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United States of America

United States are the 26th different opposition

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The BBC cameras were concentrating on the Second Test (cricket) between England and West Indies and the All-England Championships (Tennis) at Wimbledon
Thursday, 29 June 1950
The IV Campeonato Mundial de Futebol Taça Jules Rimet First Phase Pool Two match four

United States 1 England 0 [1-0]
Estádio Independência, Horto, Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Kick-off (BRT): 6.00pm, 10.00pm BST.

Attendance: 10,151;
United States kicked off Billy Wright won the toss

[1-0] Joe Gaetjens header 38

 'Walter Bahr, in a breakaway, crossed a low one and Gaetjens, crashing almost on all fours, put a glancing header past Williams.'
[0-0] Alf Ramsey scores from freekick disallowed
[0-0] Tom Finney strike hits the post
"Then Stan Mortensen tapped the ball over the American goal-line, turned to go back to the centre of the field and received the shock of his life as he saw a defender pull the ball out of the net, kick it clear and the referee coolly wave on play!" - BW
  [1-0] Stan Mortensen scores - no-goal awarded>
[1-0] Stan Mortensen strike hits the post
no TV or Radio coverage
"England get Soccer shock: U.S.A. win" Newcastle Journal
Officials United Stat         FIFA ruling on substitutes England Party
e s  
Referee (black)
Generoso Dattilo
48 (3 March 1902), Roma,
The continental ruling of allowing a substitute to replace an injured player prior to the 44th minute, and a goalkeeper at any time, is in place.
Charles Adolphe Henri Marius  DelaSalle
52 (9 December 1897), Calais
Giovanni Luigi Elio Galeati
49 (18 February 1901), Castel Bolognese
United States Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 40th to 30th
Colours White jerseys with blue v-necked collar/cuffs and red sash, blue shorts with white side trim, blue socks with white hoops around calf.
Captain Ed McIlvenny Manager William 'Chubby' Lyons, 38 (25 March 1912)
Coach: Bill Jeffrey Walter Giesler, 39 (6 September 1910). Giesler is the US Federation President.
United States Lineup
1 Borghi, Frank 25
89 days
9 April 1925 G Simpkins-Ford FC 6 18ᵍᵃ
youngest opposing gk so far
3 Keough, Harry J. 22
226 days
15 November 1927 RB St. Louis McMahon 5 0
17 Maca, Joseph A. 29
274 days
28 September 1920
in Brussels, Belgium
LB Brooklyn Hispano 2 0
14 McIlvenny, Edward J. 25
251 days
21 October 1924
in Greenock, Scotland
RHB Philadelphia Nationals 2 0
4 Colombo, Charles M. 29
344 days
20 July 1920
in Lincoln, England
CHB Simpkins-Ford FC 10 0
Bahr, Walter A. 23
89 days
1 April 1927 LHB Philadelphia Nationals 9 1
6 Wallace, Francis 27
349 days
15 July 1922 OR Simpkins-Ford FC 6 2
9 Pariani, Virgino P. 22
128 days
21 February 1928 IR Simpkins-Ford FC 4 1
Gaetjens, Joseph E. 26
102 days
19 March 1924
in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
CF Brookhattan 2 1
16 Souza-Benavides, John 29
352 days
12 July 1920 IL Ponta Delgada 11 3
10 Souza-Neto, Edward 28
280 days
22 September 1921 OL Ponta Delgada 5 3
reserves: not permitted
team notes: Although Walter Bahr was the regular US captain, McIlvenny was captain for this match because he was British.
World Cup Finals records: Joe Gaetjens is the first player to score against England in major tournament football.
2-3-5 Borghi -
Keough, Maca -
McIlvenny, Colombo, Bahr -
Wallace, Pariani, Gatjens,
J.Souza, E.Souza.
Averages: Age 26 years 193 days Appearances/Goals 5.7 0.9
oldest opp. WCF team so far
England Team
Rank No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 2nd
Colours The 1950 away uniform - Royal blue collared short-sleeved jerseys, white shorts, black socks with white tops.
only match, W 0 - D 0 - L 1 - F 0 - A 1.

