ON THIS DAY: West Germany fends off Dutch in 1974
On July 7 in World Cup history: Franz Beckenbauerlifts new trophy as West Germany beats the Netherlands in Munich in 1974.
Twenty years on from its come-from-behind win over Hungary, West Germany repeated the trick against the Netherlands. Despite going one down in the second minute to Johan Neeskens’ penalty, the first in World Cup final history, the West Germans withstood the wiles of Johan Cruyff and his cohorts. Another penalty got West Germany level and with two minutes left in the first half, striker Gerd Muller put West Germany up 2-1, a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Beckenbauer became the first captain to lift aloft the new World Cup trophy — Brazil was given the previous Jules Rimet Trophy on a permanent basis after its third World Cup triumph four years previously. The Dutch were devastated, and are still waiting to lift football’s most coveted trophy.