Match Results and Details – Group Phase, Group 8

Germany found themselves in a four-team group facing Albania, Poland and Turkey in the first stage of qualification for the 1972 European Championship, and got off to a disappointing start with a 1-1 draw at home to the unheralded Turks, whose second-half goal cancelled out Gerd Müller’s 36th-minute penalty. The sketchy form continued with a hard-earned single-goal win in Albania – where they had been denied a place in the knock-out rounds them four years earlier – with another Müller goal proving to be enough.

A more convincing result was achieved in the return fixtures, with Turkey being beaten 3-0 in Istanbul and the Albanians 2-0 in Karlsruhe, with Gerd Müller grabbing a brace in the first game. These back-to-back wins took Helmut Schön’s side to seven points from four games, two ahead of closest rivals Poland who had a game in hand and a superior goal difference. Defeat against Poland in Warsaw would have had the Germans behind on goal difference having played a game more, but in what was probably their most difficult game to date the Mannschaft shifted up a gear to outplay the Poles and claim a 3-1 win – with Müller notching up another two goals, taking his record to six goals in five games.

With Germany now on nine points from five games and Poland on five from four, a draw in the home fixture against the Poles was all that was needed to take them through to the quarter-final stage. This was duly achieved with a goalless draw, though the Poles then went on to lose in Turkey which provided Helmut Schön’s side with what was in hindsight a rather flattering four-point cushion.

v Turkey, Mungersdorferstadion, Köln, 17.10.1970

1-1 (1-0)
Müller pen 36. / Kamuran 66.

Team: Maier – Vogts, Höttges – Beckenbauer (c), Sieloff (66. Heynckes), W. Weber – Libuda, Fichtel, G. Müller, Overath, Grabowski

v Albania, Qemal Stafa, Tiranë, 17.02.1971

1-0 (1-0)
Müller 38. / –

Team: Maier – Vogts, Patzke (67. Bella) – Schnellinger, W. Weber, Beckenbauer (c) – Overath, Grabowski, Netzer, G. Müller, Heynckes

v Turkey, İnönü Stadı, Istanbul, 25.04.1971

3-0 (1-0)
Müller 43., 47., Köppel 72. / –

Team: Maier – Vogts, Patzke – W. Weber, Beckenbauer (c), Wimmer – Köppel (77. Wechsel Flohe), Netzer, Grabowski, G. Müller, Heynckes

v Albania, Wildparkstadion, Karlsruhe, 12.06.1971

2-0 (2-0)
Netzer 18., Grabowski 44. / –

Team: Maier – Schwarzenbeck, Vogts (90. Bleidick) – Sieloff, Beckenbauer (c), Wimmer – Netzer, Grabowski, Overath (73. Held), Köppel, Heynckes

v Poland, Stadion Dziesięciolecia, Warszawa, 10.10.1971

3-1 (1-1)
Müller 29., 64., Grabowski 70. / Gadocha 27.

Team: Maier – Breitner, Schwarzenbeck – Fichtel, Beckenbauer (c), Wimmer – Köppel, Netzer, Grabowski, G. Müller, Heynckes

v Poland, Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, 08.06.2008

0-0 (0-0)
– / –

Team: Maier – Höttges, Schwarzenbeck – Beckenbauer (c), W. Weber, Fichtel – Wimmer (74. Wechsel Köppel), Overath, Libuda, G. Müller, Grabowski

Final Group Standings

GermanyGermany FR (Q)6420102+810

Other results: Poland 3-0 Albania; Turkey 2-1 Albania; Albania 1-1 Poland; Poland 5-1 Turkey; Albania 3-0 Turkey; Turkey 1-0 Poland.

Second Qualifying Round / Quarter-finals

Having made it past the group stage Germany were paired up in the quarter-finals against England, probably the most dangerous of the seven other teams that had qualified for this stage. England had qualified comfortably from their group with eleven points from an available twelve, and were probably favourites for the tie which saw them playing the first leg at Wembley – a ground where they had never lost against Germany.

