The draw for the 1962 tournament placed Sepp Herberger’s German side in what looked like a tough group – two-time winners and European powerhouses Italy, the workmanlike and highly professional Swiss, and Chile – the host nation. While Italy were expected to offer the stiffest challenge, the talented and unpredictable Chileans could not be underestimated: the two teams had met just the year before in Santiago, with the South Americans inflicting the Germans’ only defeat in six games played.

The opening game against Italy was a cagey affair, both sides earning a point with a 0-0 draw. Herberger’s side were next up against Switzerland, and never looked back after establishing a two-goal lead through Albert Brülls and the prolific Hamburg striker Uwe Seeler, who scored his twenty-first goal in his thirty-second game for the national side. The Swiss did pull a goal back with eighteen minutes left, but Herberger’s side had done enough to move on to three points, one behind Chile who had defeated Italy 2-0 in front of a fanatical crowd in Santiago.

With the Germans doing just about enough and the Chileans in a bouyant mood having already qualified, the Germans knew exactly what they had to do. A draw would have taken them through in second place behind the Chileans, while a win would take them to the top of the group. Given that group matches were being played at the same time their quarter-final opponents would not be known until the final whistle had blown, but it looked likely that they would be drawn against either the Soviet Union or Yugoslavia – a team they had met at the same stage in both 1954 and 1958. A defeat was unthinkable, in that it would have presented the Italians with a chance of sneaking through on Goal Average were they to beat Switzerland in their final game.

Despite the pressure exerted by the Chileans and the Santiago crowd, the Mannschaft once again were able to get things right when they needed to. Having taken the lead from the penalty spot through Horst Szymaniak after twenty-one minutes, the game was wrapped up when that man Seeler found the back of the net with eight minutes remaining. Five points from six, and Germany were through to face Yugoslavia for the third time in three World Cup quarter-finals.

While the Germans had once again done enough to make it past the group stage, the Yugoslavs had overcome an opening 2-0 defeat by the Soviets to make the quarter-finals in some style, first beating Uruguay 3-1 before thrashing Colombia 5-0. The results between the two European sides appeared to be getting closer: in 1954 the Germans had won 2-0, while in 1958 they had taken the game by a single goal. Following this crazy logic, the Yugoslavs at the very least hoped for a 0-0 stalemate after ninety minutes.

Curiously, it was looking pretty much this way for most of the game – after Uwe Seeler had rattled the Yugoslav post after three minutes, not much happened. It actually did look as though it was going to finish 0-0 and go to extra time, until NK Rijeka’s Petar Radaković struck gold for the men in blue with less than five minutes left. There was far too little time for even Germany to come back into the game, and when Peruvian referee Arturo Yamasaki Maldonado blew the final whistle, Germany were out.

First Phase Group 2 v Italy, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, 30.05.1962
Italy

0-0 (0-0)
– / –

Germany FR: Fahrian – Nowak, Schnellinger – W. Schulz, Erhardt (c), Szymaniak – H. Sturm, Haller, Seeler, Ha. Schäfer, Brülls

Italy: Buffon – Losi, Robotti – Salvadore, Maldini, Radice – Ferrini, Rivera, Altafini, Sivori, Menichelli

Referee: Robert Davidson (Scotland)
Assistants: Raymond Morgan (Canada), Luis Antonio Ventre (Argentina)

Dismissals: – / –

Attendance: 65,440

First Phase Group 2 v Switzerland, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, 03.06.1962
Switzerland

2-1 (1-0)
Brülls 45., Seeler 59. / Schneiter 73.

Germany FR: Fahrian – Nowak, Schnellinger – W. Schulz, Erhardt (c), Szymaniak – Koslowski, Haller, Seeler, Ha. Schäfer, Brülls

Switzerland: Elsener – Schneiter, Tacchella – Grobety, Wüthrich, Weber – Antenen, Vonlanthen, Allemann, Eschmann, Dürr

Referee: Leo Horn (Netherlands)
Assistants: Nikolai Latychev (Soviet Union), Luis Antonio Ventre (Argentina)

Dismissals: – / –

Attendance: 64,992

First Phase Group 2 v Chile, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, 06.02.1962
Chile

2-0 (1-0)
Szymaniak pen 21., Seeler 82. / –

Germany FR: Fahrian – Nowak, Schnellinger – W. Schulz, Erhardt (c), Giesemann – Kraus, Szymaniak, Seeler, Ha. Schäfer, Brülls

Chile: Escuti – Eyzaguirre, Navarro – Contreras, R. Sánchez, Rojas – Moreno, Tobar, Landa, L. Sánchez, Ramírez

Referee: Robert Davidson (Scotland)
Assistants: Ken Aston (England), Leo Horn (Netherlands)

Dismissals: – / –

Attendance: 67,224

TeamPWDLFAGA*Pts
GermanyGermany FR (Q)3210414.005
ChileChile (Q)3201531.674
ItalyItaly3111321.503
SwitzerlandSwitzerland3003280.250

Other results: Chile 3-1 Switzerland; Chile 2-0 Italy; Italy 3-0 Switzerland.

* GA = Goal Average. It had taken a number of years for FIFA to finally settle on a way avoiding the need for play-off matches, and to this end the Goal Average was used as a tie-breaker. The GA was calculated by taking the number of goals scored and dividing it by the number of goals conceded to produce a coefficient: for example if Team A scored four goals and conceded one they would have a GA of 4.00 (4 divided by 1), and if Team B scored six goals and conceded two, they would have a GA of 3.00 (6 divided by 2).

The Goal Average method clearly favoured defensive teams – for example a team that had scored four goals and conceded one would end up having a better figure (4.00) than a more attacking team that might have scored ten goals and conceded three (3.33). The tie-break method was changed to Goal Difference (GD) for the 1970 tournament in Mexico.

Quarter-Final v Yugoslavia, Estadio Nacional, Santiago, 10.06.1962
Yugoslavia

0-1 (0-0)
– / Radaković 85.

Germany FR: Fahrian – Nowak, Schnellinger – W. Schulz, Erhardt (c), Giesemann – Brülls, Haller, Seeler, Szymaniak, Ha. Schäfer

Yugoslavia: Šoškić – Durković, Jusufi – Radaković, Marković, Popović – Kovačević, Šekularac, Jerković, Galić, Skoblar

Referee: Arturo Yamasaki Maldonado (Peru)
Assistants: Luis Antonio Ventre (Argentina), José Antonio Silva (Chile)

Dismissals: – / –

Attendance: 63,324

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