Friday, 15 October 2010


West Germany v Holland 1988 Semi-Final (Hamburg)

Never dull, matches between these two bitter rivals. In a repeat of the 1974 World Cup Final, both sides scored from the penalty spot. The Dutch had looked very impressive in their group fixtures and Marco Van Basten was in sensational form. It was they who made most of the running in the first half and created the better chances, but it was the host nation who took the lead in the 55th minute, Lothar Matthaus converting with typical ease from the spot after Jurgen Klinnsmann had been bundled off the ball by Frank Rikjaard. A few minutes later Klinnsmann shot narrowly wide following a great run by Matthaus, thus failing to secure the Germans passage to the Final. At 2-0 down even the Dutch would have struggled to find a way back. In the 74th minute, Van Basten tricked his way into the box and Jurgen Kohler challenged him. Van Basten went down and the referee pointed to the spot, although TV replays clearly showed that Kohler had played the ball. Ronald Koeman scored the resulting penalty and the watching world geared up for a grandstand finish.

With just seconds to go on the clock, Jan Wouters slid a perfectly weighted pass into the penalty area and Van Basten provided a gloriously instinctive first time finish to stun the home crowd and send Holland into the Final.

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