Top 5 World Cup Third Place Play-offs: Germany dominates

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Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil was significant for one notable reason among Die Mannschaft – it ensured they avoided a third consecutive third-place play-off.

Instead, Holland take on Brazil with the Selecao keen to restore some national pride and the Dutch aiming to send Louis van Gaal off to Old Trafford on a high.

The hosts are 5/4 to win in 90 minutes while the Oranje can be backed at 15/8.

While the outcome of the game looks uncertain, goals look assured with 27/20 offered on over 3.5 total goals in the game and these five classics offering up plenty of reasons why you should back such a development.

Germany 3 – 2 Uruguay – 2010

An absolute stonker of a third-place decider, this game was significant for the fact that it allowed Thomas Muller to capture the Golden Boot, with the Bayern Munich man scoring Germany’s opener before Edinson Cavani levelled proceedings before the break.

The goals continued to flow at a steady pace in the second half, with Golden Ball winner Diego Forlan putting the South Americans 2-1 up with a great strike before headers from Marcel Jansen and Sami Khedira put Germany back in front before the end.

Germany 3 – 1 Portugal – 2006

This game merits inclusion for being Luis Figo’s final appearance for the Selecao with the former Barcelona and Real Madrid maestro taking home a World Cup souvenir with an absolute peach of a cross for Nuno Gomes to score with a diving header in the 88th minute.

It was just a shame about the three Germany goals that preceded it in an electric second half.

Turkey 3 – 2 South Korea – 2002

After failing to net for Turkey at any stage during the finals up until this point, national team legend Hakan Sukur successfully etched his name into World Cup history with the fastest goal ever at the tournament, giving Milli Takim the lead after just 10.8 seconds against South Korea.

Lee Eul-Yong levelled things up eight minutes later but it was left to Turkey’s other striker, and current figure skater, Ilhan Mansiz to score twice with the co-hosts scoring a late consolation through Song Chong-Gug

Croatia 2 – 1 Holland – 1998

The winner of the Golden Boot can often be decided in the third-place play-off, and that was the case in 1998 with tournament surprise package Croatia putting on a fine show for the fans in their well-deserved 2-1 win over a Holland side licking their wounds from defeat to Brazil on penalties.

Tied with Gabriel Batistuta and Christian Vieri on five goals at the finals, Davor Suker edged ahead he netted the winner before half-time after Bolo Zenden had cancelled out Robert Prosinecki’s opener for the Eastern European nation.

France 4 – 2 Belgium – 1986

We have to go back 28 years to find our final entry with Sweden’s 1994 4-0 whitewash of Bulgaria and the misery of Italy vs England in 1990 both failing to make the cut.

With neighbours France and Belgium going head-to-head there was more than just a third-place trophy on the line here. It showed with the teams trading well-crafted team goals before Jean-Pierre Papin gave Les Bleus the lead going in at the break.

Belgium fought back and levelled through Nico Claesen on the 73rd minute to send the game to extra time. France eventually won out with two goals in a great but often forgotten World Cup encounter.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Jack Beresford

Jack Beresford is a content writer with over five years of experience in writing about sport and betting, including a two-year spell with Axonn Media. Contributes articles to HereIsTheCity and Lad Bible, while previous credits include Bwin, FTB Pro, Bleacher Report and the QBE rugby. Avid follower of tennis, rugby union, motorsport and football, Jack also writes about poker for Cardspiel.com alongside Guardian journalist Dominic Wells.