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    Tuesday, April 16, 2024

    Bernd Hölzenbein, World Cup winner with West Germany in 1974, dies at 78

    Bernd Hölzenbein, who won a crucial penalty in West Germany’s victory over the Netherlands in the 1974 World Cup final, has died. He was 78.

    Hölzenbein’s former club Eintracht Frankfurt said in a statement Tuesday that he died Monday while with his family, without giving further details.

    “One of the greatest we have ever had,” the club wrote on social media.

    Hölzenbein played 40 games for West Germany but is best known for his role in the 2-1 comeback victory over the Netherlands to win the World Cup on home soil in 1974.

    Playing in Munich, the Germans had gone behind to an early penalty from Dutch midfielder Johan Neeskens. Hölzenbein helped get his team back into the game when he dribbled into the crowded Dutch box and was brought down by a lunging tackle from Wim Jansen. Paul Breitner converted the penalty to level the score at 1-1.

    West Germany went on to win thanks to Gerd Müller’s goal just before halftime and some robust defending to upset the favored Dutch team.

    Hölzenbein went on to play another major final with West Germany at the 1976 European Championship, where he scored in the final against Czechoslovakia to level the score at 2-2 before his team lost on penalties.

    Hölzenbein spent most of his club career with Frankfurt, winning the UEFA Cup in 1980 and the German Cup three times. After retirement he served as Frankfurt’s vice president and worked for the team as a scout. AP

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