Match Results and Details – Group Phase, Group 8
As had been the case in 1972, Germany made heavy weather of their qualifying campaign – overcoming an otherwise ordinary group consisting of Bulgaria, Greece and Malta with nine points from a possible twelve. It is fair to say that the defending champions were lucky on more than a few occasions, and the first five results were all close against opposition that wouldn’t have exactly been counted among Europe’s footballing elite.
The pattern started in the opening fixture against the Greeks, where a Herbert Wimmer goal some seven minutes from time salvaged a point; this was followed by a narrow single-goal away victory over Malta and a 1-1 draw in Bulgaria where both sides exchanged penalty kicks. Once again, Germany had to come back from behind to claim the point. The return game in Düsseldorf against the Greeks once again only saw a single-point return, and after four games the group was still in the balance with Greece topping the table with seven points from their completed six games with a goal difference of +3 with Germany in second place, two points behind with two games in hand – both at home.
With two remaining home games and their destiny in their own hands, things might have looked straightforward, but nothing was being taken for granted by Helmut Schön’s men. Indeed, had the Greeks not slipped to a surprising 2-0 defeat in Malta things might have been far more perilous.
The Mannschaft drew level on points with the Greeks – though behind on goals scored – with a hard-worked 1-0 victory over Bulgaria in Stuttgart, leaving them only needing a point from their final game in Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion against the Maltese. Finally, someone switched on the lights. After Ronald Worm had given Germany a fifth-minute lead – only their second first-half goal of the entire qualification campaign – the floodgates opened as the hapless Maltese shipped a further seven goals. “Ete” Beer and Jupp Heynckes both bagged a brace as the Mannschaft finally managed to turn on the style in their final group game – taking them to nine points and a rather flattering goal difference of +10.
v Greece, Stadio Karaiskaki, Piraeus, 20.11.1974
Cullmann 51., Wimmer 83. / Delikaris 13., Eleftherakis 70.
Team: Maier – Vogts, H. Kremers – Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer (c), Cullmann (78. Kapellmann) – Wimmer, U. Hoeneß, Geye, Hölzenbein, Heynckes (81. Pirrung)
v Malta, Empire Stadium, Gżira, 22.12.1974
Cullmann 44. / –
Team: Nigbur – Vogts, Dietz – Beckenbauer (c), Körbel, Cullmann (74. Seliger) – Bonhof, Flohe, Pirrung (46. B. Nickel), Kostedde, Hölzenbein
First Phase Group 4 v Bulgaria, Vasil Levski Stadium, Sofia, 27.04.1975
Ritschel pen 75. / Kolev pen 71.
Team: Maier – Vogts, Breitner – Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer (c), Bonhof – Ritschel, U. Hoeneß (74. Körbel), Seel, Netzer, Heynckes (34. Hölzenbein)
v Greece, Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf, 11.10.1975
Heynckes 68. / Delikaris 78.
Team: Maier – Kaltz, Vogts – Körbel, Beckenbauer (c), Breitner – Hölzenbein, Beer, Kostedde, Netzer, Heynckes
First Phase Group 4 v Bulgaria, Neckarstadion, Stuttgart, 19.11.1975
Heynckes 64. / –
Team: Maier – Vogts, Dietz – Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer (c), Danner – Hölzenbein, Wimmer, Beer, Stielike, Heynckes
v Malta, Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, 28.02.1976
Worm 5., 27., Heynckes 34., 58., Beer pen 41., 77., Vogts 82., Hölzenbein 87. / –
Team: Maier – Vogts, Dietz – Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer (c), Beer – Hölzenbein, Wimmer (56. Wechsel Bongartz), Worm, Stielike (46. Wechsel Cullmann), Heynckes
Final Group Standings
|Germany FR (Q)||6||3||3||0||14||4||+10||9|
Other results: Bulgaria 3-3 Greece; Greece 2-1 Bulgaria; Malta 2-0 Greece; Greece 4-0 Malta; Bulgaria 5-0 Malta; Malta 0-2 Bulgaria.
Second Qualifying Round / Quarter-finals
The quarter-final stage saw Germany take on a Spanish side that had also emerged unbeaten in the group stage with an identical points tally. As had been the case four years earlier, a poor and arguably listless group phase was followed by two solid performances, as the Spaniards were dispatched with relative ease.
The first instalment of the two-legged fixture took place in Madrid’s Vicente Calderón Stadium, where Carlos Santillana’s twenty-first minute strike was cancelled out by “Ete” Beer – with the second leg in Munich seeing Germany storm to a 2-0 half-time lead which they never looked like relinquishing. Germany’s goals were scored by Uli Hoeneß and 1. FC Kaiserslautern debutant Klaus Toppmöller, a man who would only play two further games for the Nationalmannschaft and become better known as a journeyman club coach.
The performances were at less times less than ordinary, but Germany were once again in the final four with the opportunity to defend their European title.
v Spain, Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, 24.04.1976 (First Leg)
Beer 60. / Santillana 71.
Team: Maier – Vogts, Dietz (83. Reichel) – Schwarzenbeck (46. Cullmann), Beckenbauer (c), Bonhof – Hölzenbein, Wimmer, Beer, Danner, Worm
v Spain, Olympiastadion, München, 22.05.1976 (Second Leg)
U. Hoeneß 17., Toppmöller 43. / –
Team: Maier – Vogts, Dietz – Schwarzenbeck, Beckenbauer (c), Bonhof – U. Hoeneß, Wimmer, Toppmöller, Beer, Hölzenbein
Germany win 3-1 on aggregate
Goals Summary: Heynckes (4), Beer (3), Cullmann, Worm (2), Hölzenbein, U. Hoeneß, Ritschel, Toppmöller, Wimmer, Vogts (1). Total 17.