Netherlands vs Australia
The Socceroos are no match for the Netherland's Total Football.

Belgium vs West Germany
Home advantage gives West Germany a comfortable win.

Italy vs Scotland
It's 1970 all over again except it's the round of 16.

Argentina vs Chile
Chile never beat Argentina in an official match until 2008, and I can't really expect a miracle from them here.

Uruguay vs Romania
I think this one is the closest one for me, but Romania wins it.

Brazil vs England
It's 1970 all over again except it's the round of 16 x2.

Poland vs Czechoslovakia
I don't see this Poland being stopped by Czechoslovakia honestly.

East Germany vs Portugal
One step closer for the East vs West Germany rematch.
Netherlands wins...
West Germany wins...with some difficult
Scotland wins...Italy is in the middle of the end of a generation...
Argentina wins
Uruguay wins...and the match ends with a lot of romanians injured and 3 sent off uruguayans...a scandal
Brazil wins...boring match, but enough to win
Poland wins
East Germany wins


I hope to see the United States make it in a little earlier than IOTL (and have a lot more success too)
1974 FIFA World Cup Last 16
Part 2

The Round of 16 in recent years had often prove to have a number of interesting encounters and this would be no different with perhaps the big eye opener being that of a rematch with England and Brazil as well as an all South American affair featuring Argentina and Chile. A new rule had been put in place for the this World Cup that once teams were still tied after extra time then the game would go into penalties [1] to decide the game. As the host nation prepared for the first match of the knockout stage, no one knew quite know what to expect...

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Final results of the Last 16
West Germany's match with a plucky Belgium side would on paper look like a good victory for the Germans, however the host nation would find out that Belgium would constantly try and knock West Germany off their style of play and thanks to a rather lax Peruvian referee, a lot of tackles went on without getting booked. It would be a rather atrocious game in which the host nation would only get the winning goal some eight minutes before the end though coming with a consequence of West German Left back Paul Breitner getting injured and ruling him out for the rest of the tournament [2]. Would they cope?

Later on that evening, Argentina would step their game as they ravaged poor old Chile didn't stand a chance with their only goal coming five minutes before the end which was nothing more than a consolation penalty kick. For Argentina, they were under pressure to make for their absence four years ago and after a performance like that they did look quite a team not to be messed with whoever would face them in the Quarter-finals.


Argentina during the game with Chile
The next day would for the two British teams to play in with the game everyone wanted to see being England vs Brazil but yet there was also the small matter of Scotland taking on Italy. By a stunning coincidence, both were the same teams that had knocked them out at the last World Cup in the Quarter finals [3]. The first to play was England and Brazil and it was the English who started well and had many chances in the first half to score goals...yet their failure to score would lead to their downfall in the second half. Brazil would come out in the second half looking more better than the lacklustre team that looked weak against England two quick fire goals would end up seeing England bow out and the end of Alf Ramsay's time as England manager [4]. Brazil looked as if they had finally found some form, but was it a false dawn?

Later than day, things wouldn't be much better for Scotland as they would once again lose to the Italians. That all said it wasn't quite easy as many might think as it would be Scotland that would take the lead and led for most of the first half, only for Italy to equalise near the end of the first half. Even in the second half it would be rather a close game and it would only be a bad set of defensive play from Scotland that saw Italy score and dump the Scots out of the World Cup once again. All in all, not a good day for British supporters who had all rushed in from work to witness this [5].


Jordan during the game with Italy, note Scotland playing in their away all white kit
The day after that would see a bloodbath in which a now powerful Dutch side would put the Socceroos at the sword in which the underdog proved to be weak against total football yet they won the hearts of local German supporters both for how they never gave up and in hopes they could put the boot in for their rivals. Nothing else had to be said other than the fact Australia were out yet again at this stage of the knockout stage while the Netherlands were heading to a place were no Dutch team had gone before, the last eight...

Over in Berlin later that day, an all Warsaw Pact game took place with Poland and Czechoslovakia in which proved to be quite a tense game with no side willing to take any risks, though in the end it would prove to be Poland that would get the victory and the dark horse team that everyone was calling them were slowly making their way forward into the last eight and no knew just what this Polish team had in them...


