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Holland 1978 world cup

Group B of the second round would be won by one of West Germany, Italy or the Holland, such was the easy conclusion to draw after the Dutch pulverised the Austrians five-one in the first match of the round. Thus when the Holland squared off against the Italians, the West Germans knew they had to thump Austria: At first it looked possible that West Germany might score the five goals required, for they left off the field at half time leading by one goal. It clearly would now be impossible to get anything like five goals; spirits fell, for it could look fine to come third in the record books, but it was a deflating prospect to players who only had in mind winning the overall competition.

The first half of the match between Italy and the Holland was dominated by the Mediterranean side, and thus they went ahead after 19 minutes plays thanks to an own goal from Brandts who was under pressure from Bettega. As the Dutch only needed to draw to progress. Soon Brandts made up for his mistake, scoring the leveller by shooting from 20 yards out and therefore exposing the folly of the Italian masterplan. Then, inside the last 15 minutes of an hour, Haan underlined the blieved vulnerability of Zoff to long range shots, belting one with all the force he could muster. Italy were now 2- 1 in deficit with no chance at all of scoring twice in retaliation, the game was over and the Dutch would face the home nation in the final.

 

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