West Germany 1–0 Austria (1982 FIFA World Cup)
|Event||1982 FIFA World Cup|
|Date||25 June 1982|
|Venue||El Molinón, Gijón|
The match was the last game of the first-round Group 2, with Algeria and Chile having played the day before. With the outcome of that match already decided, a win by one or two goals for West Germany would result in both them and Austria qualifying at the expense of Algeria, which had beaten West Germany in the first game. After 10 minutes, West Germany took the lead. Thereafter, neither team scored, and few scoring chances were created. Onlookers noted that both teams played as though they were content with the result, giving the impression of them having an unspoken agreement to play for a 1–0 German win.
In the second group stage of the previous World Cup in 1978, the Austrians, despite having already been eliminated, had made great efforts to beat West Germany 3–2 in a match known as the Miracle of Cordoba, which deprived the Germans of a berth in the Third Place match. The two teams were considered to be fierce rivals. However, as the 1982 match did not live up to these expectations and was widely perceived to be fixed, many observers were strongly critical of the teams' performances.
Also in the 1978 tournament, at the same stage as the Miracle of Cordoba, the host nation and eventual winners, Argentina, were drawn in the same group as Brazil, and went into their final match against Peru with the benefit of knowing the result of Brazil's match against Poland earlier in the day. They went on to win 6-0, advancing to the final on goal difference at the expense of the Brazilians.
- Note: 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, first tie-breaker is goal difference.
Algeria began their campaign by recording a shock 2–1 win over West Germany on the opening day, becoming the first African team to defeat a European team at the World Cup. They then went on to lose 0–2 to Austria before beating Chile 3–2 in their final match.
As Algeria played that final match the day before West Germany met Austria, the two European teams knew what result they needed in order to qualify for the next round. A West German win by one or two goals would see both Germany and Austria qualify. A larger German victory, by three goals or more, would see Germany and Algeria qualify while a draw or an Austrian win would eliminate the Germans.
After 10 minutes of furious attack, West Germany succeeded in scoring through a goal by Horst Hrubesch. After the goal was scored, the team in possession of the ball often passed between themselves in their own half until an opposition player came into the vicinity of the ball. The ball was then passed back to the goalkeeper. Isolated long balls were played into the opposition's half, with little consequence. For the next 80 minutes there were few serious attempts on goal, e.g. by Wolfgang Dremmler of West Germany. The only Austrian player who seemed to make any effort at livening the game up was Walter Schachner, though he had little success.
This performance was widely deplored by all observers. German ARD commentator Eberhard Stanjek at one point refused to comment on the game any longer. Austrian commentator Robert Seeger bemoaned the spectacle and actually requested that the viewers should switch off their television sets.
Likewise, many spectators were not impressed and voiced their disgust with the players. Chants of "Fuera, fuera" ("Out, out") were screamed by the appalled Spanish crowd, while angry Algerian supporters waved banknotes at the players. The match was criticized even by the German and Austrian fans who had hoped for a hot rematch of the 1978 World Cup match, in which Austria had beaten West Germany; one German fan burned the national flag in protest.
25 June 1982
With West Germany's 1–0 victory, they joined Austria and Algeria with four points in three matches. The teams were separated by goal difference, with West Germany and Austria progressing to the next round of the tournament at the expense of Algeria.
It appears that this was a case of spontaneous match-fixing, in which Austria gave up its opportunity to be first in the group (by winning or drawing the match) in exchange for a sure opportunity to advance. The bargaining positions of the two teams was affected by Germany being in danger of elimination if it failed to win, but also being the higher-ability team.
The Algerian football officials were furious and lodged an official protest. However no rules were technically broken as a result of the match, so FIFA declined to take any action or investigation and the outcome was allowed to stand. Both teams denied any collusion during the match.
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