World Cup holders Brazil got off to a poor start; drawing (0:0) to Yugoslavia and Scotland before beating Zaire (3:0).
In the final round, the Brazilians beat East Germany (1:0) and Argentina (2:1), before losing to Holland (0:2); who were unbeaten in their six group games.
World Cup History - West Germany 1974
Johan Cruyff was the exceptional player of the tournament, as total football became the buzzword of the day.
Holland must have fancied their chances against West Germany, who had lost to East Germany in the first-round, but the West Germans were to be the stronger in the 1974 World Cup final; holding on to their (2:1) half-time lead, until the final whistle.
West Germany, winners of the 1954 World Cup in Switzerland, were shocked by the Dutch in the first minute of the final when Johan Cruyff broke into the penalty area on his own. The West Germans hadn't even touched the ball as Neeskens stepped up to the penalty-spot to fire Holland into the lead.
From then on, Vogts snuffed out much of Cruyff's creativity and Breitner levellled for West Germany; from the spot as well. Gerd Müller made it (2:1) just before half-time...... and that's the way the home team were happy to keep it.
After the first-round defeat to East Germany, German captain Franz Beckenbauer thought it enough of a crisis to hold a team conference and explain the situation to the nation; on colour television.
Scotland needed to console themselves too, as they were the only team not to lose a game in the competition.... and still not make it further than the first-round; they didn't score enough goals against Zaire.
A mention should be given to Poland too. After knocking England out of the qualifying round, the Poles scored twelve goals in the first-round and won two of their three final round games, before losing by a solitary goal to West Germany.
Poland's Gzregorz Lato was the tournament's top goalscorer, with 7 goals.
Group 1 (0:2) (0:3) (0:0).
Group 3 (0:0) (1:1) (1:4).
Group 1 (0:1) (1:1) (0:0).
Group 4 (1:3) (0:7) (1:4).
Group 4 (3:1) (1:1) (1:2).
Group 2 (2:0) (0:0) (1:1).
Group 3 (0:2) (1:1) (0:3).
Group 2 (0:2) (0:9) (0:3).
First Round - Group Stage
For the tenth World cup final, the top two teams in the four first-round groups moved into another mini league, organised into 2 groups of four.
The two final-round group winners would now be playing for the new FIFA World Cup statuette; as Brazil made it three wins to hold onto the Jules Rimet Cup, in Mexico 1970.
The old World Cup trophy was stolen for a second time (the first time was in 1966) and Brazil was given a replica.
Berlin: West Germany vs Chile (1:0)
Hamburg: East Germany vs Australia (2:0)
Berlin: Chile vs East Germany (1:1)
Hamburg: West Germany vs Australia (3:0)
Berlin: Australia vs Chile (0:0)
Hamburg: East Germany vs West Germany (1:0)
East Germany and West Germany both qualify for the final round.
Frankfurt: Brazil vs Yugoslavia (0:0)
Dortmund: Scotland vs Zaire (2:0)
Gelsenkirchen: Yugoslavia vs Zaire (9:0)
Hamburg: Scotland vs Brazil (0:0)
Frankfurt: Scotland vs Yugoslavia (1:1)
Gelsenkirchen: Brazil vs Zaire (3:0)
Yugoslavia and Brazil qualify for the final round.
Dusseldorf: Sweden vs Bulgaria (0:0)
Hannover: Holland vs Uruguay (2:0)
Dortmund: Holland vs Sweden (0:0)
Hannover: Bulgaria vs Uruguay (1:1)
Dortmund: Holland vs Bulgaria (4:1)
Dusseldorf: Sweden vs Uruguay (3:0)
Holland and Sweden qualify for the final round.
Munich: Italy vs Haiti (3:1)
Stuttgart: Poland vs Argentina (3:2)
Munich: Poland vs Haiti (7:0)
Stuttgart: Argentina vs Italy (1:1)
Munich: Argentina vs Haiti (4:1)
Stuttgart: Poland vs Italy (2:1)
Poland and Argentina qualify for the final round.
Final Round - 2nd Group Stage
Gelsenkirchen: Holland vs Argentina (4:0)
Hannover: Brazil vs East Germany (1:0)
Gelsenkirchen: Holland vs East Germany (2:0)
Hannover: Brazil vs Argentina (2:1)
Dortmund: Holland vs Brazil (2:0)
Gelsenkirchen: Argentina vs East Germany (1:1)
Holland remain unbeaten as they enter the final.
Dusseldorf: West Germany vs Yugoslavia (2:0)
Stuttgart: Poland vs Sweden (1:0)
Dusseldorf: West Germany vs Sweden (4:2)
Frankfurt: Poland vs Yugoslavia (2:1)
Dusseldorf: Sweden vs Yugoslavia (2:1)
Frankfurt: West Germany vs Poland (1:0)
West Germany win all three games to meet Holland in the final.
Third Place - 6th July, 1974
Munich: Poland vs Brazil (1:0)
How many appearances each country has made in the World Cup Finals.
World Cup Finals
Uruguay trailed Argentina at half-time (1:2) but replied with three goals in the second half; to win the first ever World Cup Final (4-2) on July 30th, 1930.
Italy were one of the countries who missed out on the vote to host the first World Cup but managed to win the prestigious golden trophy for the home fans.
The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.
Although no cup-final as such, Uruguay and Brazil went into their final game with the winner guaranteed to be champions; a draw would be enough for Brazil.
The fifth World Cup tournament produced a record number of goals, including a 7:5 encounter between Austria and Switzerland in Lausanne.
Brazil presented a 17 year-old Pele to the world; who went on to claim a hat-trick in Brazil's 5:2 semi-final win over France and bag another two in the final.
Czechoslovakia overcame Hungary in the quarter-finals and Yugoslavia in the semis, while Brazil took care of England and the host nation, Chile.
Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, in the final against West Germany, as England triumphed in a thrilling game watched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.
1970 belonged to Pelé, who earned his third World Cup winners' medal when Brazil got their hands on the Jules Rimet Cup.... for keeps.
W. Germany 1974:
Johan Cruyff was the player of the tournament as total football became the buzzword of the day, even though Holland lost to West Germany in the 1974 final.
Holland contested the 1978 World Cup Final, in Argentina, for the second time in a row. As in West Germany, they again finished runners-up; to the hosts.
The Spain 82 World Cup finals increased to 24 teams and the format was changed to have two group stages, with four second-round groups of three.
In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition sixteen years previously.
In 1990, Italy became the World Cup of stalemates. Both semi-finals were drawn out through penalty kicks. In the final itself, the only goal came from the spot.
Once Team US had played a few games most of the nation began to understand they were hosting the greatest show on earth and how the game was played.
France became the sixth nation to win the World Cup on home soil. Thirty-two teams competed in the 16th World Cup; better known as France 98.
The 17th World Cup, held in Korea and Japan, was the first World Cup finals to be shared by two hosts and the first to be held in Asia.
The 2006 World Cup Finals ran from 9th June to 9th July; the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. Munich and Dortmund hosted the semi-finals.
South Africa 2010:
Eighty years after the First World Cup Finals in Uruguay, the world's most prestigious football competition was finally hosted on the African continent.
Five times World Cup Champions, Brazil, get a second chance to hold the prestigious World Cup Finals; 64 years after they last hosted the tournament.
VAR made its World Cup debut and set out to change the course of a game with some crucial rule infringement watching and vital on the spot decisions.
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many.
The 2026 FIFA World Cup Finals will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The United Bid won the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.
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