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Tuesday, 25 February 2014

East Germany 1974.


The Deutschland Democratic Republic - East Germany national football team, existed from 1952 to 1990, playing as one of three post-war German teams, along with Saarland and West Germany.
East Germany was not as successful as its Western counterpart in World Cups or European Championships. It never qualified for the finals of the European Championship and only qualified for one World Cup, in 1974. However, they were always serious contenders in qualifying throughout their history.

Over the years of their separate existence, East and West played each other only a handful of times. The only notable meeting was at the 1974 World Cup in Germany.
Both German teams were drawn in the same group in the first round. With successful games against Chile and Australia, both had qualified early for the second round, with the inter-German game determining first and second in group. Despite this lack of pressure to succeed, the match in Hamburg was politically and emotionally charged. East Germany beat West Germany 1-0, thanks to a goal by Jürgen Sparwasser.

This was rather a pyhrric victory, as the East wound up in the possibly stronger second round Group A. The DDR lost to Brazil and the Netherlands, but secured 3rd place in a final game draw with Argentina. On the other hand, the West German team changed its line-up after the loss, and went on to win all games in the other second round group B, against Yugoslavia, Sweden, Poland, and the World title against the Netherlands.

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