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Football World Cup - 1962: Chile

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The World Cup: An Introduction | 1930: Uruguay | 1934: Italy | 1938: France | 1950: Brazil
1954: Switzerland | 1958: Sweden | 1962: Chile | 1966: England | 1970: Mexico
1974: West Germany | 1978: Argentina | 1982: Spain | 1986: Mexico | 1990: Italy | 1994: USA
1998: France | 2002: Japan and South Korea

The choice of Chile as the venue for the 1962 World Cup finals caused some controversy. Some believed that Chile didn't have good enough stadiums or transport infrastructure to cope with such a large-scale event. However, things passed off fairly smoothly in terms of the organisation of the event. The main problem at Chile 1962 was bad behaviour on the pitch.

Fifty-six teams took part in the qualifying tournament, setting a new record. Those who failed to make it to Chile included France and Sweden.

The Tournament

The early stages of the World Cup in Chile sadly made all the wrong kind of headlines. There were several brutal, ill-tempered games in the group stage. By far the worst was an encounter between Chile and Italy that became known as 'The Battle of Santiago'. Two Italians were sent off. Remarkably, no Chileans were, despite the fact that Chilean left back Leonel Sanchez broke Italian captain Huberto Maschio's nose with a punch. In the absence of any official sanction against Sanchez, an Italian player punished him with a martial-arts kick. Armed police came on to the pitch on three occasions to try to restore order. Chile won 2-0, but the thuggery easily overshadowed such football as was played in the match. Referee Ken Aston later commented: 'I wasn't reffing a football match, I was acting as an umpire in military manoeuvres.'

The world champions from Brazil found it difficult to deliver their usual glorious, flowing football in such an intimidating atmosphere. Pelé was injured in their second match of the tournament, against Czechoslovakia, and was unable to take any further part in the competition. Even so, Brazil made it through to the quarter-finals, which was more than could be said for Italy, Argentina or Uruguay.

The two surprise teams in the tournament were Czechoslovakia and Chile. Czechoslovakia held Brazil to a goal-less draw in the group stage, then pulled off a surprise 1-0 win over Hungary in the quarter-finals - helped by the fact that Hungary contrived to hit the post four times. They then overcame Yugoslavia 3-1 to reach the final.

Chile, meanwhile, sparked mass celebrations in the streets of the host nation by beating the Soviet Union 2-1. They then faced Brazil, who'd reached the semi-final stage by seeing off England 3-1; and the world champions proved too strong for the hosts, Brazil, winning 4-2.

So it was Brazil vs Czechoslovakia in the final - and the Czech underdogs sprang a surprise by taking the lead in the 15th minute with a goal from Josef Masopust. But the lead lasted only two minutes, before Amarildo equalised; and second-half goals from Zito and Vava ensured that Brazil retained the World Cup.

Tournament Trivia

The 1962 tournament produced what is still the fastest goal in any World Cup final tournament, when Vaclav Masek scored for Czechoslovakia against Mexico after 15 seconds. The Mexicans recovered from the early shock to win 3-11.

The 1962 finals also produced one of the great World Cup comebacks. The Soviet Union led 3-0 after only 11 minutes of their match against Colombia, and were 4-1 up with 25 minutes to go. But Colombia fought back to draw 4-4, Marino Klinger grabbing the equaliser in the 86th minute.

For The Record

Group 1
  P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
 Soviet Union 3210855

Group 2
  P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
 West Germany 3210415

Group 3
  P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
 Brazil 3210415

Group 4
  P  W  D  L  F  A Pts
 Hungary 3210825

Chile 2 : 1 Soviet Union

Brazil 3 : 1 England

Czechoslovakia 1 : 0 Hungary

Yugoslavia 1 : 0 West Germany

Brazil 4 : 2 Chile

Czechoslovakia 3 : 1 Yugoslavia

Third Place Play-Off
Chile 1 : 0 Yugoslavia

Brazil 3 : 1 Czechoslovakia

Tournament Top Goalscorers
Albert (Hungary)
Garrincha (Brazil)
V. Ivanov (Soviet Union)
Jerkovic (Yugoslavia)
L. Sanchez (Chile)
Vava (Brazil) (4 goals each)

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1The fastest goal scored in any World Cup match is one that England fans may remember only too well. It's the one scored by San Marino's Davide Gualtieri after nine seconds of their World Cup qualifying match against England in November 1993.

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