WORLD CUP ‘90 : Matthaus Lifts West Germany Past Yugoslavia

From Associated Press

Captain Lothar Matthaus used both feet to show why West Germany is among the favorites to win the World Cup.

Matthaus scored twice--on hard drives with each foot--as the powerful West Germans swept past Yugoslavia, 4-1, Sunday in an opening-round Group D match.

“We are among the biggest favorites for the title, I’ve said that even before the World Cup,” said West German Coach Franz Beckenbauer.

“This game confirmed it. I think we can play even better.”

Winners of the World Cup in 1954 and 1974, the West Germans displayed a strong attack and completely dominated the game.

Matthaus scored in the 28th and 65th minutes. Jurgen Klinsmann, a teammate of Matthaus with Inter Milan in the Italian League, got West Germany’s second goal in the 39th and Rudi Voeller completed the rout in the 71st.


Yugoslavia took just two shots at the West German goal. Sweeper Davor Jozic headed in his team’s only score in the 55th minute.

Yugoslavia Coach Ivica Osim agreed his team was totally outplayed.

“My players caved in under pressure,” he said. “They were impressed by the occasion and we could have lost by a larger margin.”

Matthaus’ first goal came off a pass from Stefan Reuter just outside the edge of the Yugoslav penalty area.

Next, Klinsmann headed Andreas Brehme’s pass from an awkward, angled position past goalkeeper Tomislav Ivkovic.

West Germany continued to exert pressure after halftime, but Yugoslavia retaliated with a surprise goal.

Brehme fouled Dragan Stojkovic and the midfielder took the free kick from the right, sending a floating ball in front of the net. Jozic leaped above the defense and headed it in.

“We had an almost optimal game and had a very good rate of converting our chances,” Beckenbauer said. “We knew how we had to play against the Yugoslavs and the players did exactly what they had to do. We never let the Yugoslavs get into the game.”