22.06.1974 Olympiastadion (Berlin), 4:00pm
AUSTRALIA - CHILE 0:0 (0:0)
16,038 spectators - Referee: Jaffar Namdar (Iran),
Linesman: Loraux (Belgium), van Gemert (Netherlands), FIFA offical: General
Australia : Reilly - Utjesenovic, Wilson (c), Schaefer,
Curran (Williams 82)
Richards, Rooney, Mackay, Abonyi - Alston (Ollerton 65), Buljevic - Coach: R Rasic.
Chile : Vallejos - Garcia, Quintano, Arias, E. Figueroa -
Caszely, Valdez (c) (Farias, 58),
Ahumada, Veliz (Yavar 72), Reinoso, Paez - Coach: L.Alamos.
Booked: Richards (36)
Booked: Richards (80)
Sent-off: Richards (83)
Australia's last game in Germany for the World Cup. Although Australia could not qualify
for the second phase, Chile could with a win.
It was a cold and fresh day and a little bit of rain.
The poor weather was a reason for the relativly small attendance of around 16,000.
More tickets had been sold but the weather kept many at home. Those who did come to
the Berliner Olympic Stadium saw a hard fought game with a big surprise.
The Football Federation of Chile promised to pay each
player a bonus of $US8,000 if they beat Australia. The Chile coach said that his team will
score more goals against Australia than East and West Germany together.
For Australia it was just a prestige game, the last match of the Cup.
"Boys," said coach Rale Rasic before the match, "We are without a
victory in the tournament, just like reigning World Champions Brazil, but that will be
Both teams had no surprises in their starting
formation. Australia lined up with Atti Abonyi, whose second half performance against the
West Germans has earnt him a place in the team.
Chile had the kick-off and from the start they tried
to play their typical South American style. But for the first 15 minutes the Socceroos
held the upper hand.
After just 60 seconds Australia had the first chance of the
game. Doug Utjesenovic sent a free-kick forwards after a foul on Ray Richards, but Branko
Buljevic missed the ball from close range.
Australia started well, but had no more real chances, only an
Abonyi shot in the eighth minute, but Chile keeper Leopoldo Vallejos safely gathered.
Chile's first dangerous attack came after 17 minutes. Speeding onto a long pass,
Carlos Cazaly outpaced his opponent Manfred Schaefer. Jack Reilly came out of goal to
narrow the angles, and Cazaly's shot went wide.
Shortly after that, the stadium announcer told the crowd that a big rainstorm was
approaching and would arrive in just a few minutes. The crowd was advised to move to seats
under the roof. At the same time, Cazely shot from 25 metres, but too high and over the
By the middle of the first half, the Chileans
had got stronger and had the majority of play. There was constant action inside the
Australian goal mouth. Reilly superbly saved a header from Alberto Qintano in the 23th
minute and just three minutes later Chile had its best chance.
Cazely, back in the side after a red card from the West Germany match, came over
the to the right wing, passed his opponent and send the ball to the fast coming Carlos
Reinoso. Reilly saved brilliantly, but the ball rebounded to Reinoso following up but
Reinoso played the ball with the hand.
Just before the half-hour Jimmy Mackay
had a long-range shot, but narrowly missed.
The South Americans continued to exert strong pressure. Australia's defence around Sweeper
Peter Wilson had a hard job coping with the speedy Chile forwards.
Sometimes Wilson hit his opponents very hard, but he was playing imperiously.
Mackay was having a fantastic match in midfield and goalie Reilly was holding everything
that came his way. Buljevic and Abonyi were also giving their opponents a lot of trouble.
Abonyi's father Josef
Abonyi was in the crowd, having travelled from Melbourne to see his son play. The trip
from Melbourne proved worthwhile as Abonyi overshadowed both Buljevic and Adrian Alston as
the best Australian forward. Alston did not have one of his better days.
the 36th minute, Ray Richards got a yellow card for arguing with Iranian referee Jaffar
Namdar. Just 30 seconds later Reilly collided heavily with a Chilean player, when he came
far out of his goal. But Reilly was able to continue after being attended to by the team
Chilean midfielder Valdes was having a huge influence
on the game, and he pushed his team mates on. Around 500 South American fans were in the
ground to support their team, but the Australians were the favourites of the West Germans
Shortly before the break, the expected downpour arrived. In a very short time, the
pitch looked like a lake. Namdar blew for the interval, with the score deadlocked at 0:0.
