Thursday, February 05, 2009



For the first time FIFA World Cup was to be televised and special coins were issued to mark the event. Switzerland was chosen as the hosts to celebrate FIFA’s 50th Anniversary. 16 Nations qualified for the World Cup, 12 from Europe, Brazil & Uruguay from South America, Mexico from North America & Korea from Asia. These qualifiers were divided into 4 Groups of 4 Teams each. However in a very unusual system Each Group was divided into 2 seeded teams and 2 un-seeded teams whereby the 2 Seeded teams would not play each other and the 2 Unseeded teams would not play against each other. So in other words each team would only play 2 games in the group (2 Seeded Teams play the 2 unseeded Teams only). If 2 teams were tied on points for the 2nd place a replay between those 2 teams would be played to decide which team would qualify for the 2nd round. If the 2 teams finishing 1st and 2nd were tied for points both teams would draw lots to see who they would play in the quarterfinals. If any group game was tied after 90 minutes Extra Time would be played and if still tied after 120 minutes the game would result in a tie. A Very complicated Group system which would lead to a simple knockout format from the Quarterfinals onwards.

Group 1
Brazil & France were the 2 seeded teams in this group. Yugoslavia & & Mexico were the unseeded teams. Brazil boasting players such as Djalma Santos, Nilton Santos & Didi got the group started with a 5-0 demolition of Mexico with Didi scoring a classic. Yugoslavia then beat France by 1-0 to upset the seeding of the group. Brazil & Yugoslavia then played to a 1-1 draw after Extra Time making both of them the qualifiers. France beat Mexico 3-2 in the final game of the group. Brazil & Yugoslavia then drew lots and Brazil ended the group 2nd even though they had a superior goal difference which would they play the winners of Group B. A Picture of the All Famous Stadium Scoreboard and Clock at the Swiss Stadiums during the 1954 World Cup.

Group B
Mighty Magyars
This group was all about Hungary’s Magnificent Magyars. Captained by the Galloping Major, Ferenc Puskas, the Magyars were undefeated in 4 years and were the overwhelming favourites to win the World Cup with players like their Captain Puskas, Sandor Kocsic, Hidegkuti, Czibor, Bozcik and goalkeeper Grosics they were ready to add to their Olympic Title of 1952 the World Cup Crown. Their Title Charge began with a 9-0 blasting of the Korea Republic with Puskas scoring 2 and Kocsic a hatrick. Hungary 9 Korea 0 is a World Cup Record Victory Margin. In the other game the unseeded West Germans beat the Turkey 4-1. Turkey benefiting from their seeded position then beat Korea 9-0. German Coach Sepp Herberger then Gambled by putting out a Reserve Team against the Magical Hungarians. Hungary continued as normal demolishing the Germans 8-3. Puskas again scored and Kocsic scored another 4. Hungarians were off to a flying start. However inspirational captain Puskas was injured in the match by German defender Liebrich and would be out of action for the next 2 games. The results left both Germany and Turkey on 2 points which meant that a Play-Off was needed to decide who would qualify for the quarterfinals although Turkey had the better Goal Difference. Germany won the match 7-2 and qualified.

Group C
Defending Champions Uruguay were expected to qualify from this group and had no trouble in doing so by beating both unseeded teams Czechoslovakia 2-0 and hammering Scotland 7-0. However Austria the other seeded team with Legends like Ernst Happel also won both their games 1-0 against Scotland and 5-0 against Czechoslovakia. With the winner decided by drawing lots, Austria were Group Winners and Uruguay were Runners Up even though Uruguay had the better Goal Difference.

Group D
Well this Group contained 4 European Teams, making it the first and only occasion of a World Cup Group having only European Teams. England were expected to win the group with the likes of Billy Wright and Stanley Mathews in their team. They topped the group by drawing 4-4 after Extra Time with Belgium and beating hosts Switzerland 2-0. The other seeded team in the group Italy lost their first game 2-1 to Switzerland but recovered to beat Belgium 4-1 and force a Rematch Playoff with Switzerland the hosts. Switzerland again beat Italy in the playoff, this time 4-1, to qualify for the Quarterfinals.

On to the Knockout phase which is a much more straight forward format compared to the complicated Group Phase. In the first Quarterfinal Uruguay beat England 4-1. In the other Quarterfinal there was a goal frenzy. Switzerland opened up the scoring with 3 goals within 3 minutes. Austria 3 down after only 20 minutes then fought back and scored 5 goals in 10 minutes themselves to take the lead. Switzerland pulled a goal back before half time and Austria missed a penalty as well. Half Time Score Austria 5 Switzerland 4. The 2nd half produced 3 more goals, 2 for Austria and 1 for Switzerland. Austria won the game 7-5 which is still a World Cup Record for most goals in 1 match being 12.
In the next quarterfinal West Germany beat Yugoslavia, who were the favourites going into the match, 2-0 to qualify for the semi-finals and play Austria.

