In a World Cup semifinal game that ebbed and flowed through 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of overtime and became the first game in Cup history to be decided on penalty kicks, West Germany beat France, 4-3, today to qualify for Sunday's final against Italy.

At the end of the overtime, in which each team scored twice, the crowd of about 65,000 gave the players a standing ovation.

West Germany's Horst Hrubesch, who had come on in the 73rd minute of play as a substitute, got the winning penalty kick after goalkeeper Toni Schumacher had saved Maxime Bossis' attempt.

After the required five players had taken their shots for both sides, the penalty-shot round was tied at four goals apiece. Uli Stielike for West Germany and Didier Six for France, who had been among their teams' strongest players, took the shots that were turned away by opposing goalkeepers.

The drama was somehow a fitting end to a game that seemed to have everything, including several acrobatic goals.

At the end of regulation, the score was tied at 1, with the West Germans appearing to have a slight edge over the French because of their superior strength and size. But France, which had played superbly in the second half, struck quickly, with Marius Tresor, the sweeper, scoring on a right-footed volley kick after a French corner kick in the third minute of overtime.

Six minutes later, Alain Giresse made the score 3-1, and it seemed as if the Germans would be finished. But the Germans began an all-out attack that was to continue for the duration of the two 15-minute overtime periods.

West German Coach Jupp Derwall already had substituted injured superstar Karl-Heinz Rummenigge for defender Hans-Peter Briegel, giving West Germany four attackers. In the 10th minute of overtime, almost immediately after Giresse's goal, Klaus Fischer headed the ball past Jean-Luc Ettori, apparently closing the gap by one. But the linesman's flag indicated that Fischer was offside, and referee Charles Corver of the Netherlands team disallowed the goal.

Three minutes later, Rummenigge made the score 3-2, spinning like a top inside the goal area and sneaking the ball past Ettori. Three minutes into the second period of overtime, Fischer tied the score with a remarkable bicycle kick.

Both the regulation and the overtime periods were divided into roughly equal stages of French and West German control as the Germans dominated the first half and the French the second.

The Germans scored first in regulation, Littbarski getting the goal on a play set up by Paul Breitner, who avoided a defender in midfield, dribbled at full speed for about 30 yards and passed off to Fischer. Fischer and French goalkeeper Ettori collided, the ball bounced loose and Littbarski hit a powerful shot on the rebound to make it 1-0 in the 18th minute.

The French tied it in the 27th minute on a penalty kick into the left corner of the net by captain Michel Platini after Bernd Foerster was called for holding Dominique Rocheteau inside the penalty area.