After 45 minutes, CHILE - AUSTRALIA 0 : 0
The second half started a few minutes later, with the
kick off by Alston and Buljevic. There had been a massive cloudburst which turned the
pitch into a shallow lake. The Chileans short-passing ball game became impossible but the
Australians were not worried by the slippery and wet conditions. Coach Rasic said that a
team which cannot adjust to all conditions is simply not a good team.
20 seconds after ther re-start, a group of around ten demonstrators stormed the field
carrying a Chilean flag, and banners protesting at the military coup which had taken place
in Chile. The crowd booed their interuption.
As the heavy rain continued, Police came running on to the pitch to escort them
off. The incident had halted the game by a minute, but after the protestors were safely
off the ground, the game continued.
A good run by Buljevic finished with the first corner
for the Socceroos, two minutes into the half. The ball was kicked into the middle of the
penalty area, cleared by a header and from around 25 metres, Col Curran tried a shot, but
the ball went high over the Chilean bar.
started to sing "Australia, Australia", but the reaction of Chile was to exert
more pressure on the game. They tried long passes in front of Reilly's goal, but Wilson
stood like a rock in defence and cleared every high ball with his typical style of
heading. Australia was still playing more defensively.
In the 52nd minute, Curran fouled a Chilean forward
20 metres in front of the Socceroo goal. The free-kick came in but was again headed away
by Captain Wilson. Australia had a few fast attacking spurts, but most were stopped before
they'd reached the Chile penalty area.
After another free kick, taken by Mackay, the
Socceroos got their second corner kick, this time taken by Abonyi, but the ball ended up
in one of the water holes. The conditions meant it was impossible to play a good football.
The ground was under water, with big gouges in the turf after tackles. But it looked like
that the Australian eleven were coping with the conditions far better than their
In the 55th minute Buljevic fouled Cazely nearly 20
metres out from Reilly's goal. The free kick was taken by Reinoso, but he was well
A short time later, Chile made their first change: Rogelio Farias came on for
A few seconds after, the Socceroos had a great
opportunity to score for their first World Cup goal. Reilly kicked the ball deep in to the
South American half to Buljevic. Buljevic sent the ball to Alston, who broke through the
Chilean defence and sent the ball to the middle to Abonyi.
Abonyi stormed forward to the out-coming keeper Valljeos. Just as Abonyi was about to
shoot, he was heavily tackled by Leopoldo Figueroa and he missed connecting with the ball.
The big opportunity was missed by centimetres and Abonyi slid a few metres on the
wet ground behind the goal.
Now, because of the wetness on the pitch, it was more
a water polo than a football game. It was not possible to play a long ball or to run with
Chile responded with more attacks, they need a
win urgently to have a chance to reach the second round of the tournament. There was a
long pass, Cazely turned around Reilly and scored. But it was far offside and the
Referee's whistle was heard loud and clear around the ground.
Just after the hour Richards was fouled from behind 25 metres out from goal. Buljevic took
the free kick with a thunderbolt shot, the ball skidded on the ground, but went directly
into the arms of the Chilean keeper, who struggled to catch the wet ball, but saved the
situation with a second grab.
Only seconds later, Mackay sent one of his long-range
shots from more than 30 metres, but the ball went well over the bar. Chile's answer was a
dangerous wing move into the Socceroo goalmouth, but the situation was cleared again with
a header by Wilson.
In the 65th minute Rasic substituted Alston for a
young Peter Ollerton. The tall Alston had done a lot of work but had difficulty on the wet
field. As he left the pitch he was given an enthusiastic response from those in the
stadium because of his speedy runs, but he was out of steam and he had
a cramp in his leg. For him the World Cup adventure was over but he had earnt the applause
as he departed.
After a foul by Ollerton, Reinoso sent a high
pass close to the Socceroo goal where it reached Alberto Quintano but Quintano's header
was well saved by Reilly.
Australia played now more defensively and the team waited for a chance to mount a
Chile made its second substitution in the 72nd minute, when Giullermo Yavar came on
for Leonardo Veliz.
After another free kick, taken by Curran, Ollerton missed a good chance with a header,
because he couldn't get the ball under control.
The Socceroos had their best chance in the 75th
minute. Deep in his own half, Mackay got a ball and sent it inside to Curran. Curran came
storming down the left wing all alone and passed the ball inside again to Mackay who had
run down the centre at full speed. Unfortunately, Mackay was going too fast to control the
wet ball and blasted his shoot over the bar from around four metres.