Lato during the match with the Czechs
The final day of the last sixteen saw a ropy Uruguay take on a unknown Romanian side which would be a violent encounter in which the Romanians would find themselves getting tackled by some brutal challenges from Uruguay that saw them carry this on thanks to a relaxed Turkish referee and all this rotten play would see Uruguay win the game and make it to the last eight. The Romanians though were left furious saying that they had been abused, kicked and spat upon by the South Americans. It was fair to say that Uruguay, with typical South American roughness, hadn't endeared themselves to the public [6].

The final match of the last sixteen saw East Germany take on Portugal and in the end it would be straight forward victory for the Germans as they made it to the last eight for the first time and now people had to wonder just if there was going to be a rematch with the two German teams at this rate? For Portugal, it was far from a good World Cup and was nothing like how they amazed many in 1966 and a lot would have to be looked at to see if they could do better in 1978.


East German players line up before the game with Portugal
When the games were finished, pretty much most of the teams many had predicated to go through had made it and now it was in the Quarter finals in which was were many of the 'big' sides would be tested and maybe a shock or too was possible. With the Cold War in the air and with a few teams from either side at this point, something was in the air that there might be an unlikely final at stake...

The last 16 is here and it seems to be results that most of you expected. Once again, some notes to point out:

[1] This rule wasn't put in place in the 1978 WC, however it is put into action much earlier.
[2] This will have butterflies in the next game...
[3] Look back on TTL's 1970 WC
[4] He left after England failed to qualify for the 1974 WC, here lasts just nearly a year later.
[5] Fun side note in terms of British TV during that day ITTL, ITN (ITV to be better known) would broadcast the England game live while BBC would likewise do the same with the Scotland game. Neither supporter would be happy after both failed to go through!
[6] For example, imagine the Uruguay/Scotland game in '86, only here Uruguay's dirty play actually see's them through.

Now we move to the Quarter-final fixtures as follows:

Netherlands vs West Germany

Italy vs Argentina

Uruguay vs Brazil

Poland vs East Germany

--------- know the drill, who will make it to the semi finals? Things won't exactly be the same with certain referees, players and all that. Hope you enjoyed this update and a question to ask you guys is do you want to see a 32 team World Cup for 1982? More teams to play with and butterfly effects for football in those countries...

Until then, stay tuned!



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Netherlands vs West Germany
Total Football proves to be one hell of a match for West Germany, but they edge it out in the end.

Italy vs Argentina
The italians are looking to reach the final after they lost to Mexico in 1970.

Uruguay vs Brazil
Brazil is looking for another consecutive World Cup just like 1958-1962.

Poland vs East Germany
Another step closer...
Hope you enjoyed this update and a question to ask you guys is do you want to see a 32 team World Cup for 1982? More teams to play with and butterfly effects for football in those countries...
On one hand, the World Cup is going to be even more of a True World Cup, and it could be more entertaining for the audience, but on the other hand, the people who tought that they were worsening the quality of the World Cup are going to be very mad when they find out that CAF will get 5 teams represented, CONCACAF will also have another team guaranteed, plus the AFC will also get 1 more guaranteed team in the World Cup, plus one if the 4th one wins the Inter-confederation play-offs. Oh, and the financial problems that would have to be addressed.
Verdict? Football has probably gotten even more popularity by 1982 than OTL, thus more revenue, therefore a 32 team expansion for the 1982 World Cup could be reasonable. But there will certainly be some skeptics about it.
1974 FIFA World Cup Quarter-Finals
Part 3

The last remaining eight teams left had brought up some mouth-watering fixtures which included a battle with the Dutch and Germans, Italy and Argentina going at it, Uruguay and Brazil in a rematch from the last tournament and finally an unlikely pair in the form of Poland and East Germany all battling it out for a place in the last four. They would however throw up a lot of surprise results but for some for all the wrong reasons...
The first match of the Quarter-finals saw the hosts taking on the much fancied Netherlands, though there were some doubts among the Germans due to the fact that Paul Breitner was out injured and unable to play. It would turn out not to be the Dutch that was the main trouble, but rather, the Russian referee. From the get go, the Dutch were awarded a penalty which helped them take the lead. However the real controversy happened in the 25th minute in which Bernd Hölzenbein was fouled in the Dutch penalty box yet for some reason, the referee gave no call [1]. Despite this, the Germans would get a goal back before the break and hoped things would turn out better for them. Little did they know...

