With the final tournament having been expanded to accommodate eight teams, the qualification phase for Euro 1980 involved seven groups, with the winners advancing straight to the finals in Italy without the need for the additional two-legged playoff that had been employed since 1968. The eighth place at the finals would be taken by the hosts, who would be provided with an automatic berth for the first time since the tournament began in 1960.
Germany went unbeaten in their qualifying group for the third time in a row – they had not been beaten in a European Championship qualifying game for over ten years – but as had been the case in both 1972 and 1976 their path to the finals was for the most part solid rather than spectacular. Malta, Turkey and Wales could never be classed as the most challenging opponents, but Jupp Derwall’s side were determined to make things difficult for themselves by failing to score in either of their first two games. Having been held to a goalless draw in Malta, they then repeated the performance in Turkey, leaving them two points behind early group leaders Wales who had already bagged eight goals in their two opening matches, including a 7-0 walloping of the Maltese.
Knowing that defeat or even a draw against the Welsh at Wrexham’s Racecourse Ground could seriously derail their campaign, the Mannschaft finally broke their scoring duck as Köln’s Herbert Zimmermann (not be be compared with the famous commentator of the same name!) and Schalke’s Klaus Fischer secured a 2-0 win.
The win over the Welsh took the Germans to the top of the group, and from that point on it was plain sailing as they strolled through their remaining three games. Klaus Fischer scored twice as the Welsh were hammered 5-1 in the return fixture in Köln, and the frustration of the earlier game in İzmir was forgotten as Turkey were comfortably dispatched 2-0 in in Gelsenkirchen, with the Fischer/Zimmermann combination again providing the goals.
With their place in the finals now assured, Derwall’s team now decided to turn on the style in their final game against Malta in Bremen’s Weserstadion; it was difficult to believe that the same team had managed to shut out the Germans just a year previously, as the Nationalmannschaft ran in an unanswered eight-goal barrage. After Klaus Allofs had opened the scoring on eleven minutes the floodgates opened: at the final whistle both Allofs and Klaus Fischer had twice got on the scoreboard, with the other goals coming courtesy of a Rainer Bonhof penalty, Karlheinz Rummenigge, Walter Kelsch and a John Holland own goal.
In the end the group table looked healthy enough for Jupp Derwall and his team – ten points from twelve, and seventeen goals scored against one conceded.
Match Results and Details
v Malta, Empire Stadium, Gżira, 25.02.1979
– / –
Team: Maier – Kaltz, Dietz (c) – Bonhof, Zewe (68. Wechsel Toppmöller), Kh. Förster – Abramczik, Cullmann, K. Fischer, Ha. Müller, Kh. Rummenigge (68. Wechsel K. Allofs)
v Turkey, Alsancak Stadium, İzmir, 01.04.1979
– / –
Team: D. Burdenski – Kaltz, Dietz (c) – Bonhof, Stielike, Zimmermann (73. Kh. Förster) – Kh. Rummenigge (69. Kelsch), Cullmann, Toppmöller, Ha. Müller, Borchers
v Wales, Racecourse Ground, Wrexham, 02.05.1979
Zimmermann 30., K. Fischer 52. / –
Team: Maier – Kaltz, Dietz (c) – Bonhof, Stielike (88. Martin), Kh. Förster – Kh. Rummenigge, Cullmann, K. Fischer, Zimmermann, K. Allofs
1-0 Manny Kaltz makes great run down the right, before sending in a cross which is nodded in at the near post by Herbert Zimmermann after he beats Welsh ‘keeper Dai Davies in the air.
2-0 Kaltz shows his versatility by making a charge down the left flank, before finding space to cut inside and deliver a right-footed cross which is met by a leaping Klaus Fischer.
v Wales, Mungersdorferstadion, Köln, 17.10.1979
K. Fischer 21., 38., Kaltz 32., Kh. Rummenigge 42., Kh. Förster 83. / Curtis 84.
Team: Burdenski – Kaltz, Dietz (c) – Kh. Förster, Cullmann, B. Schuster (64. Zimmermann) – Kh. Rummenigge (75. Briegel), Bonhof, K. Fischer, Ha. Müller, K. Allofs
1-0 Bernhard Cullmann wins the ball in midfield, and plays a slide rule pass through to Klaus Fischer who picks up the ball just inside the Welsh box, skips past skipper Dai Davies and slides the ball into the empty net.
