Estadio Municipal El Molinón, Gijón, 25.06.1982
Hrubesch 10. / –
Having followed their shock opening defeat at the hands of Algeria with a resounding 4-1 victory over Chile, things were back in the balance for the final round of games which would see Algeria take on the Chileans with the Mannschaft closing things off with the final match of the group against neighbours and old rivals Austria – a repeat of the fixture that had taken place four years earlier in Córdoba when Helmut Schön’s side slumped to an infamous 3-2 defeat.
Just hours before the kick-off in Gijón, Algeria had beaten Chile 3-2 – though they had at one stage been three goals up before allowing their opponents to come back into the game and reduce the deficit to one goal. This would come back to haunt the Algerians, who now stood with one precarious foot in the second phase. With just the final fixture to be completed, the Austrians led the group with four points from two games and a goal difference of +3, with the Algerians in second place with four points from their three games and a level goal difference. The Germans were lying third with two points from two games and a goal difference of +2, while the Chileans sat at the foot of the table having suffered three straight defeats.
The mission would be clear and strightforward for Jupp Derwall’s side: they simply had to claim both points to overhaul Algeria and, in the process, leapfrog the Austrians to claim first place in the group. The Austrians for their part simply had to avoid defeat to top the group or keep any deficit down to one or two goals to pip the Algerians for second spot on goal difference.
The Nationaltrainer would name the same side that had triumphed over the Chileans, employing the same 4-4-2 formation with the hulking Horst Hrubesch leading the line. Only one German player who took to the field in Córdoba four years earlier would make the starting lineup in Gijón – skipper Karl-Heinz Rummenigge – but for the Austrians no fewer than six of their 1978 side would start, among them their two-goal folk hero Hans Krankl.
Everyone in the compact Estadio Municipal El Molinón were expecting the Mannschaft to put the Austrians to the sword, with the thousands of German supporters who had travelled to Spain were expecting nothing less than an attacking display to put the Ösis back in their rightful place and banish the memories of Argentina and Krankl’s late winner. In fact, the majority of those German fans that had any memory of what had happened four years earlier would have been more than happy to see their side put the Austrians on the next flight back to Vienna.
What would transpire over the ninety minutes however would drag Derwall, his team and German football itself further down into the mire.
On what was a bright afternoon in northern Spain Scottish referee Bob Valentine got things underway, with the two sides playing the same colours as in their 1978 encounter – the Germans in their traditional white shirts and black shorts, and the Austrians in their familiar red and white Trikot. The opening exchanges would not provide any real indication of how things would pan out come the final whistle: having to chase the game, Derwall’s side were quickly out of the blocks as they stormed forward and threw everything and the kitchen sink at the men in red.
While in 1978 the Mannschaft’s final second phase game against Austria had been described as Der Schmach von Córdoba on account of the result, the 1982 fixture against the same opponents was called Der Schande von Gijón or Nichtangriffspakt von Gijón – literally, “the shame of Gijón” or “non-aggression pact of Gijón” – as a result of something far more insidious: the apparent collusion between the two sides at the expense of the Algerians.
The thousands of German fans that had expected their team to run out wanting to give the Austrians a right royal thrashing in revenge for 1978 were left rubbing their eyes in disbelief as both sides passed the ball around aimlessly for the best part of eighty minutes after Horst Hrubesch had given the Mannschaft the lead following a frenetic start.
While the ARD television commentator Eberhard Stanjek expressed open disgust and even the most patriotic among the German media were simply willing the ground to open and swallow them up, Derwall himself remained impassive and unmoved in proclaiming that the ends had been greater than the means – even if it involved bringing the game into disrepute. It was arguably the lowest point – morally, at least – in the history of German football.
The criticism raining in from all sides was taken with a pinch of salt by both the coach and the players; while Derwall himself insisted that his team were not in Spain to “play football” – or words to that effect – the players’ own response to the army of disappointed and angry supporters that had gathered outside their hotel was to shower them with water bombs thrown from their balcony.
Germany FR: Schumacher – Kaltz, Stielike, Kh. Förster, Briegel – Dremmler, Breitner, Magath – Kh. Rummenigge (c) (67. Matthäus) – Littbarski – Hrubesch (69. K. Fischer)
Austria: Koncilia – Krauss, Obermayer, Pezzey, Degeorgi – Prohaska, Hattenberger, Hintermaier, Weber – Schachner, Krankl
Referee: Robert B. Valentine (Scotland)
Assistants: Ebrahim al Doy (Bahrain), Arnaldo Cézar Coelho (Brazil)
Yellow Cards: – / Hintermaier, Schachner
Red Cards: – / –
|Germany FR (Q)||3||2||0||1||6||3||+3||4|
Other results: Chile 0-1 Austria; Algeria 0-2 Austria; Algeria 3-2 Chile.