There would be a number of chances for both sides to win the game yet the West Germans had a few penalty calls not going in their favour, only leading them for the team and the supporters to get more livid and what they felt was clear bias against them. More trouble came for them later on when Müller thought he had scored when he put the ball in the net, only to be denied by the linesman flagging him for offside [2] and all around the ground, many German supporters could be heard whistling and jeering in fury...then finally it all came to a head in the 75th minute when Cruyff scored a volley to help the Dutch retake the lead and in the end and the horror of the home supporters, the Germans had not only been beaten in their own backyard by their rivals, but what seemed to be clearly cheated out by a dodgy Soviet referee called Kasakov that many Germans felt had a strong anti-German bias due to the second World War and many nations felt sorry for the German's bad fate. Some consolation was given when FIFA stepped in and made sure Kasakov never refereed another World Cup match again and to this day, many German supporters still say 'Dieser verdammte russische Schiedsrichter!' ('That damn Russian referee!')

For the Dutch, it did feel like they had won the final though there was still a long way to go. Despite the way they might've been 'helped' to make it to the last four, many were now pretty sure that the Netherlands were surely the team to beat now.


Angry exchanges with the referee during the match
As a host nation was weeping injustice, Italy and Argentina prepared to face off each other in what would be historic match as the first World Cup match to be settled on penalty kicks [3]. While Italy were slight favourites to win the game, Argentina were not a team to mess with and they would show this as they gained the lead in the 20th minute. However it would a blunder in the 35th minute when Argentina scored an own goal and this was what Italy needed to try and win the game yet despite all this, neither side get find a winning goal throughout the rest of the game [4] and thus, the game went to penalties.

It is said that taking spot kicks is a horrible way to go out if you lose and it would be one such Italian, Anastasi, would be the only one to miss his spot kick and despite the rest of his team taking their kicks and scoring, Argentina would score all their penalties and would book their place in the last four for the first time since 1966 [5]. It was a day of shocks by all concern and most were wondering just what was going to happen the following day. Were more shocks to follow?


Italy vs Argentina in the Quarter-finals
The following day saw an all South American affair with Brazil taking on Uruguay, the latter whom had played a dirty game with the Romanians and who was the team many wanted to see kicked out. It was in fact a rematch of the 1970 Semi-final in which Brazil came from behind to win [6]. What followed would be a fast and frantic game in which proved to be quite a unlikely game for goals being scored. At last for many at least it felt that the Brazilian magic that many thought about the South American giants, however Uruguay weren't going to simply roll over to let them win that easily.

Brazil would score first, then Uruguay scored, Brazil scored again before half time, then during the second half, Uruguay scored to make the Brazilians sweat and there was feeling as time went on that another upset was on the cards. However just eleven minutes before the end, Brazil scored the final goal that would take them into last four and dump their fellow South Americans out of the World Cup.


Brazil and Uruguay during the match
The final match of the Quarter finals was perhaps the one that had turned heads, Poland vs East Germany. Being two unknown sides, no one knew what to expect and yet what would happen in that game was a true thriller in which Poland scored early on and lead for large parts of the game looking like their unlikely run to the Semi-finals seemed to be reality, however East Germany would strike back with five minutes of regulated time to go and the game moved into a tense period of extra time.

Despite East Germany throwing everything they had at Poland, it would be a Polish goal that would send them through to their first ever Semi-final and it was truly an amazing story, though much to Polish fans annoyance, they were being called as a triumph for the east...Poland only played for themselves and this was a way to express their identity. Could their miracle become a reality?