2-0 Manny Kaltz wins the ball on the halfway line, before charging up towards the right side of the opposition box, working his way past three defenders. He cuts inside a fourth man before drilling a low left-footed shot that beats Davies at his near post.
3-0 Kaltz wins the ball just outside his own area, and finds Karl-Heinz Rummenigge just inside the centre circle. Rummenigge plays a perfect defence splitting ball that beats the offside trap, putting Fischer free. In what is an almost identical finish to his opening goal, Fischer beats the diving Davies and slides the ball home.
4-0 More crisp German passing sees Kaltz pick up the ball out on the right byline, and he plays it into the area towards Rummenigge who flicks it up with with his first touch, before deftly flicking it over his head with his right foot again to beat his marker and sweeping it into the net with his left.
5-0 Defender Karl-Heinz Förster charges up through the middle of the field and finds Klaus Allofs who then finds Fischer at the edge of the area. He plays a cute short pass into Förster who has continued his run, and the defender calmly strokes the ball into the net with his left foot past the advancing Davies.
5-1 Germany are at sixes and sevens at the back, and a badly-directed backpass from substitute Herbert Zimmermann is the perfect consolation gift for Alan Curtis, who easily slots the ball past Dieter Burdenski.
v Turkey, Parkstadion, Gelsenkirchen, 22.12.1979
Fischer 15., Zimmermann 89. / –
Team: Nigbur – Kaltz, Dietz (c) – Bonhof, Cullmann, B. Förster – Kh. Rummenigge, Stielike (84. Zimmermann), K. Fischer, Ha. Müller, H. Nickel
1-0 Bernd Förster and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge engineer a sharp counterattack, and a pass from Rummenigge finds Klaus Fischer in the centre. The Schalke 04 striker drives a low right-footed shot from just over twelve yards past Turkish ‘keeper Şenol Güneş who is left powerless.
2-0 As the game draws to a close there is a melée in the Turkish box, which sees substitute Herbert Zimmermann’s intended pass to Rummenigge come off defender Erhan Önal. Fortunately for Zimmermann the ball comes straight back to him, and he sends it low into the net past the desperate Şenol.
v Malta, Weserstadion, Bremen, 27.02.1980
K. Allofs 14., 55., Bonhof pen 19., K. Fischer 40., 90., Holland og 61., Kelsch 70., Kh. Rummenigge 74. / –
Team: D. Burdenski – Kaltz – Cullmann, Kh. Förster, Dietz (c) – Bonhof, B. Förster (60. H. Nickel), Ha. Müller – Kh. Rummenigge, K. Fischer, K. Allofs (60. Kelsch)
1-0 After some good work by Manny Kaltz and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge down the right and a fine reaction save from Maltese ‘keeper John Bonello, Klaus Allofs controls the ball well to stab it home from close range.
2-0 Bernd Förster is bundled over in the box when going nowhere, and a somewhat harsh penalty is awarded. Rainer Bonhof steps up and places the kick to the Bonello’s right into the corner of the net.
3-0 Header by Klaus Fischer, goal not seen.
4-0 Rummenigge finds Bernard Dietz at the edge of the Maltese box, and the skipper’s short ball out to the left is picked up by Allofs, whose low shot goes through Bonello at his near post.
5-0 Bonhof’s innocuous-looking chip into the opposition penalty area is firmly met by Maltese skipper John Holland, whose header loops over the ‘keeper and into the back of the net.
6-0 Bonhof’s fine run and cross from the right flank is perfectly delivered into the six-yard box, where unmarked substitute Walter Kelsch leaps well to nod it home.
7-0 Malta cannot quite clear the ball and it falls to Rummenigge, whose volley takes a deflection off defender John Buckingham and beats Bonello.
8-0 Fischer picks up the ball on the left, cuts inside and unleashes an unstoppable shot with his right foot.
Final Group Standings
|Germany FR (Q)||6||4||2||0||17||1||+16||10|
Other results: Wales 7-0 Malta; Wales 1-0 Turkey; Turkey 2-1 Malta; Malta 0-2 Wales; Malta 1-2 Turkey; Turkey 1-0 Wales.
Goals Summary: K. Fischer (6), K. Allofs, Rummenigge, Zimmermann (2), Bonhof, Kh. Förster, Kaltz, Kelsch (1), own goals (1). Total 17.