Billy Wright Manager Walter Winterbottom, 37 (31 March 1913), appointed as FA national director of coaching/team manager on 8 July 1946;
  16th of 90, W 12 - D 0 - L 4 - F 44 - A 19 Trainers: Jimmy Trotter (Charlton Athletic FC) and Bill Riddings (Bolton Wanderers FC) P 31st of 139, W 23 - D 3 - L 5 - F 102 - A 32.
   ² Team announced by Arthur Drewry on Wednesday, 28 June 1950.
England Lineup
  unchanged from the previous match FINAL league positions (6 May)  
  Williams, Bert F. 30
149 days
31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL RU) 9 9ᵍᵃ
oldest WCF goalkeeper so far
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 30
158 days
22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC (FL2 Winners) 7 0
3 Aston, John 28
299 days
3 September 1921 LB Manchester United FC (FL 4th) 16 0
4 Wright, William A. 26
143 days
6 February 1924 RHB Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL RU) 31 2
5 Hughes, Lawrence 26
119 days

2 March 1924

CHB Liverpool FC (FL 8th) 2 0
6 Dickinson, James W. 25
66 days
24 April 1925 LHB Portsmouth FC (FL CHAMPIONS) 9 0
7 Finney, Thomas 28
85 days
5 April 1922 OR/IR Preston North End FC (FL2 6th) 27 18
8 Mannion, Wilfred J. 32
44 days
16 May 1918 IR/IL Middlesbrough FC (FL 9th) 21 10
oldest WCF player so far
9 Bentley, T.F. Roy 26
43 days
17 May 1924 CF/OR Chelsea FC (FL 13th) 6 2
10 Mortensen, Stanley H. 29
34 days
26 May 1921 IL/CF Blackpool FC (FL 7th) 20 20
the 23rd player to reach the 20-app milestone
11 Mullen, James 27
174 days
6 January 1923 OL Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (FL RU) 6 2
reserves: not permitted
World Cup Finals notes: First World Cup defeat, first World Cup goal conceded, first World Cup match without scoring.
team notes: This is Billy Wright's record 31st consecutive appearance.
Walter Winterbottom tried in vain to get Stanley Matthews to start this match, however, Arthur Drewry stuck to his mentality of not changing 'a winning team,'
records: Predominantly because of the World Cup Finals, England have played nine matches in a season for the first time.
This defeat ended the post-war record of seven victories in a row.
Due to inadequate changing facilities, England arrived on the team bus already kitted out, having changed at Minas Athletic Club.
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Aston -
Wright, Hughes, Dickinson -
Finney, Mannion, Bentley, Mortensen, Mullen.
second half: Bentley, Finney, Mortensen, Mannion, Mullen
Averages: Age 28 years 88 days Appearances/Goals 14.0 4.9
oldest WCF team so far most experienced WCF team so far
              Match Report by Mike Payne

This match will probably go down as the most infamous and humiliating defeat ever suffered by an England international side. It seems that never before had the team played so badly, although it must be said that never before had the team suffered such appalling bad luck.

The first half was almost exclusively played in the American half with only a rare breakaway relieving the pressure on Borghi's goal. The goalkeeper worked overtime as the England forwards repeatedly had the goal at their mercy. Time after time though the ball went narrowly wide of the post, just over the bar, hit the woodwork or brought a fine save from Borghi.

After all this pressure the unbelievable happened in the 38th minute. A throw-in by Scotsman Ted McIlvenny - soon to sign for Manchester United - found Bahr and he hit a 25-yard shot, more in hope than anything else. Imagine his surprise when the ball struck Gaetjens on the head to deflect over a stunned Bert Williams and into the England net.

Jimmy Mullen, Tom Finney, Wilf Mannion and Stan Mortensen all missed from good positions as England became more and more frustrated at their inability to score. Simple chances went begging and it appeared that the American goal had a charmed life.

The second half was just as one-sided. The woodwork kept on being rattled and Borghi continued to be his side's saviour, although he was very lucky to save one Mortensen header which he appeared to haul back from over the line. That was one of several errors of judgement on the part of the Italian referee and there were at least two strong penalty claims by England which went unheeded.

England became ragged as the game slipped away from them but the chances still came and went. Mortensen shot over, Roy Bentley had the ball taken off his toes when a goal seemed certain and Mannion also missed a fine chance after he shot over when unmarked right in front of goal. Finally, Alf Ramsey forced the save of the match out of hero Borghi.

At the final whistle Larry Gaetjens - who in 1970 was to disappear during political unrest in his native Haiti - was hoisted shoulder-high and the crowd went wild. The small ground and close-marking had a bad effect on England but no amount of excuses could hide the fact that this had been a day of total disaster for the team. Everything had gone wrong and at the final count they had hit the woodwork no less than 11 times!