What a chance it was! The crowd got more and more on Australia's side. They started
to cheer for every action and battle the Socceroos won on the ground.
Two minutes later, Wilson heavily fouled Cazely from
behind. The referee went to consult the linesman, but, lucky for Australia, no card was
given. Reinoso took the free kick, and Reilly punched the high ball out of danger.
Utjesenovic cleared the situation.
The South Americans continued to press and got their first corner, which ended up with a
dangerous header from Figueroa near the goal. And the rain went on.
79th minute, Rolando Garcia fouled Curran on the side line with a hard kick against his
legs. Curran, one of the best Australians that day, was lying on the ground and you could
see the pain in his face. The medical staff came on to assess Curran's injury, and they
signalised that Curran had to leave the field. They tried to carry him from the field.
Richards was ready to take the resultant free kick, but waited too long. The linesman
approached, frantically waving his flag to signal the Referee to give Richards a yellow
card for timewasting, and so he did.
It was Richards' second card in that game, but he
took the free kick, and the game went on. Chile attacked the Australian goal and Schaefer
stopped his opponent with a foul. The Referee looked nervously at his notebook, stopped
the game and went to the linesman Loraux and spoke to him, then he took out the red card
and went back to Richards to send him off.
The Socceroos protested and showed him that it was
Schaefer committed the foul. The Referee, who recognised that he made a mistake with the
two yellows against Richards, went to the FIFA official.
As all this was happening Harry Williams came on as a substitute for the injured Curran.
It was for the very first time in World Cup history, that an Aboriginal was playing.
Namdar kept to his decision. When he returned to the pitch, he showed Richards the red
card once more.
It was a late decision, because the Marconi Fairfield midfielder got two yellow
cards in the game. The Australians strongly protested and Captain Wilson had difficulty
holding his teammates away from the Referee.
The crowd start to whistle heavily. Richards left the field under heavy protest. It
was his second red in an full International, after he got one in 1970 in a game against
But this time it was a harsh decision by the Referee, who did not have his best
day. It was also not a good decision by FIFA to use an Iranian for this game.
The game re-started with the free kick against the
Socceroos. Reilly dived to save but the ball went narrowly wide. The people in the stadium
were now completely behind the Australians and every time the Socceroos played the ball,
you could hear the "Australia, Australia" chants going around.
And if the Chileans had the ball, everyone started to whistle.
The South Americans shot now from every position,and
the Socceroos tried to slow the game down.
Ollerton started with one of his long runs but was
fouled from behind, but the game went on. At the other end, Wilson kicked the ball out
after a very dangerous situation. The minutes passed by. The Chilean knew a draw would not
be enough. They stormed in the last minutes with all players to took the last chance to
score. The crowd continued to boo when the South Americans had the ball.
A free kick, taken by Reinoso was headed away by
Wilson, who had played brilliantly. Seconds later, Williams destroyed another chance for
Chile with a perfect tackle.
It was the fourth minute of added time, and
referee Namdar was not in the mood to blow the final whistle. A long, high pass from the
middle flew into the Australian goalmouth. Reilly came out of his goal to catch the ball,
but it was slippery and wet - Reilly fumbled.
Reinoso got the ball and he shot from around eight metres. Only Wilson was in front of him
and our captain was able to clear the most dangerous situation of the game with a perfect
header close to the goal line. He saved the point, because seconds later the game was
over. Schaefer was the last Australian to touch the ball in a World Cup.
The Socceroos raised their arms. It was the first
point in a World Cup for Australia, and Chile can book their
flights home. The teams changed the jerseys in the middle of the field. The Socceroos were
tired, but a proud smile was on their faces. All the players waved goodbye to the many
After the game Jim Mackay throws his shoes in the crowd as a souvenir. Before the
game he announced that this will be his last match for Australia. Also Schaefer retired
after the game.
Offside Yellow Red Corners
It was Australia's first World Cup, and theyhad
attained a good result, better than many thought. The Socceroos lost only against the
coming World Champion and against the only team who beat the coming Champion. They
obtained a draw against Chile. They were unlucky not to score a goal, but
what more do you want from part-timers in a world of professional football?
Australia, said some people. But was it only luck that the Socceroos reached the Cup?
Certainly not. No more luck than any team needs to reach an aim, but most of it was
due to hard work. The work of a good coach, who formed a brilliant team, out of great
The Australian Team of 1974 had something most of the later
teams missed - they had an unbelievable team spirit. They are like a family and they
fought for each other.
This is, in a few words, the reason for the success of the
heroes of 1974.
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