An Artist's work showing the moment in which Poland scored the second goal in extra time
When the dust (and controversy) was settled, four remained and somewhere in FIFA's offices in Switzerland, plans were now being seriously looked at to expand the World Cup for 1982 [7] as football had become more popular than it had ever been thought previously. Changes were ahead, though would a familiar name be carved on the trophy or would a new name find it's way on the cup? This World Cup was really up anyone to think about.

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Final results of the 1974 Quarter-finals

--------- you didn't see any of those results coming, however the butterfly effects of the World Cup in this world are taking effect you wouldn't believe in. Anyway I must I'm quite pleased at how well many have taken to this, even compared to 'All To Play For'. How do you feel about the POD as a good enough way to see the World Cup expanded earlier than OTL? I am surprised that despite being quite a known moment in football history that no one has done a TL regarding it. Anyway, some notes to follow as always:

[1] A different referee leads to a whole different set of butterflies in place.
[2] This happened in OTL, though probably has a more horrid effect here.
[3] This wouldn't be seen until the 1982 World Cup IOTL.
[4] Pretty much the same OTL group stage game, though it last a whole 120 minutes before spot kicks happen.
[5] Look back on TTL.
[6] Ditto.
[7] Watch this space!

Anyway, here is the last four as it stands:

Netherlands vs Argentina

Brazil vs Poland

A very strange last four no doubt, so who do you think will go all the way now? Until then...see you soon!


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Coulsdon Eagle

Monthly Donor
Erroneous scorer for Argentina: Houseman presumably scored the own goal "for" Italy; Perfumo listed as scoring an own goal "for" Argentina as well as a penalty for them!
1974 FIFA World Cup Semi-Finals
Part 4

The 4th July would see both semi finals played and it would be quite an unlikely last four in many regards. The first to play would be the Dutch and Argentina in which despite many thinking would be quite a close game would instead be a rout as the Netherlands brushed the South American side with ease. Within twenty five minutes the Dutch were 2-0 up and yet despite an Argentine goal coming a few minutes later, it would be a false dawn as throughout the second half, the Dutch battered Argentina to find a third goal and it would be a long time coming and in the end, Cruyff did just that [1].

It would be stated that the Argentine team was so tried following that gruelling game with the Italians that they weren't at their best and things could've been different had the game not gone to penalties. For the Dutch, their amazing run was now on the verge of winning the biggest prize in world football and across the Netherlands, the country was gripped by football fever like no one would believe it. The only question now was who would be their opponent?


Argentina attempt a free kick during the semi final
Later that evening came perhaps the most unlikely meet up...Brazil vs Poland. Though the South American giants were red hot favourites to join the Dutch in the final in what set to be a rematch following that shock loss to them [2], Poland were such an unknown team that could go either way. What followed would be one of the most enjoyable games in which the Poles were clearly the underdog as Brazil would attack the Poles' goal yet Poland would not let Brazil get a goal in the first half.

The second half was when the pressure started to rise for Brazil and Poland started to get a footing in the game with many feeling that an upset was on the cards...and came it did. In the 75th minute, Poland would score the only goal of the game that would stun Brazil and the world that would surely help them move onwards to the final though Brazil would give up as they tried and ultimately failed to get back as against all odds, Poland had made it to their first final and Brazil were heartbroken at losing the cup [3].


The moment Lato scored for Poland to give them the shock victory in the Semi-final
Once that game had finished, the 1974 final would be a match up between two teams who had never been in final before while Argentina and Brazil would carry on their rivalry and play for pride in a third-place game. For many, Holland and Poland had been the talk of the tournament and to have them playing in the final seemed to be almost a dream, amazing really.

It was unknown just how many Polish supporters, if any, could be allowed to travel across the iron curtain to cheer the team on, though what was most certain was the Dutch were going to swarm across West Germany and cheer on their team in which winning it in their arch rival's backyard would be nothing short a dream. In the end, many wonder who would win; the Netherland's brand of total football or Poland's dark horses? Everyone would find out in a few short days.

