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Argentina

 

 
262 vs. Scotland
263
264 vs. Portugal

Wednesday, 9 May 1951
Festival of Britain Celebration Match

England 2 Argentina 1 [0-1]
 

 

Match Summary
England Party
Argentina Party

Empire Stadium, Wembley Park, Wembley, Middlesex
Attendance: 99,000; Receipts: £38,525 (midweek record);
Kick-off: 3.00pm BST;
Last half-hour live on BBC (UK) - Commentator: Jimmy Jewell. Full second-half live on the Radio Light Programme.

Argentina - Mario Boyé (Labruna beats Williams to cross the ball to be headed in from six yards 18)
England - Stan Mortenson (Finney's corner is headed towards the goal by Hassall for Mortensen to head in from one yard 80), Jackie Milburn (Mortensen heads down a Ramsey free-kick for Milburn to slide in from two yards 86)
Results 1950-1955

Argentina kicked-off. ? minutes (? & ?).

 

Match Summary

Officials

England

Type

Argentina

Referee (black) - Benjamin Mervyn Griffiths
42 (17 January 1909), Abertillery, Monmouthshire, Wales.

Linesmen - A. Bond, London (red flag) and P.L. Greig, Middlesex (yellow flag).

Two substitutes are permitted in the Festival of Britain matches, prior to the 44th minute. Injured goalkeepers are allowed to be replaced at any time.

  Goal Attempts  
  Attempts on Target  
  Hit Bar/Post  
  Corner Kicks Won  
  Offside Calls Against  
  Fouls Conceded  
  Possession  

England Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 4th
Colours: The 1951 away uniform - Red jerseys, white shorts, black socks with white tops.
Capt: Billy Wright, twentieth captaincy Manager: Walter Winterbottom, 38 (31 March 1913), appointed director of coaching on 8 July 1946, and team manager in May 1947;
37th match, W 26 - D 4 - L 7 - F 116 - A 42.
Team chosen by Selection Committee headed by Arthur Drewry, on Monday, 30 April 1951
England Lineup
  Williams, Bert F. 31 31 January 1920 G Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 15 19 GA
2 Ramsey, Alfred E. 31 22 January 1920 RB Tottenham Hotspur FC 13 0
3 Eckersley, William 25 16 July 1925 LB Blackburn Rovers FC 4 0
4 Wright, William A. 27 6 February 1924 RHB

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

35 3
5 Taylor, James G. 33 5 November 1917 CHB Fulham FC 1 0
6 Cockburn, Henry 29 14 September 1921 LHB

Manchester United FC

11 0
7 Finney, Thomas 29 5 April 1922 OR

Preston North End FC

31 19
8 Mortensen, Stanley H. 29 26 May 1921 IR Blackpool FC 23 21
9 Milburn, John E.T. 26 11 May 1924 CF Newcastle United FC 10 8
10 Hassall, Harold W. 22 4 March 1929 IL Huddersfield Town AFC 2 1
11 Metcalfe, Victor 29 3 February 1922 OL Huddersfield Town AFC 1 0

reserves:

Ted Ditchburn and Bill Nicholson (both Tottenham Hotspur FC), Nicholson was replaced by Harry Johnston (Blackpool FC) on 9 May.

team notes:

Stan Matthews (Blackpool FC) was the original chosen outside-right. Finney swapped sides and Vic Metcalfe was drafted in to replace him. Matthews has a bruised foot.
Bill Nicholson received a leg injury playing for Tottenham Hotspur FC against FC Austria.
 
2-3-5 Williams -
Ramsey, Eckersley -
Wright, Taylor, Cockburn -
Finney, Mortensen, Milburn, Hassall, Metcalfe.

Averages:

Age 28.3 Appearances/Goals 13.3 4.5

 

Argentina Team

 

Rank:

No official ranking system established;
ELO rating 1st
Colours: Sky blue and white broad striped jerseys, black shorts, pale blue socks
Capt: Norberto Iácono Manager: Guillermo Antonio Stábile, 46 (17 January 1905)
Team chosen on Monday, 7 May 1951.
Argentina Lineup
  Rugilo, Miguel A.     G Velez Sarsfield   GA
2 Colman, Juan C., off 35th min.     RB Boca Juniors    
3 Filgueiras, Juan     LB Huracán    
4 Iácono, Norberto     RHB River Plate    
5 Faina, Ubaldo     CHB Newell's Old Boys    
6 Pescia, Natalio     LHB Boca Juniors    
7 Boyé Auterio, Mario E.H. 28 30 July 1922 OR Racing Club    
8 Mendez, Norberto R.     IR Racing Club    
9 Bravo, Rubén     CF Racing Club    
10 Labruna, Ángel     IL River Plate    
11 Loustau, Félix     OL River Plate    
Argentina Substitutes
? Allegri, Ángel, on 35th min. for Colman       Newell's Old Boys    

reserves:

-

team notes:

The Argentinians were training at Arsenal FC's Highbury ground and The Arsenal Stadium
 
2-3-5 Rugilo -
Colman
(Allegri), Filgueiras -
Iácono, Faina, Pescia -
Boyé, Mendez, Bravo, Labruna, Loustau.

Averages:

Age - Appearances/Goals - -

 

     Match Report by Mike Payne

In a match helping to celebrate the Festival of Britain, England came so close to losing their precious unbeaten home record against foreign opposition. Playing in red shirts, they began with a determined burst but struggled later.

