Five great Fifa World Cup semi-finals

Some of the most dramatic matches in the World Cup have come in the semi-finals, encompassing great fightbacks, extra-time goal barrages and a shoot-out after a 3-3 draw. We look at five of the best.

Bobby Charlton, right, scored twice for England during their semi-final win against Portugal in 1966. AP Photo
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1954: Hungary 4 Uruguay 2

The brilliant Hungarians surged to a 2-0 lead over the holders, but Uruguay forced extra time through a Juan Hohlberg double. Two headers from Sandor Kocsis won it for Hungary. “It was the most beautiful match of my life,” Hungary’s Jozsek Boszik said. The Magyars then lost 3-2 to West Germany in a stunning final.

1966: England 2 Portugal 1

Bobby Charlton goals gave the hosts a 2-0 lead going into the final 10 minutes, but Eusebio buried a penalty in the 83rd minute, the first goal conceded by England goalkeeper Gordon Banks. Despite heavy pressure, England held on. “That was the greatest performance by the team in this competition to date,” coach Alf Ramsey said.

1970: Italy 4 W Germany 3

Uwe Seeler’s final-minute goal levelled at 1-1, setting up a wild, extra-time scoring frenzy in the heat of Mexico. Gerd Muller put the Germans in front before the Italians levelled and regained the lead through Luigi Riva. Muller scored again, but the Italians stole in to restore the lead through Gianni Rivera. They were so exhausted by their efforts that they wilted against Brazil in the final and lost 4-1.

1982: West Germany 3 France 3 (Germany won 5-4 on penalties)

Pierre Littbarski and Michel Platini traded goals. The French went 3-1 up in extra time with goals by Marius Tresor and Alain Giresse, but Germany hit back through Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Klaus Fischer, above. Horst Hrubesch scored the decisive penalty.

1998: France 2 Croatia 1

Davor Suker scored in the 46th minute for World Cup debutants Croatia,but France bounced back a minute later through full-back Lilian Thuram, who scored his first international goal. Thuram also scored the second with a half-volley.

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