1974 13.png

Final results of the 1974 Semi-finals

[1] The game is pretty much the same Dutch vs Argentine like in OTL, though it goes slightly better for Argentina who at least get a goal here.
[2] Remember TTL's first group game with the two.
[3] The game goes pretty much like OTL's third place game, only it's a Semi-final here.

Here we are then, we are getting near the end of 1974 and what do you think will happen now with who will win what. Hope you enjoyed this update and stay tuned the final part of 1974 and a preview of the teams at 1978 with who will be the hosts as a consequence of a bigger world cup. Until then, catch you later!
1974 FIFA World Cup Third-Place game and Final
Part 5

Before the anticipated final between Holland and Poland could take place, there was the small matter of a third place game between Argentina and Brazil. Even thought it was a game that perhaps did nothing to help ease the pain on missing out on the final, there was always something bound to happen whenever these two South American giants came together to play each other.

Brazil would score first before Argentina would strike back a few minutes later to end the first half 1-1. However despite some good work from Argentina, it would be Brazil that would score the winning goal just a few minutes later after the second half begun and in the end, Brazil would win the third place match [1] and even despite the win, it was possibly not going to help the feeling after they lost their grip on the world cup.


Argentina vs Brazil, note Brazil wearing their away kit
For Argentina, as much as they might've been disappointed to finish as the fourth place team yet again like in 1966 [2], however considering they had missed out on the last world cup then it could be argued that it was not a bad return for them and there was great excitement as they prepared to host the 1978 World Cup, little did they know how things weren't going to go exactly to plan even before a ball had been kicked in that tournament...[3]

1974 14.png

Final result of the Third-Place game

The day later would come the final in what were perhaps two of the most unlikely teams taking place; Poland and the Netherlands. There were some strange stuff behind the scenes prior to the final as the plan was to have the final played in Munich, however a few eyebrows were raised when it was found out the final would be held in West Berlin [4]. It was stated that this requested by the Polish football association in the hope that this help have their supporters make the rare and one off journey to travel beyond the iron curtain. It was accepted on the condition as a one off and much security hoops had to be passed.

One thing was certain was that the Dutch would swarm West Berlin with their supporters and would outnumber their Polish counterparts three to one and they hoped that this would be the game in which they would win the world cup. With such a big support behind them, this would help take of a Poland team who despite putting a good throughout would in the end fall apart against the Dutch.


Poland vs Netherlands during the final
Those expecting a shock result or a goal thriller were to be left somewhat disappointed as the Dutch would score two goals without reply and the favourites would become the newest team to get their hands on the cup and the joy of winning the World Cup in their arch rivals' backyard was something that many Dutch supporters would never forget and it was said that across the Netherlands after the victory that the country celebrated for a whole week and those players would awarded by royalty by the end of it.


Netherlands, 1974 World Cup Winners

The Poles who despite losing the final would though feel proud of their efforts of doing far better than what anyone expected they would do and there was the hope that with that experience that they could do one better next year though there were a few who lamented that this was likely just a one-off. With that though, the 1974 World Cup had come to an end plus came the news that 1982 would see that edition of the World Cup expanded to 32 teams which would draw a mixed response. For now, all eyes turned to South America though perhaps not on the place they expected...

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Final result of the 1974 final

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Final results of the Knockout stage of the 1974 World Cup

[1] The game is pretty much like OTL encounter with the two.
[2] Look back earlier on TTL.
[3] Find out next time...!
[4] The OTL final took place in Munich.

So there we are, the Dutch finally get their hands on the cup! You probably already thought of that but here it is nonetheless and I hope any Dutch folk reading this will be smiling. Anyway we now move onto 1978 and here are the teams below:

1978 1.png

You'll see that Brazil are hosting it and not Argentina, but why? Find out next time and before I go, what has been your favourite WC so far ITTL for whatever reason and maybe what one are you looking forward to? Until then, catch you later in Brazil!
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There were some strange stuff behind the scenes prior to the final as the plan was to have the final played in Munich, however a few eyebrows were raised when it was found out the final would be held in West Berlin [4].
[1] The game is pretty much like OTL encounter with the two.
[2] Look back earlier on TTL.
[3] Find out next time...!
Where's the [4]?