Never Forget: United States 1 – England 0 (1950 World Cup)

England fans swinging from the rafters at the draw for the 2010 World Cup should think twice before forgetting their greatest humiliation of all-time at the 1950 World Cup in Brazil.

Under the management of Walter Winterbottom, England headed to their first ever World Cup finals in Brazil riding a wave of confidence with a post-war record of 23 wins, 4 losses, and 3 draws. By contrast, the United States journeyed south with their tails between their legs having lost their last seven international matches by the embarrassing aggregate score of 45–2.

England had players like the great Tom Finney and Stanley Matthews in their squad (although the legendary Matthews missed the match with the United states for politic reasons), while the American team was comprised with a band of semi-professional players.

So one-sided was pre-tournament thinking that England were famously 3-1 favourites to win the World Cup, while the Americans were rank outsides at 500-1.

And then the nightmare happened. Amid English complaints of dodgy refereeing, Larry Gaetjens scored the only goal of the game at the end of the first half and England never found an equaliser.

With the improbably having occurred, some English media outlets failed to believe the scoreline was accurate when reported by home leading to several newspapers to presume that the 1-0 scoreline was a typing error and so it was reported that England had won on a scoreline of 10-0.

Sadly no footage of the historic defeat of the English appears to be available online. Happily though we are able to bring you substitute footage, footage that will likely give a slight chuckle to any Limeys out there, as the match was captured in the horribly bad 2005 movie named “The Miracle Match” featuring Gerard Butler and directed by David Anspaugh.

The extended trailer for The Miracle Match can be seen here.


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