Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, 29.06.1982
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Germany had started the tournament as one of the favourites; coming into their second phase match in Madrid against England Jupp Derwall’s side had not been beaten by European opposition since their infamous 3-2 defeat in Argentina four years earlier at the hands of neighbours Austria. However their opening game in Spain had produced one of the shocks of the tournament – a 2-1 defeat at the hands of North African tournament debutants Algeria – and their final group game against the Austrians had produced one of the scandals of the tournament with a manufactured 1-0 win that had ensured the progress of both sides.
England meanwhile had been on a good run of their own, and had safely qualified for the second phase with three wins out of three, including an impressive 3-1 victory over France in their opening match. The two previous World Cup finals encounters between the two sides in 1966 and 1970 had both ended in draws after ninety minutes – with both sides taking turns to win in extra-time – but on this occasion there would be no additional half hour to break any stalemate. The scene was set for a cagey encounter, and this is exactly how things would pan out over the course of ninety tedious minutes in Madrid.
Jupp Derwall’s squad would come into the game with a number of injury problems: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge once more had entered a tournament not fully fit, while the dynamic midfield playmaker Hansi Müller had never really been a mainstay of the side on account of his persistent fitness problems. The selection was highly defensive: Müller aside, there was little pace in the midfield – the emphasis appeared to be on solidity and dependability. Rummenigge would be left on his own up front, with support coming in the form of Uwe Reinders – a solid and dependable journeyman – rather than the impish Pierre Littbarski who would start on the bench.
England had also been experiencing problems with injuries: much like Rummenigge for Germany, the ageing talisman Kevin Keegan had come into the tournament not fully fit, while skipper Bryan Robson was once more finding himself on the physio’s bench. Manager Ron Greenwood would opt to leave Keegan on the bench while gambling on Robson, the man who had inherited the number seven shirt from the little man with the big hair.
On what was a dry and warm evening in the Spanish capital, Brazilian referee Arnaldo Cézar Coelho got things underway in front of a capacity crowd of seventy-five thousand people – neutral Spaniards, Germans and a particularly vociferous English contingent. the Nationalmannschaft were in their traditional black and white Trikot, while Ron Greenwood’s side sported their now cult red away shirt with red white and blue trim and white shorts.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge exchanges pleasantries with his opposite number Mick Mills
England would make the more positive start, while the Germans would take their time settling down. Toni Schumacher was almost immediately being tested by a Steve Coppell cross-cum-shot that was tipped over the bar, before Ray Wilkins launched a long-ranged effort which was easily collected by the German ‘keeper. While England remained content to launch long-range efforts, little effort was being made to pressure the Germans when they were on the ball. It took until the twelfth minute for the Mannschaft to launch their first real attack on the England goal, with Hansi Müller blasting his own long-range effort well over the bar.
With just under twenty minutes gone the Three Lions engineered what was probably the best chance of the game. Fullback Kenny Sansom launched a hopeful long ball from the left, and more by luck than good judgement Ipswich striker Paul Mariner leaped high enough to help it into the box, finding Bryan Robson in space. The England skipper’s header was on target, but would be brilliantly tipped over the bar by Schumacher. Things slowly appeared to be warming up, as within minutes Paul Breitner was charging down the right flank to deliver a neat cross into the England box. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge slid in with Peter Shilton rooted to the spot, but found himself a yard short of the ball as it skidded across the face of England goal.
This short spell constituted what were probably the most exciting moments of the first half, which quickly turned into an exercise in sharp and aggressive tackling. First Terry Butcher was unlucky to escape a booking after upending Reinders – who for his part performed a spectacular and unnecessary multiple roll on the ground – and Hans-Peter Briegel’s lumbering run into the opposition half was unceremoniously brought to an end by Robson.
Germany’s best man on the pitch would be the bearded veteran Breitner, who after his earlier run down the right now popped up on the left before charging through two defenders and launching a shot on goal. Shilton would be equal to the task however, as he turned the ball around the post for a corner – which came to nothing. With both sides not prepared to chance their arms and risk anything, the first half petered to a predictable close.
Uli Stielike challenges England’s Bryan Robson during the second-phase stalemate in Madrid
If the first half had been short on excitement, the second forty-five minutes would not be much better. The first fifteen minutes saw both sides cancelling each other in midfield, and whether out of frustration or perhaps even boredom Jupp Derwall would decide on replacing the pedestrian Reinders with the more adventurous Pierre Littbarski. It didn’t appear to make much of a difference however, as the game just appeared to tick along to its inevitable goalless end. While the German team were prepared to occasionally offer a sharp surge into the opposition half, England seemed to be only prepared to play the long-ball game. On seventy minutes the referee finally reached for his pocket after Robson was sent sprawling by Uli Stielike – a sign that the official was perhaps getting a little restless too.
With just over fifteen minutes left on the clock Derwall appeared to up the ante by throwing on Klaus Fischer for the disappointing Hansi Müller. With two out and out forwards on the field in the form of Rummenigge and Fischer, it looked as though the Nationaltrainer was trying to make a last-ditch attempt to win the game.
Five minutes from time some great work in midfield provided Rummenigge with the space and time to line up a ferocious right-footed shot. The shot was clean and true, and with Shilton beaten all ends up the ball clattered hard against the bar and out. It would be the closest either side came to breaking deadlock, but had the ball found the back of the net it would have been harsh on an England side that had not been dominated sufficiently to merit a defeat.
With the crowd growing increasingly restless in the wait for the final whistle, the Brazilian referee duly obliged by playing not even half a minute of injury time. It would be the third draw between the two sides in three World Cup finals meetings, but on this occasion no extra time to settle the result and determine a winner. Both teams headed away from the Bernabéu with a share of the points, with games against hosts Spain to come.
Germany FR: Schumacher – Kaltz, Stielike, Kh. Förster, Briegel – Dremmler, B. Förster, Breitner – Ha. Müller (74. K. Fischer) – Reinders (63. Littbarski), Kh. Rummenigge (c)
England: Shilton – Butcher, Mills, Thompson, Sansom – Coppell, Wilkins, Rix – Francis (77. Woodcock), Robson, Mariner
Referee: Arnaldo Cézar Coelho (Brazil)
Assistants: Héctor Ortiz (Paraguay), Rómulo Méndez Molina (Guatemala)
Yellow Cards: Stielike / –
Red Cards: – / –