Day: May 4, 2010

World Cup Tales: The Miracle Of Belo Horizonte, 1950

When the draw for the 2010 World Cup finals was made in December of last year, the British press went into a depressingly familiar mode in their dismissal of their opposition, the irony of which was all the more striking for those – and it has to be said that they may not have been amongst football’s aesthetes – that picked out England vs the United States of America as one of the “must see” matches of the first round of the tournament. It was sixty years ago this summer that the USA team caused one of the biggest surprises in the history of the competition in beating England 1-0 in the group stages of the World Cup in Belo Horizonte, but with film footage of the match seemingly limited to just a couple of minutes’ worth and even the authenticity of the most striking image of the match almost entirely discredited, how much can we believe about what happened at the match? The received wisdom is roughly as follows: England, who had not deemed the World Cup worthy of their presence beforehand, turned up to play a United States team of amateurs, expecting to put twenty or thirty goals past them. Instead, the Haitian-born Joe Gaetjens scored the only goal of the game whilst England (who had rested Stanley Matthews) did everything but score, hitting the woodwork on...

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Would Wood Have Won It Anyway?

In the second of our articles about the sporadic crowd trouble that disrupted several of last weekend’s matches, Mark Murphy reports from Meadow Park, where his team were on the end of two goals and a right hook from a club with a history of troublesome away support. My team’s season finished at the weekend. We had a very good one, which exceeded most fans’ expectations – by quite some way too, after losing our first four league games and conceding, ulp, NINETEEN goals in the process. It had a disappointing end which, thankfully doesn’t appear to have masked the considerable overall achievement of reaching that end – a promotion play-off final after winning promotion last year, too. So, satisfaction all round and here’s to next year. Or so I thought. My team, Kingstonian, lost the Ryman Premier Division promotion play-off final away to Boreham Wood, having finished behind them on goal difference (no surprises after the start to the season that they had) after the 42-match season. The final was a tight, nervy “defences-on-top” affair, destined to be swayed massively by the first goal, especially with two of the best goalkeepers in the division on show. On 50 minutes, Boreham Wood goalkeeper Tony Tucker made an outstanding save. And Wood broke the deadlock on 69 minutes, before doubling their advantage with two minutes left thanks to Dewayne Clarke’s...

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