West Germany 3 England 2
Beaten finalists four years earlier, Germany come from behind to take revenge on England in Mexico
Four years after they met in the World Cup Final at Wembley, West Germany and England came face-to-face again for a place in the semi-finals in Mexico.
Both teams started the match with five survivors from their 1966 encounter but, crucially, England were without their first-choice goalkeeper Gordon Banks, who was taken ill with food poisoning on the eve of the game.
“Helmut Schoen repeated the error he made in the 1966 World Cup Final when he gave his ace midfield player [Franz] Beckenbauer the job of marking Bobby Charlton,” wrote Eric Batty in World
Soccer. “This robbed the German attack of Beckenbauer’s close support.
“But when Alf Ramsey pulled Bobby Charlton off, this left Beckenbauer free to come forward more – and he above all caused serious problems for England.”
Batty continued: “Everything seemed to be going well [for England] until in the second half the machine appeared to blow a fuse.
“Winning 2-0 with more than an hour gone, three things occurred which combined within a few minutes to change the pattern of the game and the final result.
“Colin Bell replaced Bobby Charlton, Franz Beckenbauer scored for West Germany and Peter Bonetti, usually so calm and confident for Chelsea, made a basic error.
“Had Gordon Banks been in goal for England I am confident that he would have prevented both the German goals scored in ordinary time and England would have won 2-0 and passed into the semi-finals.”
Chance...Francis Lee (centre, dark shirt) goes close for England
Dejected...England skipper Bobby Moore