Almanac Soccer: Another World Cup Final at an Ungodly Hour


My first World Cup was 1974 when I was 9.


I didn’t really understand soccer, especially offside, but I was excited that the Socceroos were in and got up at 4am to watch them.


I was confused about East and West Germany (and we lost to both of them).


I made the big mistake of getting up for the 3rd v 4th playoff between Brazil and Poland and the following night, despite strict instructions to wake me up for the final, when Mum came to wake me, I turned over and went back to sleep!


I can hardly describe my devastation to wake up and find it was all over, that my chosen team the Netherlands had lost, and 4 years until the next one seemed an eternity away. (little did I know it would be 32 years before Australia made the finals again!


Those 4 years eventually passed and the 1978 finals were in Argentina, again at a difficult time.


I don’t remember much about the leadup, but I do remember watching the final before heading to school. Once again, the Netherlands were in the Final against the host and again they lost – 3-1.


I had the opportunity to go skiing for the first time, but was devastated that this clashed with the 1982 Final in Spain between Italy and Germany. I had been barracking for France who lost to Germany in the semi and there was no Cinderella in the final, but I was happy that Italy won 3-1.


I don’t have strong memories of 1986 in Mexico. I should have more recollection of a thriller won 3-2 by Argentina over Germany after blowing a 2-0 lead with a winner in 84th minute.


It seems confused in my memory with Italia 90 with the same protagonists



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  1. george smith says

    Best World Cup Final was 2002, Brazil v Germany. It was conducted at a reasonable hour from Japan, it had goals, Ronaldo redeemed himself after the debacle that was France and it finished after 90 minutes, a clear cut winner with no extra time and no penalties. Brazil 2 Germany 0. Also a shout out to the folks from Auburn, NSW. When Turkey won third place they drove around the streets like Burt Reynolds in “Cannonball Run”, horns blaring…

    An intriguing World Cup Final was 2014. I watched it from a hotel in Switzerland and at 90 minutes, with no scores, I said stuff this and went to sleep, and I did not know for sure who won until the following morning. Turns out Germany scored a most excellent goal in extra time, but I didn’t see it until I got home to Australia. Germany 1 Argentina 0

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