MX23RW : Friday, January 18 08:23:04

Top five World Cup finals

Ahead of tonight's showpiece event, Sports Mole picks out the five most memorable World Cup finals of all time.

The 20th World Cup final will take place between Germany and Argentina in Rio de Janeiro this evening.

It's often a match that is a tactical and cagey affair, with both sides overly aware of what is at stake. However, on a handful of occasions, the showpiece event has thrown up some entertaining encounters.

Here, Sports Mole has picked out the top five World Cup finals since the tournament got underway 84 years ago in 1930.


1. Uruguay 2-1 Brazil, 1950

In a four-team final group, all hosts Brazil needed to do was avoid defeat against Uruguay inside the Maracana to win their first World Cup. So, when Friaca put them in front two minutes after the restart, the match appeared to be going with the script. Yet, the 200,000 supporters would return home stunned as late goals from Juan Alberto Schiaffino and Alcides Ghiggia secured the trophy for Uruguay for a second time. It's still regarded today as one of the competition's biggest ever shocks.



2. West Germany 3-2 Hungary, 1954

Spearheaded by the likes of Sandor Kocsis, Ferenc Puskas and Zoltan Czibor, Hungary were expected to romp their way to the 1954 title. They appeared to be living up to that billing all the way to final, having recorded 9-0 and 8-3 wins over South Korea and West Germany respectively. The Germans would once again provide the opposition in the final, where another thrashing appeared to be on the cards courtesy of early goals from Puskas and Czibor. Yet, goals from Max Morlock and Helmut Rahn had Germany level before the break, while Rahn sealed the victory for his side six minutes from time.



3. England 4-2 West Germany, 1966

To this day, the World Cup final at Wembley in 1966 remains the finest moment in the history of English football. After 90 minutes the teams were locked on two goals apiece courtesy of Geoff Hurst and Martin Peters for England, while Helmut Haller and Wolfgang Weber weighed in for the Germans. Extra time belonged to Hurst, though, as he completed his hat-trick to hand the hosting Three Lions the trophy for the first and so far only time.



4. Brazil 4-1 Italy, 1970

Arguably the best ever international team in Brazil of 1970 tore apart the Italians inside Mexico City's Estadio Azteca. Pele broke the deadlock with his fourth goal of the tournament, but that was soon cancelled out by Roberto Boninsegna. Second-half goals from Gerson and Jairzinho put the Brazilians back in the ascendancy, but it wasn't until the 86th minute that the game's most memorable moment occurred. After several passes, full-back Carlos Alberto powered the ball into the bottom corner of the Italian net.



5. Argentina 3-2 West Germany, 1986

When German duo Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rudi Voller cancelled out early strikes from Jose Luis Brown and Jorge Valdano, it seemed that the second World Cup final in Mexico City was going to head into extra time. However, Diego Maradona, who had been uncharacteristically quiet up until the 83rd minute, split the German defence with a low pass for Jorge Burruchaga, who beat the offside trap with a perfectly timed run. That left him with just Harald Schumacher to beat, which he did with great composure.



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Papa Bouba Diop scores the only goal of the game for Senegal against France on May 31, 2002.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool22183150104057
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea22145340172347
5Arsenal22125546321441
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd22125544321241
7Watford229583232032
8Leicester CityLeicester229492625131
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham229493032-231
10Everton228683331230
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves228592328-529
12Bournemouth2283113142-1127
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2275102430-626
14Crystal Palace2264122028-822
15Burnley2263132343-2021
16Southampton2247112339-1619
17Cardiff CityCardiff2254131941-2219
18Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2246121631-1518
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

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