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1990 FIFA World Cup Final
Stadio Olimpico 2008
Event1990 FIFA World Cup
Date8 July 1990
VenueStadio Olimpico, Rome
RefereeEdgardo Codesal (Mexico)
Attendance73,603
1986
1994

The 1990 FIFA World Cup Final was a football match played between West Germany and Argentina to determine the winner of the 1990 FIFA World Cup. The game took place on 8 July 1990 at the Stadio Olimpico in Italy's capital and largest city, Rome, and was won 1–0 by West Germany, with a late penalty kick taken by Andreas Brehme being the game's only goal.

It was the first time a team from UEFA had won the World Cup final against a non-European team. Argentina were the defending champions, having beaten West Germany 3–2 in the 1986 FIFA World Cup Final in Mexico. Thus the 1990 final was the only 'repeat' final at consecutive World Cups. It was West Germany's last World Cup match; the team played three more games before a unified German team was formed.

Overview

The 1990 Final is often cited as one of the most cynical and ugliest World Cup Finals. It was an ill-tempered game, notable for the first two sendings off in a World Cup final. During the match, the Argentine players were whistled and booed everytime they had the ball (thanks to captain Diego Maradona's controversial comments in the media) and the officiating was controversial throughout the match. Mexican 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 the German team captain 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 reckless studs up challenge on Jürgen Klinsmann; FIFA had warned its officials to enforce the rules and Monzón had raised his foot during the tackle, a foul that Klinsmann claims left a 15-centimetre (5.9 in) gash on his shin. Gustavo Dezotti, already cautioned earlier, received a straight red 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. 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 their squad due to injury or suspension.

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 Codesal awarded a controversial penalty to West Germany, after Roberto Sensini fouled Rudi Völler, and Andreas Brehme (who took the place of regular penalty taker Matthäus) 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 (three wins, three second places), as well as avenging their defeat at the hands of Argentina in the previous final. It also meant that Germany coach Franz Beckenbauer became the only man to have won both silver and gold medals at the World Cup as a player (1966 and 1974) and as a coach (1986 and 1990).

Route to the final

West Germany Round Argentina
Opponent Result First round Opponent Result
Flag of SFR Yugoslavia 001.png Yugoslavia 4–1 Match 1 Flag of Cameroon.png Cameroon 0–1
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.png United Arab Emirates 5–1 Match 2 Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union 2–0
Flag of Colombia.png Colombia 1–1 Match 3 Romania.png Romania 1–1
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Flag of Germany.svg West Germany 3210103+75
Flag of SFR Yugoslavia 001.png Yugoslavia 320165+14
Flag of Colombia.png Colombia 311132+13
Flag of the United Arab Emirates.png United Arab Emirates 3003211−90
Final standing
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Flag of Cameroon.png Cameroon 320135−24
Romania.png Romania 311143+13
Flag of Argentina.png Argentina 311132+13
Flag of the Soviet Union.png Soviet Union 31024402
Opponent Result Knockout stage Opponent Result
Netherlands.png Netherlands 2–1 Round of 16 Brazil.png Brazil 1–0
Flag of Czech.jpg Czechoslovakia 1–0 Quarter-finals Flag of SFR Yugoslavia 001.png Yugoslavia 0–0 (aet) (3–2 pen.)
England.png England 1–1 (aet) (4–3 pen.) Semifinals Flag of Italy.gif Italy 1–1 (aet) (4–3 |pen.)

Match details

8 July 1990
20:00 UTC+2
West Germany Flag of Germany.svg 1–0 Flag of Argentina.png Argentina Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Attendance: 73,603
Referee: Edgardo Codesal (Mexico)
Brehme Soccerball 85' (pen.) Report
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West Germany
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Argentina
GK 1 Bodo Illgner
SW 5 Klaus Augenthaler
CB 6 Guido Buchwald
CB 4 Jürgen Kohler
RWB14Thomas Berthold Sub off 73'
LWB3 Andreas Brehme
DM 10Lothar Matthäus (c)
CM 8 Thomas Häßler
CM 7 Pierre Littbarski
CF 9 Rudi Völler Yellow card 52'
CF 18Jürgen Klinsmann
Substitutes:
GK 12Raimond Aumann
DF 2 Stefan Reuter Sub on 73'
MF 15Uwe Bein
MF 20Olaf Thon
FW 13Karl-Heinz Riedle
Manager:
Franz Beckenbauer
GER-ARG 1990-07-08
GK 12Sergio Goycochea
SW 20Juan Simón
CB 18José Serrizuela
CB 19Oscar Ruggeri Sub off 46'
RWB4 José Basualdo
LWB17Roberto Sensini
DM 13Néstor Lorenzo
CM 21Pedro Troglio Yellow card 84'
AM 10Diego Maradona (c) Yellow card 87'
SS 7 Jorge Burruchaga Sub off 53'
CF 9 Gustavo Dezotti Yellow cardRed card 5', 87'
Substitutes:
GK 22Fabián Cancelarich
DF 5 Edgardo Bauza
DF 15Pedro Monzón Red card 65' Sub on 46'
MF 6 Gabriel Calderón Sub on 53'
FW 3 Abel Balbo
Manager:
Carlos Bilardo

Linesmen:
Armando Pérez Hoyos (Colombia)
Michał Listkiewicz (Poland)

Match rules:

  • 90 minutes
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary
  • Five substitutes named, two of which may be used
1990 FIFA World Cup

Group A  · Group B  · Group C  · Group D  · Group E  · Group F  · Group G  · Group H

Knockout stage  · Final

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