Battle of Bern
Hungary vs Brazil. The dominant undefeated European Masters vs the South American Kings to be. One of the most violent matches in World Cup History. Hungary opened up the scoring through Hidegkuti and lead 2-0 minutes later when Kocsic added a 2nd in the 7th minute. Brazil then fought back and won a penalty which Djalma Santos converted. Hungary led 2-1 at halftime. The 2nd half produced another penalty for Hungary this time and Lantos converted to restore Hungary’s 2 goal lead. Right Winger Julinho then brought Brazil back into it with a 2nd goal. Then the match got out of hand and referee Arthur Ellis of England sent of Nilton Santos (Brazil) and Joseph (Bozcik) Hungary. He then also sent off Humberto of Brazil before Kocsic sealed the victory 2 minutes from time with his 2nd and Hungary 4th goal. Final Score Hungary 4 Brazil 2. Although the game had 2 great football teams playing with players such as Bozcik, Hidegkuti & Kocsic from Hungary, Djalma, Nilton Santos & Didi from Brazil, the game was overshadowed by it’s violent tactics and brutal challenges. Although only 3 players were dismissed the match was perhaps the most violent in the history of World Cup Football. After the game finished the players of both teams were still fighting with each other. It is Alleged that Puskas, injured and therefore never played the game, struck one of the Brazilians, Pinheiro with a bottle on his head. The Brazilian team actually invade the Hungarian dressing room after the match and a massive Brawl broke loose leaving 1 Hungarian player unconscious and their coach Sebes having to have 4 Stitches after being struck with a bottle. What should have been a contest of the 2 Best football teams turned out to be a Battle of fists and Violent tackles.

West Germany took on Austria in the first semi-final and opened the scoring to lead 1-0 at half time. In the 2nd half Germany outplayed Austria to win the game 6-1 and qualify for their first ever final. The semi-final between Hungary (Favourites) and Uruguay (Holders) was a classic match of end to end action, Even though both teams were missing the inspirational captains Puskas and Varela. A Brilliant match in which Hungary took the lead through Czibor and doubled it through Hidegkuti just after half time. However Uruguay undefeated at the World Cup Finals since 1930 were not to let that record away so easily. They pulled 1 goal back through Hohberg and he equalised 2 minutes from time to take the game to extra time. However Hohberg injured himself during the goal celebrations and could not continue. In extra time it was Kocsic who decided the match with his brace in the 2nd half of extra time to take Hungary through to the final with a 4-2 victory as well as his personal tally of goals for the World Cup to 11 which would make him top scorer.

Third Place Playoff
In the 3rd place playoff Austria beat Uruguay 3-1 to make it an all European 1-2-3.


Group Game Result Hungary 8 West Germany 3. German Coach Sepp Herberger made 7 changes to the German team that played Hungary in the group phase. The Mighty Magyars, Hungary’s Golden Team, undefeated in 32 Games and 4 years were the undeniable favourites to lift the Jules Rimet Trophy. The match was played under heavy rain which was known as “Fritz Walter-Weather” as it was said that he played his best under these conditions. Ferenc Puskas, although not fully fit was selected to lead the Hungarians in the final. The game strated with a bang as Hungary took a 2 goal lead withing the first 10 minutes through Puskas and Czibor, the latter being a blunder from Germany’s goalkeeper. West Germany did not give an equalised 10 minutes later thanks to goals from Morlock and Rahn, the latter being questionable as Hans Schafer impeded Grosics from getting to a cross which allowed Rahn to equalise. With the match levelled at 2-2 the Hungarians began to dominate the majority of the game coming close on many occasions to restoring their lead. Both Puskas and Hidegkuti hit the post, Kocsic on the volley attempt was miraculously saved by Turek and Czibor missed a copule of clear cut chances. With just 6 minutes left Helmet Rahn scored the winner for West Germany. However a few minutes later Puskas scored a goal which was disallowed for being offside which it clearly was not (Picture Below). Germany were World Champions and a country in ruins from World War II had a Miracle Victory which gave hope to many Germans. This match was one of the greatest upsets in World Cup Football History. This famous result and clock is displayed as a monument outside the Stadium in Bern. In Total Switzerland 1954 had a total of 140 goals in only 26 matches at an average of 5.38 goals per match which is still a World Cup Record.

Picture of Ferenc Puskas congratulating German Captain Fritz Walter.

The Mighty Hungarians scored a World Cup Record of 27 goals in one world cup tournament, but they never recovered from this shock loss and the Might Magyars were split up. Ferenc Puskas went on to play for Spain in the 1962 World Cup but with little success. Hungary’s Magnificent Magyars were no more. Controversy still surrounds this miraculous victory by the Germans as it is rumoured that the German team were injected with shots of Vitamin C at half time as the entire team had a wave of jaundice after the game as well as the disallowed Puskas equaliser late on.



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