Germany had won the previous two games against England – the 3-2 win in the 1970 World Cup in Mexico and a single-goal success in a 1968 friendly in Hannover – but nobody expected the sort of performance that Helmut Schön’s side gave on the evening of 29th April 1972 as the Wembley jinx was finally broken.

Clad in their green and white change strip, the Germans set the pace from the off – throwing down the gauntlet to a home side that looked sluggish and ordinary in comparison. Inspired by the dynamic midfield playmaker Günter Netzer, Germany produced wave after wave of attacks – and were unlucky to be only one goal up at half-time courtesy of a well-worked 26th-minute strike from Uli Hoeneß. Their slick, smooth movement and accurate passing game had impressed even the home fans.

As is usually the case in this mysterious game called football, a side that had clearly been outplayed were allowed to come back into a game that should have been over long before half-time. With thirteen minutes left on the clock, Frannie Lee equalised for England – bringing the home side back into the game but still leaving Germany with the advantage of the away goal. It was a goal that perhaps never should have been allowed to stand – England had only been able to regain possession courtesy of a particularly nasty foul by the terrier-like Alan Ball on Herbert Wimmer, with the French referee seeing fit to nonchalantly wave play on.

Some might have expected Germany to shut up shop with just over ten minutes to go, but conceding what must have felt like a harsh equaliser merely encouraged them to up the ante and force the pace. With five minutes left the referee finally spotted an English foul, as Siggi Held was desperately and very obviously scythed down in the box by Bobby Moore. Netzer placed his penalty kick well to Banks’ right, but even then the English ‘keeper managed to get a hand on the ball. Unfortunately for Banks – he was only able to push it against the inside of the post as Germany retook the lead.

It didn’t end there. When Held caught defender Emlyn Hughes dawdling, he easilt dispossed him and laid the ball onto Hoeneß on the right. The Bayern man checked and made his way towards the edge of the box before delivering a sharp pass to Gerd Müller, who trapped the ball with his left foot before turning on a Pfennig to lash a low right-foot shot to Banks’ right. It was a typical Müller strike, finished with clinical aplomb as a group of defenders were charging in from all directions – as ever, he made it look a lot easier than it was. Only one man in the world could trap, turn and shoot like Der Bomber.

3-1 down from the first leg, England were left with a mountain to climb in West Berlin two weeks later. They never really had much of a chance, and instead decided on trying to nobble Netzer – a tactic that won them few friends. England’s thuggish tactics were an embarrassment to even the most myopically patriotic tabloid journalists, and their elimination signalled the beginning of the end of the Ramsey era and the start of what was to be one of the most barren periods on the history of English football.

Meanwhile, Germany’s stock was on the rise as they progressed to the final tournament in Belgium. The side that had defeated England at Wembley – Sepp Maier, Horst-Dieter Höttges, Paul Breitner, Franz Beckenbauer, Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck, Herbert Wimmer, Uli Hoeneß, Günter Netzer, Jürgen Grabowski, Gerd Müller and Siggi Held – has been touted as the greatest German XI to ever grace the field, and I for one am not going to argue with that.

v England, Wembley Stadium, London, 29.04.1972 (First Leg)

3-1 (1-0)
Hoeneß 26., Netzer pen. 85., Müller 88. / Lee 77.

Team: Maier – Höttges, Breitner – Beckenbauer (c), Schwarzenbeck, Wimmer – U. Hoeneß, Netzer, Grabowski, G. Müller, Held

v England, Olympiastadion, Berlin, 13.05.1972 (Second Leg)

0-0 (0-0)
– / –

Team: Maier – Höttges, Breitner – Beckenbauer (c), Schwarzenbeck, Wimmer – Flohe, Netzer, U. Hoeneß (70. Heynckes), G. Müller, Held

Germany win 3-1 on aggregate

Goals Summary: G. Müller (7), Grabowski, Netzer (2), Köppel, U. Hoeneß (1). Total 13.

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