not just in the final but throughout the tournament. They had arrived in Mexico with some doubting the ability of their attack to find harmony but they had fully vindicated their selection. It was a side that, as John Motson said, “had fulfilled all our footballing fantasies”.

    21-JUN-70 MEXICO CITY Brazil:Italy
    4:1 (1:1) Azteca

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  2. comme

    comme Moderator
    Staff Member

    Feb 21, 2003
    I just want to point out that I don't think it is possible to do justice to some of Brazil's attacking play in words.

    As always I would really recommend that people try to get hold of footage of them to see quite how good they were.

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