It is probably too simplistic to say that Soviet muscle overcame Yugoslav flair, but it�s not too far off the truth. In the first half, Yugoslavia�s touch and tactical cleverness gave them the edge on a slippery pitch, Dragoslav Sekularac and Bora Kostic keeping up their good work of the semi-final. Their goal though was scrappy: sources vary as to whether Milan Galic got his head or some other part of his anatomy to a cross-cum-shot by Drazen Jerkovic. The ball apparently went in off Igor Netto, but the goal was credited to Galic, who was in the process of scoring in ten consecutive internationals, equalling a world record that still stands.
After that, the USSR were grateful for Lev Yashin�s excellence in goal. Later a star of the 1966 FIFA World Cup, he was already 30 now and at his peak, making a series of fine saves, especially from some thunderous free kicks by Kostic. The contrast with Yugoslavia�s goalkeeper, usually so reliable himself, was graphically illustrated early in the second half when Blagoje Vidinic dropped Valentin Bubukin�s long shot for Slava Metreveli to equalise.
Three minutes from time, it was Yugoslavia�s turn to be relieved when Valentin Ivanov missed an easy chance - only for Jerkovic to return the compliment in extra time, letting the ball skid under his foot right on the goal line. Then Victor Ponedelnik headed in a cross and strength won the day (some of the Yugoslavs were described as physically too weak, a sign of the way football was going). They took some compensation from winning the Olympic title later in the year, after finishing runners-up three times in a row.
Here the Soviets were rather uninspiring winners but deserved their success for their fitness and determination. And for taking the new competition more seriously than some.
Yashin, Chokheli, Maslyonkin, Krutikov, Voinov, Netto (c), Metreveli, Ivanov, Ponedelnik, Bubukin, Meshki.
Coach: Gavril Katchalin
Blagoje Vidinic, Durkovic, Jusufi, Zanetic, Jovan Miladinovic, Perusic, Jerkovic, Sekularac, Galic, Zeljko Matus, Kostic (c).
Coach: Aleksandar Tirnanic, with Ljubomir Lovric and Dragomir Nikolic