Top 100 World Cup Moments (From the Aussie P.O.V.): 47-Brazil Go Back-to-Back (1962)

Like has been said in a previous part of this blog the 1962 World Cup in Chile wasn’t awe inspiring as a good majority of tournaments in the past 50 years. Okay a stray dog ran on to the pitch when England played Brazil and it took the English striker Jimmy Greaves to sneak up on all fours and grab the dog, complete with commentary!

Chile were in fact lucky to even host the tournament with both Germany and Argentina putting in bids. Germany would have won the selection but FIFA ruled that two World Cups in row in Europe meant it had to go elsewhere. Even though Argentina had better infrastructure, bigger stadiums and football pedigree Chile ended up with the vote (and a sympathetic one at that) due to the massive Valdivia earthquake that had killed 6000 and left the country decimated.

The country banded together though to build new modern stadiums and put on a show. Brazil had fought their way to the final without Pele for most of the tournament. The star youngster and hero from Sweden four years was injured in the second game and missed the rest of the tournament which meant Garrincha and Amarildo stepped up to the plate. Brazil squeezed past England in the dog game and then defeated a spirited host country in the semi finals (Chile had upset European champions USSR to get that far).

The Czechoslovakian team had made the final before in 1938 and had a team that did well to get to the final. Some of their better players included Adolf Scherer who scored important goals in the quarter finals and semi finals where the Czechs overcame fellow Eastern Bloc brothers Hungary and Yugoslavia. They also featured the best keeper at the tournament (Yashin had a horrible time for the USSR) in Viliam Schrojf who was playing at his third World Cup.

Garrincha had been sent off in the semi final against Chile but the CBF put in an application to have the red card rescinded. Out of the six players who had been sent off during the tournament FIFA would rule that ‘The Little Bird’ would be the only one who would get a reprieve and he would play in the final. Perhaps Diego Maradona is right when he goes on about the Brazilian mafia at every World Cup.

With Chile finishing third the night before Santiago was a party zone all night and in to the next day. Still, the locals had a hair of the dog to get down to the national stadium for the final, in fact 70,000 got down there to watch the final in the brand new stadium that rose from rubble of the earthquake. With many supporting the Czechs instead of their fellow South Americans the locals would have been happy when Masopust put Czechoslovakia into a 15 minute lead after racing on to a long pass from Scherer. But those who were familiar with their World Cup history knew that four of the six previous World Cup winners had fallen behind.

And when Czechoslovakia were last in the final, against Italy in 1934, they opened the scoring, yet still lost. History was about to repeat itself. It took Brazil only two minutes to wipe out Masopust’s goal, when Amarildo beat the outstanding Schrojf with a shot from an acute angle. The normally reliable keeper was to blame. He was expecting a cross and was slow to react to Amarildo’s shot. Czechoslovakia,  who only went to Chile after beating Scotland in a play-off in the qualifiers, were not overawed and were a good match for the favourites.

However, they allowed Brazil to take the lead for the first time in the 68th minute, when Zito started and finished a move, heading home an Amarildo cross. And 13 minutes from time the Czechs were completely demoralised when their normally dependable goalkeeper fumbled a lob into the penalty area from Djalma Santos. Vava was on the spot to put the ball into the net. Brazil were the champs for the second time (like Italy and Uruguay) and were the second team to win back to back (Italy being the first). Not an awe inspiring tournament but there was a few punch ups, a stray dog on the pitch, an underdog in the final and big thumbs up for a pre-Pinochet Chile who managed to overcome a national disaster and the tragedy that comes with it to put on the biggest show on earth.

About Dennis Gedling

RTR FM Presenter. Glory Guerrillas Producer and Co-Host. Contributer to Football Nation Radio and Football West. Worships at the feet of the mighty Cats, Socceroos, Matildas, West Perth, Glory and Glasgow's Green and White most of the time.

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