For the first World Cup after the war, the fourth
in total, we again journey to South America.
Once more, the qualified countries were playing silly boys and
withdrawing while India, who failed in initial qualification, were offered a place in the
finals but then withdrew as they were not allowed to play in bare feet.
Brazil 1950 - Preliminary
Round, Final Round.
France and Portugal also failed to qualify and then refused a
vacant slot after other Europeans withdrew.
England made their first appearance in the World Cup Finals, after
beating Wales (4:1), Northern Ireland (9:2) and Scotland (1:0); in qualifying matches
played in Cardiff, Manchester and Glasgow.
As with the first World Cup, in
1930, there were only 13 countries involved in the finals and Uruguay won the trophy to
make it lucky 13 again.
After a four-group Preliminary Round, the four group winners were
entered into another round-robin group to decide who would lift the Jules Rimet Cup.
Although there was no cup-final game as such, Uruguay and Brazil went
into their final game, in Rio de Janeiro on 16th July, with the winner guaranteed to be
the champions -- a draw would have been enough for Brazil; who had strolled through their
games against Sweden and Spain, with wins of (7:1) and (6:1) respectively.
Uruguay, playing in Sao Paulo, were previously held to a (2:2) draw
with Spain and had a narrow (3:2) win against Sweden, after trailing (1:2) at half-time.
Brazil, the hosts, must have been clear favourites to win again in Rio's enormous (220,000
capacity) Maracana Stadium.
The 13 teams were arranged into two groups of 4 teams, one group
of 3 teams and the Uruguay vs Bolivia match.
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil vs Mexico (4:0)
Belo Horizonte: Yugoslavia vs Switzerland (3:0)
Porto Alegre: Yugoslavia vs Mexico (4:1)
Sao Paulo: Brazil vs Switzerland (2:2)
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil vs Yugoslavia (2:0)
Porto Alegre: Switzerland vs Mexico (2:1)
Brazil qualify for the final round; thanks to the 2:0 win over Yugoslavia, who
only needed a draw (after Brazil were held by Switzerland, in Sao Paulo).
Rio de Janeiro: England vs Chile (2:0)
Curitiba: Spain vs United States (3:1)
Rio de Janeiro: Spain vs Chile (2:0)
Belo Horizonte: United States vs England (1:0)
Rio de Janeiro: Spain vs England (1:0)
Recife: Chile vs United States (5:2)
Spain qualify for the final round; winning all three of their preliminary
Sao Paulo: Sweden vs Italy (3:2)
Curitiba: Sweden vs Paraguay (2:2)
Sao Paulo: Italy vs Paraguay (2:0)
Sweden qualify for the final round; by beating Italy and drawing with Paraguay.
Belo Horizonte: Uruguay vs Bolivia (8:0)
Uruguay didn't have too much to do to
qualify for the final round.
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil vs Sweden (7:1)
Sao Paulo: Uruguay vs Spain (2:2)
Rio de Janeiro: Brazil vs Spain (6:1)
Sao Paulo: Uruguay vs Sweden (3:2)
Rio de Janeiro: Uruguay vs Brazil (2:1)
Sao Paulo: Sweden vs Spain (3:1)
In their crucial Maracana encounter, Uruguay may well have been
fresher than Brazil, who had to play three group 1 matches (against Mexico, Switzerland
and Yugoslavia) to Uruguay's solitary game against Bolivia.
Uruguay won the 1950
World Cup in Brazil; to lift the
trophy for the second time.
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