Needless to say, England's chances of qualifying for the next stages of the competition had suffered a severe blow.


              Match Report by Norman Giller

A deflected shot from Haitian-born centre-forward Larry Gaetjens eight minutes before half-time gave the United States a victory that caused a shock that could have been measured on the Richter scale. England hit the woodwork three times, and what seemed a certain face-saving goal from a Ramsey free-kick in the closing minutes was miraculously saved by the diving goalkeeper Borghi, a professional baseball catcher. Another Ramsey free-kick had earlier found the back of the net, but the referee whistled for an infringement. England spent eighty-five per cent of the game in the American half but finished up the losers. Nobody could have felt more frustrated than Stanley Matthews, who sat watching impassively from the sidelines. The goal-scoring hero Gaetjens was later reported to have died in an Haitian jail after helping to organise a guerrilla movement against the island's dictator, 'Papa' Doc Duvalier. His name will live on in football history. The game was played on a cramped, narrow pitch that meant England were unable to make full use of their strength down the wings.  England had twenty shots to the vital one by the United States. Even their goal was a freakish affair. Bert Williams had a high centre covered, but Gaetjens ducked and the ball glanced off the back of his head and into the net. Even Alf Ramsey, who used to be expressionless throughout a game, threw his arms up and looked to the sky when his perfect free-kick was somehow saved by their unorthodox goalkeeper. Winterbottom had wanted to play Matthews in the second game against the United States, and Sir Stanley Rous argued the case for him with the chairman of the selectors, a Grimsby fish merchant called Arthur Drewry, who had been appointed the sole selector for the World Cup. "My policy is that I never change a winning team," the dogmatic Drewry said  dismissively. On one of the blackest days in English football history, England were beaten by the United States with Stanley Matthews among the spectators. It was like leaving Wellington on the bench at Waterloo.  It has been wrongly reported that the United States was made up of a team that came via Ellis Island. But all but three of the side were American-born.

Other World Cup Results (29 June 1950)
Pool 1:
Mexico 1 Yugoslavia 4
   Estádio dos Eucaliptos, Porto Alegre
Ortiz (pen89) ~
20, Željko Čajkovski23, 51, Tomašević80

Brazil had unexpectedly been held to a 2-2 draw by Switzerland in São Paulo on the previous day, but they would secure their place in the last four by beating Yugoslavia, in the pool decider in Rio, two days after the Slavs had thrashed Mexico.
Pool One Table
Team P W D L F A Pts
Yugoslavia 2 2 0 0 7 1 4
Brazil 2 1 1 0 6 2 3
Switzerland 2 0 1 1 2 5 1
Mexico 2 0 0 2 1 8 0
Pool 2: 
Chile 0 Spain 2
   Estádo Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro (19,790)
Basora17, Zarra30
England's disastrous result in Belo Horizonte meant that they had to beat Spain in Rio in their last match to force a play-off with them, potentially also with the United States.
Pool Two Table
Team P W D L F A Pts
Spain 2 2 0 0 5 1 4
England 2 1 0 1 2 1 2
United States 2 1 0 1 2 3 2
Chile 2 0 0 2 0 4 0
Pool 3: 
Paraguay 2 Sweden 2
   Estádio Durival Britto e Silva, Curitiba (7,903)López34, López Fretes74 ~
17, Palmer25
There were only three teams in Pool Three, following India's withdrawal, so despite Sweden failing to hold on to their two-goal lead against Paraguay, the point was enough to end Italy's 16-year run as world champions. Only the Paraguayans could stop Sweden from reaching the last four, but to do that, they'd have to beat Italy to force a re-match with the Swedes which they'd also have to win.


       In Other News....
It was on 28 June 1950, just three days after crossing the border, that North Korean forces captured the South Korean capital of Seoul. About nine hours earlier, approximately 800 people, mostly refugees, fleeing from the north, were killed when the Hangang Bridge was blown up in a desperate attempt to stop the North Koreans from entering the city.
              Source Notes
Original newspaper reports
Clive Leatherdale's England's Quest For The World Cup
FIFA.com 1950 World Cup
Rothman's Yearbooks & Book of Football Records
  Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record
Norman Giller, Football Author
Niall Edworthy's England: The Official F.A. History
Cris Freddi's The Complete Book of the World Cup
Brian Glanville's The Story of the World Cup
SquadNumbers.com/WC1950 USA's first chaos (Pablo Veroli)