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Have you read ‘The Big Match’? Try a sample chapter & audio here: http://tinyurl.com/353dwmz

The 1950 World Cup

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Brazil host the first World Cup after the Second World War.

13 countries enter, including British teams for the first time. India withdraws because FIFA will not allow the team to play barefoot. Shock Result

Surely Brazil?

The English FA confidently expect their team to win the competition. And England start well, beating Chile 2-0. Then they lose 1-0 to Spain. They now need to beat the tournament outsiders: the USA, to qualify for the final group. The USA are only semi professional. England have some of the best players in the world But on a poor pitch everything goes wrong for England. They dominate the game but cannot score. The USA wins 1-0. The defeat against the US is the biggest upset in the history of English football. Many years later Tom Finney says, 'I can't explain it. We were beaten by a very ordinary team. I'm still embarrassed about it now!'

A crowd of 200,000 comes to the Maracanã. Everyone expects an easy Brazil win. Even officials from the Uruguayan FA are not confident. ‘Try not to lose by too many goals!’ they tell the team. The Uruguay captain, Varela, is very angry. 'We won't lose,' he says. 'We will win!' The Final starts well for the host nation. Brazil score first and the home crowd goes crazy.. Then Varela equalises. Suddenly the game changes. Now Uruguay come forward. Varela scores again to put his country in the lead.

Groups The tournament format of the 1950 is unusual. With only 13 teams entered, FIFA abandons the traditional semifinal and final. Instead the final four teams - Brazil, Spain, Sweden and Uruguay - play a ‘round-robin’ group. Brazil are now the favourites. They play all their games in their famous Maracanã Stadium. Other finalists have to travel across the country. A 7-1 win against Sweden is followed by 6-1 victory against Spain. All they now need is a draw against Uruguay to win the World Cup.

A Famous Victory Brazil desperately try to get back into the game and commit more players forward. Then in the seventy-ninth minute Uruguay counter-attack. They score again. The Maracanã is almost silent. Uruguay have won the World Cup for the second time - in the home of one of their local rivals. Video clip of Final here: http://tinyurl.com/3xoygvl More World Cup history & learning activities here: http://tinyurl.com/37v3l6p http://younglearners.eslreading.org/football/home.html


World Cup1950