Henry Cockburn quickly asserted his authority and soon Rugilo was making athletic saves from Stan Mortensen and Jackie Milburn. Clearly the goalkeeper was an eccentric, as he showed in his exaggerated play, but he was effective and kept England at bay. Argentina built their game around short, sharp passes and Pescia was outstanding.

The visitors first serious attack incredibly brought them a goal. It came in the 18th minute and began after a mistake by Billy Wright in midfield. From there the Argentinians worked the ball brilliantly. Labruna, killing Rugilo's long clearance perfectly, sent Lostau away. He beat Alf Ramsey for pace before crossing for Boyé to head past Bert Williams. Boyé was so taken with the excitement of scoring that one would have been mistaken to think that the goal had won the World Cup.

From that moment until half-time it was all England. Milburn latched on to a Mortensen pass but was thwarted by a brave dive by Rugilo at his feet. Harold Hassall, with a flashing drive and two searching headers forced the goalkeeper into three more saves as the pressure increased. At the end of the first 45 minutes though England were still searching for the equalizer. They went off to have a rethink.

It was soon noticeable that they were realeasing their passes quicker when they restarted and as a result began to create more chances. Wright was supporting Tom Finney better now and Milburn was finding gaps at last in the tough tackling Argetine defence. For 15 minutes England laid seige on the vistor's goal. Once, Allegri, who had come on as a substitute for Colman, cleared off the line with an acrobatic scissors kick and then Milburn twice hit Rugilo's right hand post.

And so it went on. Time drained away and still no England goal. Williams had been a virtual spectator for 95% of the game and it was all England. A huge Wembley roar built up to urge England forward and with only 11 minutes to go, they finally gained their long overdue reward. Mortensen was thehero as he rose to head in a corner by Finney. It was England's 14th corner and that was some measure of their dominance. With only four minutes left the game was transformed with the winning goal.

This time Mortensen turned provider when he headed Ramsey's free-kick across the goalmouth for Milburn to ram the ball in from close range. Thie ruined Rugilo's day but his antics, although raising quite a few laughs amongst the crowd, in the end got their just desserts.

It was a spectacular end to a spectacular match.
   

     Match Report by Norman Giller

Goals in the last ten minutes from Stan Mortensen and Jackie Milburn (following the two he had scored for Newcastle on the same pitch in the FA Cup final four days earlier) gave England a scrambled victory. Eccentric Argentinean goalkeeper Rugilo, nicknamed 'Tarzan', had the crowd roaring with laughter as he swung on the crossbar and clowned his way through the match, which was staged as part of the Festival of Britain celebrations. Fulham centre-half Jim Taylor won the first of two caps at the age of thirty-three. Argentina were only the second country other than Scotland to play England at Wembley.
   

     Match Report by Glen Isherwood

England were facing foreign opposition at Wembley in an official international for the first time. Argentina had not competed in the previous year's World Cup but had won the South American Championship three years in succession in the mid-1940's and had the best record in the history of the competition. They were coached by Guillermo Stabile, the top scorer in the 1930 World Cup, and this was their first meeting with England.

The home side, wearing red shirts at Wembley for the first time were a goal down when Lostau lured Williams from his goal and chipped the ball up for Mario Boye to head in.

England were heading for defeat but they finally drew level when Stan Mortensen headed in a Finney corner. WIth four minutes to go they snatched victory when Mortensen headed on a Ramsey free-kick for Jackie Milburn to drive home the winner.

England went to Buenos Aires the following year, but the game was abandoned after 21 minutes without a goal because of torrential rain. Argentina returned to Wembley in 1966 for the World Cup.
   

 

Source Notes

"SOCCER FESTIVAL IN MAY, 1951
"A Festival of Soccer is to be arranged by the Football Association as part of the Festival of Britain in 1951, and the F.A.'s of Scotland, Ireland and Wales are being asked to support the plan. Preliminary discussions began yesterday in Glasgow between officials of the four Associations, before the international between Scotland and Wales at Hampden Park. The Football Association stated that it was proposed to extend the 1950-51 season for two weeks in May in order that international matches could be staged between England and overseas countries. The fixtures would take the place of a close-season tour. After the international programme the F.A. hope that League teams will play against Continental clubs. The F.A. have no intention of clashing with summer sport, and all games will be played in the evening. It is expected that many clubs who have entertained British sides abroad will be invited to the Festival"
- Thursday, 10 November 1949, The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury.

"SOCCER'S BIG PLANS FOR 1951 FESTIVAL OF BRITAIN
"
These are the 1951 Festival of Britain dates as far as we have got:- May 9, England v. Argentina ; May 12, England v. France; May 12 or 19, Scotland v. Italy (provisional); May 12 or 19, Wales v. Portugal (provisional); May 16, England v. Portugal; Scotland v. France (prov); Wales v. Italy (prov); Ireland v. Belgium (prov); May 19, England v. Belgium." - Thursday, 9 March 1950, The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Mercury.

TheFA.com
Original newspaper reports
Rothman's Yearbooks

Mike Payne's England: The Complete Post-War Record (Breedon Books Publishing Company, Derby, U.K., 1993)
Glen Isherwood's Wembley: The Complete Record (SportsBooks Limited, Cheltenham, U.K., 2006)

Norman Giller
, Football Author

____________________

CG