FIFA announced that the final of this edition would be replayed if after 90 minutes and extra-time the match ended in a tie. This was to promote attacking play after the defensive approach used by many teams in the knockout stages.
It was an ill-tempered game, notable for the first two sendings off in a World Cup final. During the match, referee Edgardo Codesal refused to award a penalty kick to German player Klaus Augenthaler. Later, he incurred the wrath of the Argentinians by not awarding them a penalty kick after Lothar Matthäus allegedly tackled Gabriel Calderón. Pedro Monzón had the distinction of being the first player in the 14 final games of the FIFA World Cup to be sent off, after being shown a straight red card for a hard leg tackle on Jürgen Klinsmann; FIFA had warned its officials to enforce the rules and Monzón had raised his foot during the tackle, a foul that left a 15-cm gash on Klinsmann's shin.Gustavo Dezotti, already booked earlier, received his second yellow card late in the match when he hauled down Jürgen Kohler with what the New York Times described as a "neck tackle right out of professional wrestling", after Kohler refused to give-up the ball in an alleged attempt to waste time. After dismissing Dezotti, Codesal was surrounded and jostled by the rest of the Argentinian team.Diego Maradona burst into tears at the final whistle and blamed the referee for the loss. Argentina entered the game with four players suspended and ended it with nine men on the field, overall losing over half of their squad due to injury or bookings.
It was also the lowest-scoring final yet seen with Argentina becoming the first team not to score during a World Cup Final, having only 1 shot on goal, while Germany had 16 scoring chances out of 23 shots. Argentina's strategy had been to defend at all costs and reach the penalty shootout, having already advanced twice in the tournament by this means.  The only goal of the contest arrived in the 85th minute when Mexican referee Edgardo Codesal awarded a controversial penalty to West Germany, after Roberto Sensini fouled Rudi Völler, and Andreas Brehme (who took the place of regular team penalty taker Lothar Matthaeus) converted the spot kick with a low right footed shot to the goalkeeper's right.
This victory gave West Germany their third FIFA World Cup Title, also making them the team to have played in the most FIFA World Cup finals at the time (3 titles, 3 second places), as well as avenging their defeat at the hands of Argentina in the previous final.