Very few matches symbolize the clash of contrasting styles like the all time classic semi-final from 1982 World Cup. Dazzlers France against the gritty and resolute West Germany. Michel Platini’s French team had mesmerized the football world with their glorious performances in Spain. The magic triangle of Platini-Girese-Tigana became a stuff of legends. West Germany, on the other hand had relied on their traditional qualities of consistency and never-say-die spirit to make it to semi-final. They could have been knocked out in first round itself but qualified after a controversial group league match against Austria.
As expected, France started the match with a series of attacks in the German half. Surprisingly Germans took the lead when Littbarski scored after a save from French ‘keeper. Platini levelled the scores with a penalty minutes lates as the match finished 1-1 in normal time.
The match reached a climax in extra time as both sides exchanged two goals. France thought they had clinched the tie when they went up 3-1 after 98 minutes through Giresse. But like a phoenix, the Germans came back into the game yet again, levelling the scores with two goals in six minutes.
Eventually this match was decided by tie-breaker, first world cup knock out game to have this distinction. In tie-breaker the steely resolve of West Germany trumped the magicians from France as the former reached it’s fourth world cup final.
The match would also be remembered for German goalie Harold Schumacher’s infamous lunge at Patrick Battiston. Michel Platini had released Battiston with a delicious through ball. Battiston had a clear sight of goal with only Schumacher in his path. The German’s ‘keeper didnt make any attempts to get the ball, instead flew straight towards Battiston’s torso. Battiston lost two teeth and suffered damage to his vertebrae. Schumacher was unfazed as he walked towards the edge of the penalty box as if nothing had happened. Incredibly the referee didnt give a red card or a penalty to France. Schumacher received great degrees of notoriety for his actions and was voted as more evil than Adolf Hitler in a French poll that year.