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Thursday, 4 April, 2002, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK

Germans turn tide against England

14 June 1970: Germany 3-2 England

The 1970 World Cup quarter-final in Leon will be remembered for the goalkeeper who didn't play and the respective coach's tactics.

It would be an over-simplification to say that England would have won had Gordon Banks not drunk a Mexican beer, which rendered him sick and incapable, the day before.

But his absence, together with some curious substitutions by Sir Alf Ramsey and some inspired ones by Helmut Schoen, tipped the balance crucially in the Germans' favour in the latter stages.

Match facts

  • 31mins Mullery makes most of Newton cross, 1-0
  • 49mins Newton crosses again, Peters strikes, 2-0
  • 69mins Beckenbauer's weak shot beats Bonetti, 2-1
  • 82mins Seeley loops header over Bonetti, 2-2
  • 108mins Muller volleys for victory, 2-3
  • For the first hour, England's players were toying with their West German opponents.

    Midfielder Alan Ball subsequently recalled taunting individual Germans such was the defending champions' dominance in the opening 60 minutes.

    England, playing 4-4-2, began powerfully and impressively, with Alan Mullery getting a deserved opener just after the half-hour.

    After playing a one-two with Francis Lee, Mullery played a long ball out to Eddie Newton on the right, before heading for the far post to meet the ensuing cross.

    Horst-Dieter Hottges came on for Willi Schulz at half-time and made a much better job of containing the marauding Geoff Hurst, but Martin Peters still scored a second, again from a Newton cross.

    Then Schoen took off Reinhard Libuda, who was making no impression, and brought on Jurgen Grabowski, who immediately did, running rings round a tiring Terry Cooper down the German right.

    Nightmare

    The game changed decisively.

    Bonetti had never let England down before, but as the Germans found fresh heart, he proceeded to have a nightmare.

    First, Franz Beckenbauer's innocuous shot somehow squeezed under the goalkeeper and into the net.

    Then Ramsey erred by taking off Bobby Charlton and Martin Peters, supposedly to rest them for the semi-finals, and bringing on the more limited Colin Bell and Norman Hunter.

    As time ticked away, Uwe Seeler got in behind a lumbering England defence and caught Bonetti in no-man's land with a header that looped high over him and into the net.

    Extra-time and the Germans clearly held the initiative.

    Still England might have staggered through, but an apparently fair Geoff Hurst goal was disallowed for offside and soon afterwards Gerd Muller blasted the Germans into the semi-finals.

    Germany had beaten England for the first time just two years earlier after 67 years of trying.

    For the next 30 years, the pendulum had swung decisively towards the Germans.

    As Gary Lineker was to say: "Football is a game played by 22 players. And then Germany win."

    Conspiracy theorists in 1970 reckoned Banks had been deliberately poisoned.

    Ramsey, perhaps unnecessarily, blamed Bonetti's blunders, but the coach himself was far from beyond reproach.


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